Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Best Summer Buys - CHRIS HOPE FEA­TURES ED­I­TOR

In spite of their re­spec­tive en­gine lo­ca­tions, the Mi­nor and Bee­tle are both small cars with small en­gines. As such they’re cars which are praised on how well they make the most of what lit­tle power they have. What’s more, it’s clear that both of these cars have been de­signed for longevity, ev­i­dent not only from their grad­ual evo­lu­tion, but also from the num­ber of sur­vivors that are still around to­day. It’s pos­si­ble, with the as­sis­tance of spe­cial­ists and club sup­port, to make an ex­am­ple of ei­ther last al­most in­def­i­nitely.

Just six years sep­a­rate the pro­duc­tion dates of this Mi­nor and Bee­tle, but you could be for­given for think­ing that there’s a greater age gap than that. The Bee­tle of­fers a su­pe­rior build qual­ity and it’s more re­lax­ing to drive.

And, yet the Mi­nor edges it for me, feel­ing the more en­gag­ing and the more char­ac­ter­ful car to drive.

Tiny foot­note in pe­riod ad shows Mor­ris’ ex­port-or-die phi­los­o­phy. The Mi­nor’s wind­screen be­came a sin­gle-piece unit when the 1000 ap­peared. Sin­gle-car­bu­ret­tor 948cc A-se­ries looks al­most lost in the Mi­nor’s cav­ernous en­gine bay. Fi­nal Mi­nor it­er­a­tion got the best en­gine of the lot – a 48bhp 1098cc A-se­ries.

Steve Leigh of Es­sex Clas­sic Car Auctions (01702 529892, es­sex­clas­s­ic­ca­rauc­ for or­gan­is­ing our drive of the Mi­nor and Bee­tle fea­tured in this ar­ti­cle. ECCA en­joyed a suc­cess­ful sale last week­end and will be hold­ing its next sale on 9-10 Septem­ber. Slop­ing head­lamps were re­placed by up­right ones in ma­jor 1968 facelift. End-float on the beau­ti­fully sonorous air-cooled flat-four means that a re­build is on the cards. Get­ting the mo­tor out is a rel­a­tively straight­for­ward job, how­ever. THANKS TO

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