1958 MORRIS MINOR
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.
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.