We had one of those
The photograph on page 86 of this issue, of a very nice Morris Minor at the Canterbury All British Day, brought back fond childhood memories.
My father was not a ‘car’ person by any stretch of the imagination, but he did have a liking for Morris Minors. The first Morris Minor that I can recall him buying was an early low-light model. From memory, it was a two-door, and wore a rather nasty dent on one of the rear mudguards — which didn’t deter my father one little bit, as he never bothered to have it repaired. The trusty old 918cc side-valve Morrie served us well for a year or two before my father decided to upgrade to a later model Morris Minor 1000 — about 1960, I think.
As a young teenager at the time, I thought this car was the bee’s knees, and I couldn’t wait for my father to start giving me driving lessons in the new family sedan. The shorter gear lever and OHV engine was indeed a huge improvement on our previous family steed by offering better performance — I wanted one of my own.
It wasn’t long before my father was offered a Holden EK station wagon, which he couldn’t resist. It was a great car, in which I eventually passed my driver’s licence.
I was still at school, and I desperately wanted a Morrie. My father eventually relented and arrived home with another early low-light for me to drive. It wasn’t in the best condition, and my mother suggested, in no uncertain terms, that he find something better for me to drive. Dad subsequently found a light green 1961 Morris Minor 1000 for $350 — just like the one we’d owned previously. It was a fantastic low-mileage car, and drove perfectly.
As the car didn’t have a radio, I solved the problem by hanging my small transistor radio by its strap from the right rear window. Changing the station and volume was easily achieved by reaching over my right shoulder for the perfect sound, albeit rather crackly — needless to say, it was my perfect machine.
On a sad note, David Cass, who has been working on New Zealand Classic Car magazine since 1991, has decided to scale down his writing output. He plans to write only freelance articles instead of writing to regular deadlines, as he’s done for so many years. I would like to take the opportunity to thank David for his incredible contribution to this magazine, especially the crossword and mystery car section, and, on behalf of Parkside Media, wish him all the very best for the future.
Until next month…