Launched at the 1948 Earls Court Motor Show, the Morris Minor has gone on to become one of the world’s most notable and loved cars. Featuring torsion bar independent front suspension, rack and pinion steering and a four speed synchromesh gearbox, it was the first post-war design from Alec Issigonis, later to design the Morris Mini.
The car was designed by Issigonis to be a working-class, affordable car but with the luxuries of a higher spec vhicle.
This it succeeded in doing, with superior handling and a roomy cabn. It was this combination of lxury and affordability that helped the British Motor Corporation (BMC) o sell over 1.6 million Morris Minors. The original model of Morris Minor was the Minor MM. Produced from 1948 to 1953 the range incuded 4 door and 2 door options, as well as a 4 seat convertible ‘tourer’ option. In order to keep costs down the car shared suspension with the larger Morris Oxford and was powered by a 0.9L engine capable 40mpg although top speed was only 64mph. The car was updated in ’52 with the introduction of the Morris Minor Series II. An Austin sourced 0.8L engine was now used and an estate, ‘traveller’, iant was added to the range, as were commercial van an pick-up iants. The Series 2 traveller was the first Morris Minor to feature the distinctive wooded trim toward the rear of the car. The Morris Minor received yet another update with the introduction of the Moriis Minor 1000. Engine capacity was increased to 0.9L and the front split windscreen was replaced by a single peice of glass. As time passed the Morris was given another new engine, a 1.1L unti capable of propelling the car to 77mph. A new dashboard was also added, as was a new heater. Toward the end of it’s run the public saw the minor as dated and sales fell. The ‘tourer’ was dropped in ’69 and the saloon went in ’70, the rest of the range was dropped in ’71. By this point the almost 850,000 units had been sold of the Minor 1000 alone. The car was replaced by the Morris Marina, although with British Leyland in control of the Morris brand, the Marina was veiwed as a cheap alternative to the Ford Cortina rather than a true successor to the innovative Minor. Today the Morris Minor and Minor 1000 is amongst the most popular and best loved classic cars. This is reflected in the volume of owners and enthusiasts clubs around the country and the realtive ease to find dealers willing to source parts and accessories for the Morris. The car is also a popular candidate for ‘hot-rod’ conversions due to the styling of the Minor 1000 being reminiscent of a miniture, pre-WW2 Chevrolet.