MOR­RIS MI­NOR

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Brit Ragtops For £5k - DAVID BROWN AS­SO­CIATE ED­I­TOR

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.

BUY­ING TIPS

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.

SPEC­I­FI­CA­TIONS

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

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