Why Steve Rogers loves his Morris Minors
Morris Minors bring back special memories for Papakowhai resident Steve Rogers.
The Wellington Morris Minor Club president has owned 25 of the cars since they were first produced in 1948.
‘‘In 67 I bought my first one,’’ he said.
‘‘ I had to sell it to buy an engagement ring.’’
The car lasted longer than the engagement, he said.
‘‘It lasted a week. I could have kept it.’’
Mr Rogers drives a 1961 Morris Minor 1000 and owns four other Morris Minors including a van, a trailer and two-door cars. ‘‘I’m just mad on them,’’ he said. ‘‘The shape and everything was totally different to the old cars that were square.
‘‘You can see by the way they’ve made them, they were built by hand, not by computer or robot.’’
The cars always sparked conversation, he said.
‘‘Just about every second person stops [and says], ‘I had one of those’.’’
Mr Rogers learnt to drive in a Morris Minor, but has one memory that stands out above all others.
‘‘I lost my virginity in my first one in the back seat,’’ he said.
Mr Rogers described the Morris Minor as an ‘‘old man’s game’’ because cars required constant maintenance and drivers required patience to drive slowly.
With an upgraded motor, Mr Rogers’ car can travel at 100kmh.
He has travelled with other classic car owners to Invercargill and Napier on various trips.
Mr Rogers joined the Wellington Morris Minor Club in 1994, four years after the club formed.
He has been club president for five of the past six years and also edits the club newsletter.
The popularity of the cars was dwindling today as younger generations inherited the cars without committing to caring for them, Mr Rogers said.
‘‘In the heyday of 94, when I joined, there [were] probably over 200 members,’’ he said.
Today the club has 40 active members because others have moved clubs.
There are eight clubs nationally, under the umbrella of the New Zealand Morris Minor Federation.
Each year they meet for a national convention, including a rally, car showcase and prizegiving.
The 2015 convention would probably be held in Porirua during Easter weekend, Mr Rogers said.