Mor­ris Mi­nor 70th rally

Cow­ley’s big-seller con­tin­ues its 70th an­niver­sary year with a visit to Mor­ris founder’s home

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - CONTENTS -

A fleet of Mi­nors, in­clud­ing a his­toric ver­sion mak­ing its rally de­but, drove to the fac­tory where they were made al­most ex­actly 70 years to the day since they first left the assem­bly line.

The 70th An­niver­sary Rally trav­elled there from the pre­served home of Mor­ris Mo­tors founder, Wil­liam Mor­ris, later Lord Nuffield. Fifty of the ex­pected 70 cars braved heavy rain to pose out­side Nuffield Place, where the mo­tor mag­nate and leg­endary phi­lan­thropist lived for 30 years un­til his death in 1963. Many cars then made the jour­ney to the Cow­ley Works in Ox­ford where they were built, now the BMW Mini plant.

The mil­lionth-plus-one Mi­nor at­tracted plenty of at­ten­tion be­cause this was its first Bri­tish rally. One of 350 Mor­ris Mi­nor Mil­lions fin­ished in li­lac to mark pro­duc­tion of the mil­lionth car built, these cars also re­ceived seats fin­ished in white leather and Mor­ris Mi­nor 1,000,000 badges.

Mi­nor 1,000,001 was ex­ported to the USA when it was built in 1961 and ended up be­ing re­stored by Ore­gon As­ton Martin spe­cial­ist, David Adams. Af­ter go­ing to auc­tion, the left-hand drive car ended up re­turn­ing to Bri­tain and be­ing pur­chased by a York­shire clas­sic car col­lec­tor, from whom present owner, Martin Stocker, bought it in Au­gust.

Martin said: ‘ This is def­i­nitely a his­toric ex­am­ple and it has never been shown in Bri­tain be­fore this event.

‘ This col­lect­ing Mor­ris Mi­nors busi­ness is get­ting a bit of a habit. I hope to end up with an ex­am­ple of each vari­ant.’

Mike McDon­nagh’s 1948 ‘Low­light’ – the se­cond old­est sur­viv­ing Mi­nor and the 84th ex­am­ple to leave the pro­duc­tion line – was also at Mor­ris Mi­nor 70.

Mike Dean, spokesman for or­gan­is­ers the Mor­ris Mi­nor Own­ers’ Club, said: ‘Con­sid­er­ing how bad the weather was we were very pleased that around 50 of the planned 70 cars turned up for this fit­ting trib­ute to the Mi­nor.

‘ There were a lot of smiles around.’

Nick Larkin

’It has never been shown in Bri­tain be­fore this event’

A healthy con­tin­gent of Mi­nors braved poor weather to pay trib­ute to the mar­que’s 70th an­niver­sary.

Left-hand-drive Mor­ris Mi­nor Mil­lion plus one made its UK rally de­but. Mike McDon­nagh’s 1948 Low­light is the se­cond-old­est sur­viv­ing Mi­nor, and the 84th ex­am­ple to leave the pro­duc­tion line.

Com­pe­ti­tion for best pe­riod dress was won by Kim Young­man, look­ing very smart with hus­band, Rob, and their 1964 Mor­ris Mi­nor.

Richard Hob­bis took his 1969 Trav­eller with him when he re­turned to his na­tive New Zealand. It now has a Rover K-se­ries en­gine.

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