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Morris Minor: Buying guide and review (1948-1971)

Morris Minor: Buying guide and review (1948-1971) Classic and Performance Car
Morris Minor (Magic Car Pics) Morris Minor Morris Minor
The Morris Minor made its debut way back in 1948, yet there’s no sign of its appeal diminishing. If anything, its popularity grows ever stronger. A combination of practicality, charm, usability and affordability all conspire to ensure the Minor is near the top of many classic buyers’ wish lists – throw in superb club and specialist support, and it’s easy to see the Minor’s enduring appeal. 
Whether you’re a long-standing classic owner or you’re looking for your first golden oldie, few cars fit the bill better than a Minor. Full of charm, universally recognised and admired, plus easy to upgrade for everyday use, this is one of the most practical cars ever created. 
However, despite a cult following, the Minor remains eminently affordable – if you’re already tempted, there really is no good reason to put off buying one. If you’re after something to punt down a country lane at high-speed, then you’d be better off looking at a classic Mini Cooper, but for a bit of fun and usable cruising around time, then the Minor is almost unbeatable. 
Which one to buy?
Side-valve Minors are rare and they’re hard-going too, thanks to the lack of power. For some though, seeking out an early car represents something more of a challenge, especially where finding parts and restoration is concerned. As the rarest and oldest examples of this iconic classic, the ‘low light’ cars are also the most valuable. 
The 803cc A-Series unit fitted from 1952 to 1956 is also breathless, but it’s unusual to find a totally original car of this age anyway. The nicest engine is the 948cc A-series fitted from 1956 to 1962; it’s less powerful than the later 1098cc edition, but it’s sweeter. However, the 1098cc edition is the most usable, as it’s the most powerful so most easily able to keep up with modern traffic. However, the earlier cars with their split windscreens have more charm and are more sought after – so they’re more valuable than later cars. 
Establishing which bodystyle you want is probably easy; the Traveller is a capacious estate, while the Tourer is a fabulous convertible – even the saloon is full of charm. Many Tourers started out as two-door saloons and while properly converted cars are perfectly safe, some are complete death traps. The main thing is to be sure of what you’re buying, as some are passed off as genuine when they’re not.
Looking for some extra power? The 1275cc A-Series engine is the most common, and in-keeping upgrade. While A-series upgrades are generally the most popular way of freeing up extra power today, transplanting a Rover K-Series was for a time extremely popular. This very modern engine requires quite a lot of work to install, as well as suspension and brake upgrades to keep everything under control, but if you are interested in building a mildly hot-rodded Minor, then this is perhaps the easiest and cheapest route. Fiat Twin-Cam conversions used to be quite common as well, although kits are no longer available and engines are more difficult to source. 
Other upgrades worth seeking out include a Ford Sierra five-speed gearbox which is much stronger than the original, while telescopic dampers at the front are worth having too, along with a front anti-roll bar, which transforms the handling. 
Performance and specs
Minor 1000 (1962-1971)
Engine 1098cc, four-cylinder 
Power 48bhp @ 5100rpm
Torque 60lb ft @ 2500rpm
Top speed 73mph
0-50mph 16.3sec
Fuel consumption 32mpg
Gearbox Four-speed manual
Dimensions and weight
Wheelbase 2184mm
Length 3760mm
Width 1549mm
Height 1524mm
Kerb weight 762kg
Common problems
• A Minor’s value is in its bodyshell, but things can look fine when the car is barely roadworthy. Corrosion usually starts on the inside and eats its way out, so any signs of bubbling could be potentially disastrous. All panels are available to repair the most rotten of bodyshells – but if much work is needed, doing so won’t be economically viable. 
