Database: Morris Minor 1948-1971
All the essential info on the car which is often credited with having kick-started the entire classic car scene.
DATABASE: MORRIS MINORTHE MARKETPLACE / THE CARS / THE BEGINNING
Facts, figures and history on the vehicle which kick-started the whole classic car movement in the UK.
The post-war Morris Minor became a legend in its own lifetime. Like the RM Rileys it had become a sure cert for future classic status by the late ’60s, having escaped all attempts to redesign or kill it off during its long production run.
Almost from the start it was denied some of the advanced technical thinking originally intended for it, and nor was it developed to that end over the following 23 years. Falling sales after the mid-’60s made that plain enough. Yet it wasn’t until the Minor was axed that people realised what they were missing – a familiar friend that put wheels under families, aunts, uncles, the postman, midwife, shopkeeper and farmer in a no-frills package that was easy to service and repair as long as you kept the rust out of it. Thanks to BMC’s deliberations, the Minor never achieved the Beetle’s world presence except in Commonwealth countries. But a lovable shape, an output of 1.6m units and a good dose of benevolent hindsight was enough to embed it in the British psyche for ever.
No wonder that only five years after it was discontinued, the Minor, to the delight of all unashamed sentimentalists and practical-classic enthusiasts, began to be catered for exclusively by Charles Ware’s Morris Minor Centre in Bath. It began a precedent that saw Minor specialists setting up all over the country over the last four decades, to cater for the commonsense classic’s every possible need. And that, happily, is where the Minor has caught up with the Beetle in the quest for immortality.
Nowadays, whether you want your Moggy restored as original or uprated with Rover K-series power, five-speed boxes, Spax dampers and five-link rear suspensions, the sky’s the limit. But the seeds of that individuality were sown in the dark days of war over 70 years ago.
IN THE BEGINNING...
‘The hallmark of one designer rather than a committee’ is one of the more valid definitions of a true classic, and barring a few compromises suffered along the way, the Minor ticked all the right boxes as the inspired creation of Alec Issigonis.
Turkish-born but of British nationality, Issigonis, who had never seen a car until he was 12, arrived in Britain in 1922 to study engineering. At Humber from 1934, he was involved with suspension design, principally the Rootes ‘Evenkeel’ IFS, which led to an attractive appointment with Morris Motors in 1936 to devise a coil-and-wishbone setup for the Ten Series M. This was used instead for the 1947 MG Y-type saloon, but meanwhile war intervened. Issigonis became involved with armoured car and amphibious tank designs, but may al have been looking at a new small-car project as early as 1941. Certainly by the end of 1943, authorised by Nuffield vice-chairman Sir Miles Thomas, chief engineer Vic Oak and aided by draughtsmen Jack Daniels and Reg Job, he had a two-seater prototype up and running called the Mosquito.
The Mosquito was a distillation of all the features Issigonis admired in car design. These included long torsion-bar IFS supplemented by lever arms anchored to the bulkhead to distribute stresses, small (for the time) 14-inch wheels at each corner, a flat-four engine to save space – Issy’s big hobby horse – and a lower centre of gravity. Impressed by Citroën’s Traction Avant, Issigonis wanted to incorporate front-wheel-drive as well, but didn’t know how to accomplish it at the time. Appearance wise, even at this stage, the jelly-mould bulbousness was clearly recognisable. Issigonis admired certain contemporary American cars, such as the elegant Packard Clipper, and incorporated some of their more pleasant styling trends such as the domed bonnet, front wings trailing into the doors and generous overall curving.
By 1944 flat-four power was seriously considered in 800, 1100 and 1.5/1.75-litre sizes for a three-car range comprising a Mosquito, Minor and a mid-size Major (ultimately the Oxford MO), and a launch date of January 1947 was even mooted for the Mosquito. But things soon went pear-shaped. Morris Engines Branch viewed flat-four construction as an unwelcome diversion, and although the 1100cc ‘flattie’ in a Mosquito prototype gave a better performance than the old Eight Series E engine, the flywheel caused a vibration problem. Then there was the cost implication of special parts. January 1947 came and went with no Mosquito launch, the idea for a horizontally-opposed engine for the Oxford-sized car was shelved, and by June that year the flat-four was dropped. This left Mosquito engineers with a no-win situation in the search for another engine, aggravated by that other big stumbling block, the eccentric Viscount Nuffield himself – probably as big a headache to his design and development team as old Henry Ford must have been to his.
