ENGINE 948cc/4-cyl/OHV POWER 37bhp@4750rpm TORQUE 48lb ft@3000rpm MAXIMUM SPEED 75mph 0-60MPH 31.1sec FUEL CONSUMPTION 33-41mpg TRANSMISSION RWD, four-speed manual MoT Exempt ODOMETER 88,222 miles
WHAT’S IT LIKE TO DRIVE?
Our ‘test’ of this barn-find Minor project was limited to the vendor’s private land. There are no brakes – the pedal goes straight to the floor – but the handbrake is still effective. The motor has been replaced with a newer Minor engine, the battery holds charge and the car starts readily at the first turn the key, despite having not run in years. After initially smoking, as old petrol and oil in the bores burns off, the engine runs well and the gears engage easily. The clutch hasn’t stuck during storage and still works as it should. The steering is tight without undue play in the mechanism. Old, low tyres (legal tread depth on all of them, but they’re cracked) make the Minor feel a little heavy, but it seems OK overall.
The Morris looks worse than it is. The bodywork takes patina to a new level with flat paint and surface rust on every panel. Rust has perforated the lower edges of the doors and in spots on the wings. The chrome has seen better days – it’s mostly missing from the front bumper and the rear is beyond repair. The door handles are all flat and pitted. The glass is good all round and all the lenses are fine, bar the nearside rear lamp. The wheels have lost most of their paint. The chassis has either been undersealed or coated in old oil for many years and is amazingly solid and rust-free. It has been inspected on a ramp and seems to be in good order.
HOW’S THE INTERIOR?
The dashboard is in great condition under the spider webs and the headlining is very good, which is more than can be said for much else inside the car. It will need a full re-trim as the carpets are very tired and the front seats are so worn that a previous owner has glued house carpet to the squabs. The rear seats are better but would need covering to match the fronts. An aftermarket ammeter has been fitted under the dashboard, and there’s a pump button for manual windscreen washers.
UNDER THE BONNET
The engine bay has been painted with engine oil – it looks messy and dirty, but has prevented corrosion so the metal is in good shape. There is oil seepage from the rocker cover gasket, but nowhere else. The battery and fuel pump appear relatively new and the suspension and bushes look in good condition. The engine is a later 948cc A-series, giving better performance than the 803cc original. It is a wellexecuted conversion and has included a swap to the later handbrake, as the early type hits the later gear lever.
THE CCW VIEW
Despite appearances this Minor is solid and mechanically sound; new tyres, brakes and a service could see it running. The interior needs attention but whether the exterior is tidied is a personal decision.