1954 Morris Minor Series II
From a deceased estate; later 1,100cc engine fitted; gearbox reconditioned 1,400 miles ago; charmingly original; transferable number plate
The new post-war range of Morris cars was announced in 1948 and included models from the Minor MM to the six-cylinder MO. The star however, was undoubtedly the Minor, a radical replacement for the pre-war Series E. Apart from the side-valve engine, everything else was new and the Issigonis-designed Minor MM became an instant success.
In 1952 the Series II came along, still with a split-windscreen but with an OHV 803cc engine borrowed from its cousin the Austin A30. This gave it a top speed of 62mph and a 0-50 time of 28 seconds with 40mpg economy. Further improvements followed in 1954 with a new horizontal slat grille and a new dashboard with a central speedo. It was replaced by the Minor 1000 in 1956 which had a rather less characterful single-pane windscreen but a more powerful engine which put 75mph within reach.
During its remarkable 23-year production run, 1.3 million Minors were produced and thanks to the fantastic supply of available parts, thousands have survived making them a common sight on the roads of Britain even today.
This charmingly original four-door saloon dates from February 1954, the 803cc engine having been upgraded with a later 1,100cc unit at some time in the past (hold onto your hats!) as recorded on the V5C. An additional temperature gauge has also been discreetly fitted below the dash, along with modern flashing indicators, although the original semaphores do still work and are operated by a switch next to the new gauge.
The current owner acquired the car in 2014 because it looked exactly like the Minor in which he had passed his driving test many years before. On offer here from a deceased estate, we are told that the car has been kept garaged and only lightly used, mainly for local shows and occasional wedding and prom duties for friends and family.
It has very little history apart from two old MOTs issued in 2010 and 2011 and an invoice for a reconditioned gearbox and a new clutch plate which were fitted in March 2011, since when the car has only covered 1,400 miles, the odometer currently showing 31,498 miles.
As you can see in the photos, the car looks most appealing in black with a nicely patinated red interior. The bottoms of the doors have the odd rust bubble coming through, but it otherwise looks reassuringly straight and solid. It retains its original Oxford-issue number plate, UJO 871, which is transferable.
Unused for the last couple of years, it was got running just before the auction and driven around for a week but since arriving at Brightwells it has been mysteriously refusing to start – turn the key and the ignition light comes on but pull the starter button and nothing happens. A fault with the starter motor/solenoid perhaps? Whatever, it should be an easy fix, as with everything on a Morris Minor.
For more information contact James on 07970 309907 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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