The conservative Nuffield had never really liked the horizontally-opposed engines and told his team that ‘any engine you like’ could be used in the Mosquito, as long as it was something already made in-house. But there were strings attached even to this. A natural choice would have been the Wolseley Eight unit, an OHV version of the Series E’s 918cc motor, but Nuffield vetoed this. “He wanted the Morris [Minor] to be sidevalve”, said a dismayed Jack Daniels. “He was a sidevalve man, full stop”. So the Series E engine it had to be.
During 1947 the Mosquito programme came nearer to extinction than at any other time, as management worried about costs and Lord Nuffield questioned the urgent need for a new small Morris anyway – which he famously referred to as resembling ‘a poached egg’ – when the Eight was still selling so well. Knee-jerk proposals were hatched to face-lift the Eight and scrap the Mosquito project, keeping all the best bits for badge-engineering into Wolseley Wasp and MG 1100 prototypes, for which 1100cc overhead-cam engines would have to be made.
Fortunately the situation was saved that autumn by the Government’s call for reduced model ranges, prompting even Lord Nuffield to scrap the Wasp and MG 1100 proposal in favour of readying the Oxford MO. Meanwhile vice-chairman Thomas forced a decision to cancel the Eight’s revamp, which would have cost even more than the Mosquito project. Even better, and as a swansong before resigning over the frustration of working with Nuffield, Thomas sanctioned the launch of the Mosquito with no more ado at the 1948 Motor Show – Britain’s first since the war.
During the development stages prototypes had featured a bench front seat with a well-functioning column gearchange. But switching to separate front seats emphasised the car’s narrowness, and in any case, its creator still wasn’t satisfied. In a pre-launch decision that has now become legend, Issigonis ordered the car to be widened by cutting it in half and moving it apart until it looked right, arriving at a four-inch gap. To avoid interfering with the transmission tunnel, two inches were let into the floor at its opposing outer edges. This was fine, as extra width allowed a wider track for greater stability. But certain parts had already been ordered for production, including the bumpers which had to be cut in half and mounted with a steel plate to cover the gap. Bonnets were adapted with a wide central banding, which actually looked good and remained a styling feature of the car until the end.
THE CARS MM – 1948-1953
2 and later 4-door saloons, 2-door Tourer/ Convertible. Prod. 289,002 of which approx 64% ‘Lowlights’ Spectators may have raved over the new Jaguar XK120 at Earls Court in October 1948. But there was no less interest shown in Morris’s new baby on Stand 163 – now called the Minor, as instructed by Lord Nuffield or his new deputy, Reginald Hanks.
Despite the compromise that had marked its development, enough of Issy’s creativeness had survived to make the Minor a potential worldbeater.
Headlamps within the grille surround were a neat touch, enhancing the overall smooth looks with their stylish flanks. Under the skin were monocoque construction, torsion-bar front suspension, fully-hydraulic braking, pin-sharp, high-geared rack-and-pinion steering and uncramped room for a family of four. As a civilised, unprimitive small-car package that actually handled, there was nothing to touch it at the time.
The only problem was it didn’t go as well as it looked, compromised as Daniels knew it would be by the old 918cc side-valve engine. A 42mpg fuel consumption was indeed praiseworthy, but The Motor could only manage 58.7 mph with a Tourer in 1950, and 29.2 seconds to 50 – no better than the preceding Eight Series E. It wasn’t until well after the MM had gone out of production that an effective aftermarket solution arrived in the form of the overhead-valve Alta head.
Available from 1954, this was a quality conversion by racing-car builder Geoffrey Taylor, and marketed through Victor Derrington specifically for the MM. In standard form, retaining the existing carb and manifold, it gave slightly more bhp than the later 948cc engine and raised the top speed to 75 mph. This entry-level head cost you £45, but further expenditure on inlet valves, manifolding and exhaust could take you up to 52bhp+ and a 94mph maximum.
During the production run the MM took on some of the more familiar features recognisable today. Wing-top headlamps were created in 1949 for North American export models (to comply with new US safety legislation), which didn’t appear on UK versions until the 4-door saloon appeared in October 1950. After January ’51 all remaining Lowlight fronts were discontinued, and in June that year the Tourer was renamed the Convertible – although it was actually now less of one, with fixed-glass rear side windows instead of removable screens. Another subtle modification to remain permanent (from August ’51) was the extension of the bonnet at its hinged end to meet the front door gap.
When the four-door models arrived, their extra weight blunted the performance even more, so over 1951 Morris engineers seriously considered installing the OHV Wolseley Eight engine again.
