Why Steve Rogers loves his Mor­ris Mi­nors

Kapi-Mana News - - MOTORING - By TALIA CARLISLE

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.

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