Perhaps it is a love of antiques and browsing brica-brac stalls that makes Morris Minor convertibles seem so desirable. The two seem to go hand in hand, as witnessed by the former opening footage of BBC TV’s Antiques Roadshow, where a suit of armour was seen being transported in a Moggy cabriolet, not forgetting ‘Miriam’ in the lovable Lovejoy series.
If you are lucky enough to own a 37bhp, 918cc Minor MM Tourer, 1948-’53, in good condition, then you have a real treasure – but you certainly won’t get one for less than £5k.
A Minor 1000 convertible (1956-62) is more attainable, with some genuine performance improvements over the earlier cars including a 948cc engine coupled with a close-ratio gear box. Post-’62 cars had 1098cc engines.
There can be few more quintessentially English pleasures than driving a Morris Minor with the top down on a lovely summer day, whether you have priceless bric-a-brac in the back or not.
Buying one within the budget would probably mean a conversion rather than an original model, though, or a project in need of work.
PREACHING TO THE CONVERTED Many convertibles are in fact saloons, that have either been either professionally or amateurishly given the soft top look. There may be nothing wrong in that, but if you want the real thing be sure of what you are buying and that the work has been carried out safely.
DAZE IN THE HOOD Ensure that the hood operates smoothly and check the gap and fit of the roof when raised. A poorly fitting hood above the doors can let the wind and rain in and you do not want to invite in potential rot that can quickly spread to the interior fittings and floor.
CLUB CLASSICS Joining the Morris Minor Owners Club (www. mmoc.org.uk) and visiting your local meeting and/or a national gathering can offer the best introduction to Morris Minors and perhaps get you a potentially good vehicle to make your own. That way, all will come with excellent insider knowledge and fine parts back-up.
ENGINE 948cc/S4/OHV POWER 37bhp@4750rpm TORQUE 48lb ft@2500rpm MAXIMUM SPEED 72mph 0-60MPH 22sec FUEL CONSUMPTION 30-35mpg TRANSMISSION RWD, four-speed manual
Some Moggy ragtops are converted saloons – which is fine, as long as you don’t pay original model prices. “1957 MORRIS MINOR, £3995 – Re-sprayed in last 4 years, 50,000 miles, manual, RHD” ONE WE FOUND