This unit, the one Nuffield had originally forbidden Daniels to use, had been out of production since October 1948, but was a sparkling, near-70mph performer, its only weakness being its fragile Fabroil timing gear. Despite a problem over re-tooling, a target date was set to have the Wolseley engine in the four-door by the ’1952 Motor Show. But suddenly it was game-over. The merger with Austin to form the British Motor Corporation had overtaken events.
SERIES II – 1952-1956
2 and 4-door saloons, Convertible, Traveller estate. Prod 269,838 The creation of BMC was announced on 31st March 1952 with the Austin side in a dominant position, thanks to greater plant investment and a range of popular and less complex products. In the new setup Viscount Nuffield took a non-executive role as president, allowing the chairman, curmudgeonly Leonard Lord, full sway. Lord, a key Morris man himself before the war, had walked out on Nuffield to join Austins after a profit-sharing row in 1936. Now he was to cause alarm at Nuffield’s Coventry Engines branch by phasing out the Minor’s sidevalve engine, in favour of the Austin A30’s 803cc OHV A-series.
First Minor to receive the new engine was the export-only four-door, to be known as the Series II, in July 1952, with the rest of the home-market versions following over January/February ’1953. Except for the addition of a bonnet mascot surmounting a comet-tailed badge, the Series IIs were unchanged externally. The A30 engine though made a less robust substitute. True, it weighed less, so the 0-50 time was reduced by 4 seconds, and 62mph was possible. But a higher-revving engine mated to a lower axle ratio meant it was working that much harder throughout the range. Former Nuffield engineers were appalled: “With the A30 engine you hadn’t gone far down the road before the big ends dropped out”, remarked one. A bit of an exaggeration perhaps, but based on fact all the same, and it didn’t stop there. “You could bust the Austin gearbox in no time at all”, commented Jack Daniels, and Longbridge’s rear axle got slated too. The MM’s equivalents – conceived of a more ‘over-engineering’ philosophy chez Morris, were a lot more solid all round.
First to get the Austin rear axle was the wood-battened Traveller estate, which joined the range in October 1953, along with an across-the-range De Luxe package featuring overriders, heater, leather upholstery, and the luxury of carpeted wheelarches inside to complement the existing rubber matting.
Longbridge’s axle was fitted to all versions from January 1954, and October that year saw the final Series II’s. These looked like halfway-house 1000s, with new slatted grilles and a central speedo inside. The 803cc engine remained unchanged, but to combat clutch judder a rubber stay was inserted between the cylinder head and bulkhead. Seats were made more comfortable with firmer seat pans and foam-rubber stuffing, but the dash appeared more austere with its unlidded gloveboxes at each end.
MINOR 1000 – 1956-1962 (948CC); 1962-1971 (1098CC)
2 and 4-door saloons, Convertible, Traveller. Prod: 847,491, of which approx 64% were 948cc Here was the model whose sensible modifications guaranteed the Minor’s immortality and made it a car that can still be used as a daily driver today.
Outwardly, gone was the divided windscreen, the rear window was much enlarged, the bootlid lost its quaint central winged motif and the rear wings were reprofiled with deeper skirts, arriving at the appearance which the car would now retain to the end. But the best news lay under the skin. The A-series engine was uprated to 948cc with a strengthened crankshaft and better-quality bearings, there was a closer-ratio, improved-synchro gearbox with a shorter, remote lever and a higher-ratio back axle. Performance was transformed: maximum speed was up by at least 10 mph, an unbelievable 20 seconds+ was cut off the 0-60 time, yet fuel economy was just as good if not better. The Motor’s road test of 28th November 1956 rated the car like ‘a thoroughbred’, and declared, ‘the close-ratio gearbox has a charm of its own, and seems to have inherited something of an MG ancestry’.
Fuel tank capacity was increased to 6½ gallons in March 1957 and with sales bounding ahead, it was no surprise that the million mark was reached in December 1960. At that point 349 cars were made in a special lilac colour with cream leather upholstery, chrome wheel trims and ‘Minor 1000000’ script on the bootlid, going on sale from January 1961. By October that year home-market Minors got long-overdue flashing indicators – though not very good ones operating through the existing side/tail light bulbs – and gained windscreen washers for the De Luxe but at the cost of both glovebox lids again, while the De Luxe’s new two-tone upholstery was no longer in leather.
