Club buys last Mi­nor

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - This Week -

The last Mor­ris Mi­nor sa­loon to leave the pro­duc­tion line has been saved by the Mor­ris Mi­nor Own­ers’ Club.

The Trafal­gar Blue 1970 two-door sa­loon was found in a derelict state. It was res­cued by the club in Septem­ber and is now due a com­plete restora­tion. Chas­sis num­ber 1288377 was signed off at Cow­ley on 12 Novem­ber 1970.

De­spite its sig­nif­i­cance, the car has not been cos­seted. ‘It’s a ma­jor project, with­out any doubt,’ says MMOC sec­re­tary Ray Newell. ‘We pur­chased the car from John Ash­more, who had ac­quired the ve­hi­cle with a view to restor­ing it him­self or with as­sis­tance.

‘He re­alised the enor­mity of the task ahead and in an ef­fort to keep as much of the orig­i­nal ve­hi­cle in­tact a sale was negotiated. We felt it needed to be saved. At the mo­ment we are tak­ing steps to sta­bilise its con­di­tion rather than be­gin restora­tion.’

The car was Lon­don-reg­is­tered and cov­ered over 100,000 miles be­fore it was traded in against a Rolls-Royce.

De­spite its crum­bling ap­pear­ance in 2016, an ef­fort had been made to se­cure the car for pos­ter­ity in the early 1990s.

It was fea­tured in the July 1994 is­sue of our sis­ter pub­li­ca­tion Clas­sic Cars and pho­tographed with the first pro­duc­tion model, NWL 576. The Mi­nor will be ex­hib­ited at the

Prac­ti­cal Clas­sics Restora­tion Show at the NEC from 31 March–2 April.

Van and Trav­eller pro­duc­tion con­tin­ued into 1971 at Cow­ley. The fi­nal Mi­nor is be­lieved to be one as­sem­bled from avail­able parts by a Swin­don dealer around 1976 for a cus­tomer who would have noth­ing else! Nick Larkin ❚

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