The original Minor – or poached egg as Lord Nufflield delightfully called it – initially complete with side-valve engine, was a sedate performer, and is even more so today, but thanks to delightful handling and steering, it’s still a great car to drive.
The Minor MM, launched so memorably at the Earls Court Motor Show in 1948, was originally sold as a two-door saloon or Tourer, with grille-mounted headlamps, until the four-door saloon was introduced in September 1950. These had their headlamps mounted in restyled front wings, and the change was adopted by two-doors and Tourers from January 1951.
The low-lamp Minor was replaced by the facelifted Series II in 1952. It retained the split-screen, but now was now powered by the (Austin-designed) A-series engine from Austinâ€™s A30. This engine only appeared in four-door models during 1952, but all models received it from February ’53. Later that year the wood-framed Traveller was added to the range. Many of these cars have been fitted with the stronger 948, 1098 and 1275cc engines from aÂ later Minor or other BMC product.
The 1956 Minor 1000 was the best of the lot – and remains so for those who want one to drive as well as to show. The larger A-series engines finally provided power to match the handling, more so after September 1962 when a 1098cc engine replaced the 948. Larger front brakes were added at the same time. The 1000s are easily distinguished by their curved one-piece windscreen and larger rear window.
Convertibles were dropped in June 1969, saloon production ended in November 1970, but Travellers soldiered on until April 1971.
Morris Minor specs and dimensions