• Rust traps include rear spring hangers which are a pain to fix. The underside can rot badly along with the sills and door bottoms. 
• If you’re looking at a Traveller, make sure the wood isn’t rotten, as it’s structural. If there’s any significant rot present, the whole lot will need to be replaced and the job can’t be tackled in sections. 
• Blue exhaust smoke and an illuminated oil pressure warning light signify an A-Series engine needs a bottom-end rebuild. There will also be plenty of knocking from the bottom end, especially when the engine is started up, but rebuilds are easy and relatively cheap to undertake. 
• The gearbox is the Achilles’ heel, with parts supply poor for all cars other than the 1098c edition; split-screen parts are especially rare. No Minor got synchro on first, but there shouldn’t be any jumping out of gear, whining or rumbling; any of these mean a rebuilt transmission will be needed soon. 
• Gearbox parts for 1098cc cars are plentiful, which is why some owners simply fit a later box to their early car. An MG Midget gearbox is the same as the Minor’s. 
• The rest of the transmission usually gives few problems, although the clutch has a finite lifespan. Check for slipping; a three-piece kit is cheap and DIY fitting is easy. 
• The primitive front suspension needs fresh grease every 3000 miles, or the kingpins wear out. The rear suspension is even more archaic; check for leaking lever arm dampers, although many cars have been converted to telescopic dampers by now. 
Model history
1948: Minor MM debuts at the Earls Court motor show, with low-set headlights and 918cc sidevalve power.
1949: Headlamps moved to top of front wings, initially for the North American market only. 
1950: Four-door saloon is introduced, for export markets only. 
1952: Series II cars arrive, with 803cc power; it’s a result of BMC being formed from Morris and Austin merging.
1953: MM production ends, then a van and pick-up appear, along with the Traveller. 
1954: Series II gets a facelift, with revised dash plus a new grille and lights. 
1956: The Morris 1000 replaces the series II. There’s now a 948cc engine, revised rear wings and a one-piece windscreen.
1961: Just 350 Minor Millions are built, to celebrate the millionth Minor leaving the factory.
1962: A 1098cc engine supersedes the 948cc unit.
1963: There are fresh front and rear lights.
1964: All Minors get better seats and heating plus a revised dash.
1969: The final Tourer is made.
1970: The saloon bows out.
1971: The last Traveller, van and pick-up are built.
1974: Production of the Minor ends in New Zealand. 
Owners clubs, forums and websites
• www.mmoc.org.uk
• www.minormania.com
• www.morrisminor.com
• www.beardmorebros.co.uk
Summary and prices
If you’re not worried about originality, and just want something fun to pootle around in, then you won’t struggle to find a suitable Minor for sensible money. £1650 is the entry point for a rough but road-going Minor 1000, with a great example coming in at around £6000. Traveller and Convertible prices are around 50 per cent extra. Series 2 models are marginally cheaper, but prices generally depend more on condition than anything else. 
There are many arguments for originality vs usability, but the good news is there are plenty of cars to choose from, from completely authentic cars without so much as electronic ignition, right through to V8-powered hot rods. It all depends on what you’re after. There’s also a huge number of specialists offering parts to help keep cars on the road, and improve usability along the way.
The most valuable models are the earliest Minor Series MM cars. The so-called low-light examples – compete with headlights mounted in the grille – have been known to sell for more than £10,000 in perfect condition. 
Morris Minor (Magic Car Pics) Morris Minor Morris Minor
Last updated: 27th Jul 2016
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Morris Minor cars for sale

