Mor­ris Mi­nor

This Mi­nor has a few nig­gles you’ll want to put right, but it’s been well main­tained by its pre­vi­ous own­ers and drives well

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - News - Martin Domoney

WHAT’S IT LIKE TO DRIVE?

The 948cc en­gine runs very smoothly, even from stone cold. Once warmed up and the choke backed off, the will­ing lit­tle lump pro­vides enough fizz to get up to fourth gear with ease. The gearchange is pre­cise and has a smooth, notch-free feel, with no re­luc­tance go­ing into any of the gears. Steer­ing is light, but doesn’t ham­per con­fi­dence and doesn’t show any play in ex­cess of what you’d ex­pect from a Mi­nor in fine fet­tle. The brakes op­er­ate well, but have a slight ten­dency to pull to the right when pressed firmly.

BODYWORK CHECK

A thor­ough look around this Mor­ris re­veals no nasty sur­prises. The paint­work is in fine con­di­tion and all the pan­els match well, with no or­ange peel-es­que re­pairs ev­i­dent. The panel gaps are typ­i­cally Bri­tish, but are even through­out. Weld­ing has been car­ried out to the rear whee­larches, but the re­pairs ap­pear sound and the car’s belly has been well pre­served with un­der­seal. The pan­els are free of dents and dings, and the chrome fin­ish­ers and rubber seals are well kept, if start­ing to get a lit­tle tired in places.

HOW’S THE IN­TE­RIOR?

The first things that strike you upon open­ing the door are the seats. The red vinyl has aged and dried, but while the cov­ers have not split, this is some­thing the new owner may wish to re­fresh. Crispy sun vi­sors and frag­ile door pulls are also ar­eas that could use some at­ten­tion; clos­ing the pas­sen­ger door be­hind you is best done gin­gerly as the strap is de­cid­edly well used. The odome­ter stopped work­ing in 1996, how­ever the pre­vi­ous (one fam­ily) own­ers will pro­vide a let­ter of au­then­tic­ity re­gard­ing the true mileage.

UN­DER THE BON­NET

It’s re­fresh­ing to see the en­gine bay of a car of this vin­tage as un­mo­lested as this one. The mod­ern bat­tery and re­freshed wiring are the only things to sug­gest our pho­tos weren’t taken decades ago. No pres­sure washer has been near this Mi­nor’s four-pot, as while no ma­jor leaks are vis­i­ble, it sports an hon­est glaze of grime and oil. The in­ner wings and sur­round­ing met­al­work is solid, and no mis­fires present them­selves at idle or when the en­gine is un­der load. A loose oil filler cap is the only foible to be ad­dressed.

OUR VER­DICT

De­spite the is­sue with the stuck odome­ter, the way this Mor­ris drives and presents it­self re­ally does give the im­pres­sion the mileage isn’t far off the dis­played num­ber. The amount of his­toric pa­per­work that comes with it is also a credit to its pre­vi­ous own­ers. Buy it, trea­sure it and use it… just not too much.

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