MI­NOR: WHAT’S THE AP­PEAL?

Classics Monthly - - Workshop Mot Self Checklist – Morris Minor -

Cars that came from the Nuffield sta­ble were al­ways a cut above any­thing from Long­bridge. With Ri­ley, Wolse­ley and MG as part of the sta­ble as well as Alec Is­sigo­nis on board, Mor­ris were not go­ing to turn out any­thing half hearted and as such the Mi­nor was an in­stant hit with any­one that en­joyed driv­ing.

The steer­ing and han­dling were years ahead of the com­pe­ti­tion, to the ex­tent that many own­ers re­garded the Mi­nor as a fixed roof sports car, al­beit with­out much power. The orig­i­nal MM with the 918cc side valve was okay but un­der­pow­ered and the Se­ries II with the 803cc A-Se­ries from the A30 was prob­a­bly worse – a com­bi­na­tion of fee­ble power, grossly in­cor­rect gear­ing and an engine that was not the most ro­bust thing ever made. Most will now have had a 950 or 1100 engine, gear­box and axle fit­ted.

The A-Se­ries was re­worked by Mor­ris En­gines and be­came the 948cc unit and in 1956 the Se­ries II be­came the Mi­nor 1000. The 948 was a su­perb engine – strong, revvy and re­li­able. It now had sen­si­ble gear­ing and a snappy short shift gear lever along with other im­prove­ments. Even in 1959 the Mi­nor was per­haps old fash­ioned but was very com­pa­ra­ble to the new 105E Anglia and in many ways a bet­ter car. The 1962 1098cc ver­sion had taller gear­ing, more power and torque, bet­ter brakes and even to­day in stan­dard form re­mains a sur­pris­ingly driv­able car.

(Left) Many own­ers will agree that sim­ple is best when it comes to the Mi­nor’s plain but func­tional in­te­rior. (Right) The engine bay was de­signed for a flat four-cylin­der unit and the ex­tra space pro­vides ex­cel­lent ac­cess to all the ser­vice items.

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