1958 MORRIS MI­NOR

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Buying & Selling - Nick Larkin

WHAT’S IT LIKE TO DRIVE?

This Mi­nor, orig­i­nally fit­ted with a 948cc A-se­ries en­gine, now sports a larger 1098cc unit, as fit­ted to Septem­ber 1962-on­wards mod­els. And what­ever your views on keep­ing a clas­sic as pure as pos­si­ble, it does im­prove drive­abil­ity con­sid­er­ably when com­pared to the pre­ced­ing mo­tor. As a re­sult this up­graded ear­lier Mi­nor – which also gets the later 1000’s com­bined front side­light/ in­di­ca­tor units – is sur­pris­ingly peppy in town and not so slow as to cause em­bar­rass­ment out on the open roads. It bowls along hap­pily enough at 5560mph, and there’s still a lit­tle left in re­serve if re­quired. It feels well-planted at speed and han­dles ex­tremely well, with light steer­ing, an easy-to-use gear­box and drum brakes that, while un­likely to pro­pel you for­ward dur­ing an emer­gency stop, are nev­er­the­less pro­gres­sive and re­as­sur­ingly pre­dictable. They halt the car straight and true, with­out it pulling to one side.

BODY­WORK CHECK

The car was re­stored by a re­tired en­gi­neer, who made a good job of it. It has re­ceived a high qual­ity re­paint in­side and out that’s dif­fi­cult to fault, with no runs or ‘or­ange peel’. There’s no rot to be seen any­where, the floor is ex­cel­lent and we can see no ev­i­dence of ma­jor weld­ing. The doors, boot and bon­net open and close per­fectly, the front and rear valances are in good or­der and the chrome is in ex­cel­lent con­di­tion. A lot of care has clearly been taken with this car’s body­work over the years.

HOW’S THE IN­TE­RIOR?

The car has been pro­fes­sion­ally re­trimmed and thus the seats are like new – though not to orig­i­nal spec­i­fi­ca­tion – as are the car­pets. The head­lin­ing and win­dow glass are in sim­i­larly ex­cel­lent con­di­tion as are the door cards. The paint on the dash­board is im­mac­u­late and what few in­stru­ments and switches there are work per­fectly. The in­di­ca­tor stalk is on the left hand side of the steer­ing col­umn (it is usu­ally on the right), though this is is less of an in­con­ve­nience and more of a talk­ing point. The three-spoked sprung steer­ing is vir­tu­ally as new.

UN­DER THE BON­NET

The un­der-bon­net isn’t quite im­mac­u­late as else­where, but gives a good first im­pres­sion. The en­gine starts in­stantly, runs beau­ti­fully, is de­tailed to orig­i­nal spec and there are no traces of leaks or over­heat­ing. All the hoses and wir­ing look ser­vice­able and the ra­di­a­tor ap­pears to be in ex­cel­lent or­der.

THE CCW VIEW

If you want a nice Morris Mi­nor to use reg­u­larly and take to shows, then look no fur­ther. It is so easy to end up with a car in need of ma­jor work but as far as we can tell noth­ing needs do­ing here and the 1098cc en­gine in par­tic­u­lar makes the car a lot more us­able too.

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