Improving on an already good car, engine bore and stroke was increased to 1098cc in October ’62 with strengthening of both crankcase and crankshaft, the gearbox gained baulk-ring synchromesh and the clutch diameter increased to 7½ inches. Front brake size went up too, to 8 inches. The benefits of this extra driveability were seen in a 77mph maximum and a reduction of the 0-60 time to 24½ seconds, with only a small sacrifice in fuel economy.
October 1963 saw side and tail light clusters incorporating separate sections for flashers, and the abandoning of opposing-arc wipers in favour of the tandem type. This was followed in October 1964 with the final crop of significant updates, when an oil filter warning light and a key-operated starter were added. The passenger’s glovebox got its lid back, the central speedo took on a black face set in an ali panel and upholstery was changed to single-tone vinyl. Padded sunvisors and a modified rear view mirror appeared, but the pleasant dished steering wheel with ‘banjo’ spokes was dumbed-down into a more anonymous ‘safety’ twin-spoke affair.
From the mid-60s the Minor was left to graze by BMC as it concentrated on badge-engineering the 1100 range before morphing into British Leyland. Under the latter’s management the Convertible was the first to be axed, in June 1969 at chassis number 1254328, followed by the saloons in November 1970 (at 1288377), and finally the Traveller in April 1971 at chassis number 1294082.
VAN AND PICK-UP 1953-1972
There might have been an MM commercial derivative had not the BMC merger taken place. But back in 1950, a van prototype proved so gutless with a 5cwt load aboard that Nuffield’s engineers thought better of it until they’d revisited the OHV engine question.
So the first Minor van and pick-up emerged in May 1953 as Series IIs, but with a separate chassis and telescopic rear dampers instead of lever arms. There was a plainer front end with no bonnet side strips, MM-style badging and an abbreviated front bumper in silver.
Indicators were extra and the 803cc engines were in low-compression tune. The commercials didn’t catch up with the passenger cars’ ’54 restyle until February 1955, but then received the current dash instead of their hitherto wooden improvisation. After that they kept pace with the Minor 1000 improvements, still with a low-compression unit as standard, but with high-compression optional.
Up until the introduction of the 1098cc engine the commercials were listed as ¼-tonners, but from late ’62 the additional power upgraded them to 6cwt. This was further increased to 8cwt with reinforced suspension and 4½J wheels in April 1968, when that badge-engineered curiosity, the Austin Minor van and pick-up appeared. This enabled Austin dealers to plug the gap after A35 van production ended. It was otherwise identical to the Morris apart from badging and a crinkly infill to the grille instead of slats. Both versions enjoyed a longer stay of execution than the cars, surviving until February 1972.
The Post Office Minor vans were rather different animals. Starting life as Series II equivalents, they replaced the Morris Eight-derived Z van in 1953 and were built to special order, most of the split-screens featuring an opening pane on the driver’s side and rubber front wings with separate headlights planted on top as a cost-saver on everyday bumps and dents – not a great compliment to the posties’ driving ability!
For some reason the GPO commissioned split-screen vans up to 1959, after which – even more bizarrely – the switch to the 1000-style cab still included the Series II engine and gearbox! This posties had to tolerate until 1964 when they were finally rewarded with the 1098cc engine and transmission. Overall the GPO bought 52,745 Minors, so you could say it was one quirky but satisfied user...
MINOR IN THE MARKETPLACE
When the Minor first appeared in 1948, it was in a unique position in the small-car market. After all, with the A30 still three years away, what else was there?
Standard’s 1-litre Eight series 48A, a wholly pre-war design, had been discontinued months earlier. This only left Ford’s 8hp Anglia, a tough old boot offering a similar performance to the Minor, but again a pre-war concept that was far less sophisticated in styling and specification, and with nothing like the handling. Only the Continentals could offer anything approaching the Moggy’s ingenuity, but Citroën’s slower 2CV was an acquired taste for Brits and it wasn’t UK-available until 1953 anyway. Renault’s ¾-litre 4CV, in Britain from 1949, went well for its size but was smaller inside, luggage space was poor and it was, well… rear-engined, old boy. Only one car offered better acceleration, equal fuel economy and accommodation, and that was the VW Beetle, already being produced in many thousands. Not imported until 1953, it was no threat to earlier Minor sales, but it would be a very different matter abroad.
