We enjoy the Standard Ten and put it fully to the test
1 DAILY DRIVING
It may be considerably slower than modern day cars, but a Standard Ten still offers a fun yet economical drive, making it the perfect choice for a keen classic enthusiast on a tight budget, especially now that Morris Minor prices are on the up. The interior is rather basic, but the engine is reliable and economical, the steering is light, the handling perfectly decent and the gearbox easy, if a little long-winded, to use – it’s great fun on a twisting A- or B-road, rather less so on a busy motorway. You need to be sociable, too, because Standard 10s attract nostalgic stories from the Fifties from onlookers like you wouldn’t believe.
2 IN THE SERVICE BAY
Fifties Standards are remarkably simple to work on thanks to easy access to their mechanicals and a plentiful supply of exploded diagrams and workshop manuals to guide you through maintenance schedules and repairs. Replacement body panels are difficult to find but an enthusiastic fan base means owners can usually track down parts and paperwork and with relative ease. Many spares are available online, primarily through the webshop of the Standard Motor Club. Bumpers, exhausts and external trim parts are available new, while other components such as starter motors, brake shoes and clutch kits are available through recondition-exchange services.
3 ON THE SHOW CIRCUIT
Thanks to their largely underrated status within the classic community, Standards are usually welcome at all sorts of car shows. These aren’t necessarily the type of cars that lend themselves to winning ‘Best in Show’ awards, but you’ll have fun entertaining and informing curious showgoers. However, apply yourself, take your Ten to club displays, timed navigational rallies and period dress competitions and you’ll soon find that you have an unexpected candidate for top honours. That’s if you ever manage to get a word in sideways among the numerous stories of how these humble saloons made excellent first cars and family transport back in the day!
4 THE LONG WEEKEND
One of the Standard Ten’s main objectives was to function as an economical yet spacious vehicle in which the whole family could travel comfortably. Leaf through the Standard Motor Company’s original marketing material and you’ll find example after example of families out and about with their saloons as well as repeated mention of the generous luggage space, with or without an opening boot lid depending on the specific model. Lengthy but enjoyable journeys are entirely possible with a Standard, with the only main downfall being that you’ll be slower than most on motorways and steep inclines.
5 THE B-ROAD BLAST
The Standard Ten’s 948cc engine was never pushed on the production line to provide much more than low fuel consumption and good overall drivability. However, it can can offer enough momentum and handling capacity to satisfy most enthusiastic drivers on a B-road. Don’t let the modest trim levels and minimal accessories fool you, either – the Ten is underpinned by impressive engineering, including Burma worm-and-nut steering, coil springs and hydraulic dampers, doublewishbone front suspension and generous hydraulic brakes with seven-inch drums all round. Added together, they provide driver involvement in spades.