New Zealand Classic Car - - Editor's Pick -

The Mor­ris Mi­nor has been de­scribed as typ­i­fy­ing ‘English­ness’, as a Bri­tish icon and a de­sign clas­sic, and ac­cord­ing to our fea­tured car’s cur­rent owner, this spe­cial lit­tle 1953 split­-wind­screen four­-door Mog­gie fits all those de­scrip­tions per­fectly. This car’s pre­vi­ous cus­to­dian owned the Mor­ris for most of her adult life and, like the cur­rent owner, was sad to part with it. How­ever, she had got to an age where ap­pre­ci­a­tion of air con­di­tion­ing in the sum­mer months and an ef­fi­cient heater for win­ter meant that the Mor­ris had to be re­placed by an eas­ier to drive, more user-­friendly mod­ern car. It was pur­chased some six years ago by its cur­rent owner — a sec­ond lady for the Mor­ris — and the plan was to re­fur­bish it and stick with the car’s orig­i­nal Bri­tish Rac­ing Green colour. How­ever, on a trip from Christchurch to Blenheim she no­ticed four or five Mor­ries parked up in long grass, so de­cided there must be a ‘few’ about, and to have some fun with it, although she ad­mits that the paint shop was very sad she wasn’t go­ing to keep the car to its true colours. How­ever, af­ter some guilt­-filled con­sid­er­a­tions she de­cided to stick to her plan — the end re­sult is stun­ning, and she es­pe­cially loves the matched leather two-tone uphol­stery. Like many am­a­teur car en­thu­si­asts, she thought it would not take long to ‘knock’ the old Mog­gie back into shape — four years later, and not want­ing to ad­mit the fi­nal cost, it was fi­nally ready for the road. It still has its pop-­out in­di­ca­tors, but they’re not op­er­a­tive, while it’s also fun to pull the starter but­ton and lis­ten to the 1200cc Dat­sun mo­tor purr like a kit­ten. For the Mor­rie purist, the orig­i­nal mo­tor is in­cluded in the ask­ing price. Due to the Can­ter­bury earth­quakes this much­loved Mog­gie has pretty much been stored away in the shed, apart from one re­cent out­ing to Wanaka where it made for the most ex­cep­tional bridal car. The car was trans­ported one way and then driven back to Christchurch — a won­der­ful, easy six-­hour run in­clud­ing fre­quent hold­ups to com­ply with the many re­quests of “Can I have a photo please?” The owner wishes that she knew some­thing more of the Mi­nor’s first owner, and won­ders if she’d still like it in its present con­di­tion. She cer­tainly hopes so.

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