Such factors helped the Minor to a good start, something that British rivals, once they’d come on stream, were unable to challenge throughout the Fifties, the Moggy’s golden era. Even with the slow or weak engines, over twice as many pre-1000 Minors were sold than the entire 1949- 59 production runs of Ford’s 8hp Anglia and succeeding Popular 103E. The 100E Anglia and Prefect from ’53 onwards did much better, but a ½m tally by 1960 still couldn’t match the MM and Series II total combined. Sales of Standard’s new Eight and Ten from 1953/4 onwards came nowhere near, although these underrated cars – with engine sizes corresponding exactly to the Series II and 1000 respectively – could have done better had they appeared earlier. Nor did the Standard Eight help itself by appearing in stripped-out, poverty spec form, in a desperate attempt to undercut the Minor and A30. As for the A30 itself, the Series II Minor comfortably outsold that too, which couldn’t have pleased Lord overmuch. The baby Austin certainly had charm, but nearly 45,000 more 803cc Morris buyers evidently thought that a roomier interior, better handling, a bigger boot and less austere trim were well worth the extra £75/80.
Minor production peaked in 1958 with 113,699 units. By 1960 however, the tide was turning. The millionth Minor produced in December that year was an unprecedented one-model achievement by British standards. But VW’s Beetle had already reached this figure five years earlier, after Britain’s car moguls had rubbished the car back in the Forties. A crop of new rivals had appeared, such as Ford’s Anglia 105E/123E (which notched up its own million in less than 9 years), and Triumph’s Herald, while both Rootes and Vauxhall woke up to the small car market in 1963 with their Imp and Viva.
All of these models contrived to make the Minor look old-fashioned. Not only that, but two more new cars had emerged from the Moggy’s own stable that would change the packaging of small cars for ever. Issigonis had triumphed again with the 1959 Mini and the 1962 Morris 1100, both with transverse engines and front-wheel-drive.
This didn’t affect the loyalty of many Minor lovers, who went on buying the Moggy on principle out of a mistrust of new-fangled designs. It was a goodwill factor also recognised by BMC; otherwise the 1100’s introduction in 1962 would have seemed an appropriate point to wield the chopper. Left as it was and despite the obvious appeal of the 1098 engine, the Minor’s sales figures gradually declined after the mid-60s, until by the time of the Leyland takeover, production was dipping by 5000 cars a year with corresponding rising unit costs.
In 1968, according to industry analyst Jeff Daniels, BL seriously considered retooling and extending Minor production to make it Britain’s answer to the Beetle: a sentimentally popular idea, but it was too late to catch up. VW had produced 15 times as many Beetles by then, with a worldwide service back-up that BL hadn’t a hope of matching.
Nor had the Minor been continually developed like the VW. So regardless of sales figures, the good old Moggy ended its days as a goodwill instrument to hold the fort – in company with the Farina Oxford and 16/60 – until the Marina was ready in 1971.
EXPORT… AND BUST
Figures taken in 1960 revealed that 48% of Minors made were sold abroad, Australia taking the lion’s share. But even lesser-populated Sweden, the Netherlands and Denmark occupied 7th, 8th and 10th in the overseas customer top ten.
The USA took number 2 spot although it had been a bumpy ride. Good early years were 1950 and 1952, while 1953 saw Minors outselling the recently-landed VW Beetle threefold. But after that, VW’s superior service and dealership backup took effect, big time.
Six times more Beetles were sold than Minors in ’54, and by 1956, with VW’s corporate presence now established in the US, the results were disastrous: 55,000 Beetles and under 500 Minors. It was only too clear that the underpowered Series II was losing out to the abuse-absorbing Wolfsburg wonder.
However the VW had softened-up America’s public to small imported cars generally. So when the much-improved 1000 came along, Minor sales shot up to nearly 10,000 for 1958, reaching a best of over 14,000 the following year. But come the new US compacts from 1960, Minor sales, not even helped by the 1098 engine, gradually sagged to 108 cars for 1965.
Trying to cash in on America’s late-60s craze for small Japanese cars, BMC made a last gasp in 1967 with a miserable shipment of 1,050 cars. After which, with US emission regulations looming, it gave up.
Nevertheless, in 18 years at least 55,000 Minors had found their way Stateside. Saloons had been the most popular, followed by the Convertible.
Ironically the Traveller, whose creation had been inspired by the American taste for woodies, wasn’t a strong seller, and the van and pick-up, even less so. Today survivors attract a strong classic following in both the US and Canada through the Morris Minor Registry of North America, many having been re-engined with Midget 1275 A-series and Nissan 1200/1400 units.
BMC’S WORLD CAR
The Minor wasn’t just made in Oxfordshire.
