MOR­RIS MI­NOR

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Best Summer Buys -

The Mor­ris Mi­nor was ini­tially dis­missed by Lord Nuffield as a ‘poached egg’. Cer­tainly, few would have thought it ca­pa­ble of sell­ing in the num­bers it did when the car made its de­but at the 1948 Bri­tish Mo­tor Show; it went down in his­tory in 1960 as the first Bri­tish car to sell a mil­lion units.

The Mi­nor was a revo­lu­tion­ary ma­chine, with a spec that shamed cars twice its price – uni­tary con­struc­tion, in­de­pen­dent front sus­pen­sion and rack-and-pin­ion steer­ing. It was, how­ever, some­what let down by its tra­di­tional side­valve en­gine. The Mi­nor was in­tended for ex­port across the world, so the untested flat-four that Alec Is­sigo­nis had in­cor­po­rated into his de­sign was con­sid­ered too rad­i­cal. Fol­low­ing the Austin/ Mor­ris merger in 1952, the Mi­nor’s lack of power was quickly ad­dressed when it in­her­ited the same pow­er­plant as its Austin A30 rival. The A-se­ries en­gine grew to 948cc four years later and the Mor­ris was re­named the Mi­nor 1000. At the same time the 1000 gained a close-ra­tio gear­box with a higher fi­nal drive, plus a sin­gle­piece curved wind­screen (pre­vi­ous mod­els had a split screen) and a larger rear win­dow.

‘Our’ car is one of the last to be made prior to the in­tro­duc­tion of what is con­sid­ered by many to be the ul­ti­mate ver­sion of the Mi­nor – the re­vised 1000, with its A-se­ries en­gine bored out to 1098cc, re­sult­ing in a power hike from 37bhp to 48bhp.

The Mi­nor 1000 was al­ways avail­able as both a two- and four-door sa­loon, in ad­di­tion to an open­top Tourer, wood-framed Trav­eller es­tate and as a prac­ti­cal van and pick-up.

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