A marvellous piece of machinery that works first time and every time.
A typically British car, the Morris Minor car broke cover at the Earls Court Motor Show in the capital on 20 September 1948 and instantly captured the hearts of many an Englishman as it began its successful travels.
1948, at the now infamous Cowley production plant, saw the first of 1,288,000 ‘Moggies’ leave its troubled assembly line and was subsequently registered as NWL 576.
William Morris once said:
“We brought down the prices of motor cars, with other manufactures following suit. We claim the credit of bringing cheap motoring to Great Britain and the Colonies.”
Unveiled in 1928, the original Morris Minor was tagged as the ‘the small car of the Morris range’, but lasted a mere 6 years and never threatened the Austin 7.
Its successor was given serious thought in 1940, by the now iconic Alec Issigonis, who created the legendary shape on his sketch-board. Joined by a group of experimental designers at Cowley, the early ‘think tank’ came up with the now famous monocoque construction.
Lord Nuffield once said of the car “It looks like a poached egg and is narrow gutted”, which prompted the experts to cut the classic down the middle and add an extra 4 inches to its core. A Wider stance gave the car that souhgt after ‘beef’ and in the process made the car much less toy-car looking.
Deceptive looks made the Moggie comfortable on home shores, and the additional luggage space gave it success on American soil.
It was indeed a long-life car that took pride in its testing procedures.
Surge Of Power
Enjoying ‘his sort of motoring in her sort of car’ was difficult until the performance was given a surge of power, by the now iconic 1000cc (948) A series engine.
December 1960 saw the lovable classic hit the millionth mark, but the increased cubic capacity was being overtaken by more efficient and powerful machines that left the delightful Morris looking rather tired and lack-lustre by comparison.
November 12th 1970 was the final curtain for the now desirable Minor 1000, with the ‘non-profitable’ Traveller following shortly afterwards.
Now in 2019, the Morris Minor is still going strong with more and more being fully restored to their factory condition – or better.
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