Moggies chruned out of BMC factories right around the world.Australia – the biggest Commonwealth ‘captive’ market justified Nuffield’s installing its own huge CKD (Completely Knocked Down) assembly plant at Zetland near Sydney in 1950, mainly for the assembly of Minors and Oxfords. It was equipped with all the machinery necessary to produce the mechanical and running gear components locally, and adopted Cowley’s Rotodip rustproofing facility. The Australians also had their own trim and colour schemes. Denmark – Glostrup was an existing Nuffield assembly plant. It also produced its own Traveller and van versions, again until 1966. India – two plants in Calcutta and Madras began Minor production in the early 50s. Assembled alongside the Oxford, it was known as the Baby Hindustan, and saw widespread taxi use. Down in Sri Lanka, there’s an industry remaking body panels for export to UK Minor specialists.Ireland – the Dublin-based G A Brittain Ltd assembled Minors almost from beginning to end, finishing in 1970. New Zealand – Dominion Motors of Auckland busied themselves from the early 50s with CKD assembly. They continued the final 8cwt van long after 1972, but never used the 1098 engine in other models. South Africa – Motor Assemblies Ltd of Durban were high-volume assemblers until 1964, but the warm climate led them to drop the De Luxe spec and omit heaters and leather upholstery. The Netherlands – assembled first at Jutphass, then Amersfoort from 1953. Initially, this got around an import ban on nearly any type of car costing over £600. Production of mainly 2 and 4-door saloons continued until 1966. ...And not forgetting the part-assembly plants in Mexico, Portugal and the Philippines.Open-air Minor was renamed from Tourer to Convertible in 1951.
YOU DIDN’T KNOW...When the January 1949 US legislation over headlight location came in, Morris only had time to fit hand-built modified wings to the first batch of Stateside cars, negating any profit on each. Issigonis hated the raised headlight position, claimed to knock 1½mph off the maximum speed! Surprisingly for a family model, 2-door cars consistently outsold the 4-door from 1951 onwards, reaching almost 2:1 in 1959. In 1964 Traveller production was nearly three times more than the 4-door’s and almost matched 2-door output. Convertible figures dwindled significantly after a 1959 score of 6,058 into hundreds after 1961. Jack Daniels designed an independent rear suspension for the Minor, consisting of semi-trailing arms and a transverseleaf setup. But it was ruled out on cost grounds. Minor MM owners who couldn’t afford an Alta head fitted engines from the 1200cc A40 and MG 1.25/1.5 litre, although good handling was not always guaranteed. Pre-dating the 1100 and Mini, experimental Minors were tried in the early 50s with front-wheel drive and Moulton’s rubber suspension, plus mid-50s trials with a Hydrolastic system. After March 1951 grilles were painted rather than chromed, and up to September that year hubcaps were painted body-colour, following a nickel shortage relating to the Korean War. Attempts to restyle the Minor dated from 1951, beginning with a very Series II Oxford look. A mid-50s concept by BMC’s styling chief Dick Burzi, badged as a Minor 1200, was almost accepted, but evolved instead into the Wolseley 1500/Riley One-Point-Five, and the Austin Lancer/ Morris Major in Australia. Between 1960-1964, 20,000 Minors were assembled – more cost-effectively as it turned out – at MG’s Abingdon factory. At one point, distributors were specifically asking for Abingdon cars in preference to Cowley’s! A vinyl roof panel beyond the B-posts, and wooden side panels within the ash framework were originally planned for the first Traveller, but production versions had aluminium equivalents. Even so, the Traveller remained the heaviest model in the range, which particularly affected the Series II’s performance. The vans were popular with government buyers. Travellers were assembled by MG in Abingdon due to their expertise with wooden bodywork.
The definitive Minor 1000, after which very few changes would be made until the end of production.
Commercials and Traveller used a hybrid bodyshell with a rear chassis section.
The combination of split windscreen and A-Series engine would be short-lived.
Sidevalve engines are smooth but slow, replaced by the evergreen A-Series from the early ’50s. Bumper infills were needed after the car was widened at the last minute. Early Minor interiors have a wonderful Art Deco feel to them.
|MODEL MM SERIES II 1000 948CC 1000|
|ENGINE 4-cyl 918cc SV 4-cyl 803cc OHV 4-cyl 948cc OHV 4-cyl 1098cc|
|MAX POWER (BHP/RPM) 29.5/4400||30/4800||37/4750||48/5100|
|NO FWD GEARS||4|
|MAX SPEED (MPH) 60||62||72||77|
|0-60 MPH (SECS) -||525||301||248|