11 Search results
Morris Minor
4000 20995 GBP
  • Morris - Minor series II - 1956

    €1,750 - €2,275 est. (£1,560.30 - £2,028.39 est.) €1,750 - €2,275 est. (£1,560.30 - £2,028.39 est.)
    Online Auction
    Auction Date: 01 Jan 1970
    Catawiki Auctions
  • Morris Minor

    £6,990 £6,990

    Extraordinary, Unfinished Project, Automatic, Full Leather 1957 Morris Minor Convertible V8 3.5 Litre Automatic Track Car. 51.000 Miles. Finished in Baby Blue, with Cream Leather Interior Piped in Pale Blue. An Extraordinary Unfinished Project that needs Finishing. £2.500 spent on restoration at the Sussex Morris Minor Centre and Thousands More on Refitting costs. The specification is extensive* Reliant Scimitar Shortened Chassis* Rover SDI V8 Engine and Automatic Gearbox, plus SDI Up-rated and Professionally Reconditioned Brakes* High Lift Camshaft* 4 Barrel Holly & Inlet Manifold* RS 2000 Aluminium Radiator, with Twin Kenlowe Fans*Computer Controlled Electronic Water Pump* New Toyo Brookes 880 Track Tyres*New Hood-Needs Refitting* Wider Wheel Arches. MOT and Road Tax Exempt. The number plate is original and must also have a value. Twin Exhausts. The car will also benefit from a Respray. The last owner has lost interest in completing this custom Morris Minor Project. Thousands of Spares Available for detailing from Morris Minor Specialists. Definitely Work-In-Progress Not for the Faint-Hearted, but most of the base work has been done. Looks almost standard. Not one of our normal offerings and sold as seen. Wow.

    • Mileage: 43000 mi
    • Engine size: 3500
    For sale
  • 1950 Morris Minor Lowlight Tourer

    £20,995 £20,995

    We are delighted to offer this superbly rebuilt, show winning genuine Morris Minor Series MM Lowlight Tourer onto the market. VMF 203 was supplied new by dealership Stewart and Ardern Limited, despatched on the 12th June 1950 and finished in Romain Green with Beige with Green piped upholstery. The Morris still retains its original ‘buff’ brown logbook confirming the Morris was owned by husband and wife in Essex for over twenty years and it comes with a Heritage Certificate confirming all original records. This first Series (MM) was registered on the 3 rd July 1950 and has the lovely early features such as the low headlights, semaphore indicators and split windscreen. Interestingly, just prior to production, but after a large run of chrome bumpers had already been manufactured, Issignonis the designer decided to widen the vehicle by around 4 inches. The bumpers were therefore cut in half and a short painted spacer plate added, as seen on the rear of this car. The most recent owners purchased the Morris in 2009; prior to this the car had just three previous owners. On initial purchase in 2009 a major, extensive restoration programme was started and this included fully stripping the c

    • Year: 1950
    For sale
  • 1956 Morris Minor 1000 Traveller


    (SOLD) The Wagon Traveller is one of the rarest and most desirable models produced. This Minor has been restored and is in very good condition. It has wonderful wood accents, and it is most affectionately called a “woody wagon”. The green vinyl interior offers bucket seats in front with a folding rear bench. The engine compartment is particularly tidy with the Morris four-cylinder engine prominently presented. The attention to detail in every area of this wagon is apparent with all glass, trim and components well finished and ready for show. This Minor was part of large collection kept in a climate controlled environment. Very functional passenger vehicle great for showing and driving. An affordable classic car.

    • Year: 1956
    • Mileage: 3404 mi
    For sale
  • MORRIS MINOR Traveller DeLuxe 1965

    £7,995 £7,995

    1965 Morris Minor Traveller DeLuxe.1098cc. This super Traveller has remarkably had just one owner from new in its entire 51 years. The car was supplied new by Dickinson and Adams ( Luton ) Ltd to Mr M. O'Malley in May 1965. The Traveller has the original bill of sale and the original service book still present. It has recently been re-furbished with lots of money spent and many new parts. The Morris is adorned with fresh grey paintwork, re-trimmed blue upholstery and new carpets along with new chrome. Under the bonnet a new distributor has been fitted as has a new dynamo, fuel pump and ignition coil. This Morris is a very charming car and drives just as it should with the wonderful parp from the exhaust. We will apply a fresh MOT upon sale. Ready for use it will be at home either on the showground or just pleasurable driving. This car is in summary this is a very usable classic Morris that can be used daily or purely enjoyed at your leisure. We think this is a car that any enthusiast would be very proud to own. Absolutely any inspection is welcome. All major debit and credit cards accepted. Please contact us for any further information. Delivery can be arranged.

    • Mileage: 10500 mi
    • Engine size: 1.098
    For sale
  • Morris Minor Saloon


    POA Launched at the 1948 Motor Show at Earl’s Court, the Minor 1000 has endeared itself to generations of motorists, and has become an extremely popular classic with collectors throughout the world. Easy to maintain, with excellent parts availability, a very active Owners Club, this is an ideal starter classic, which comes into its own with both UK and local club events to participate in. Supplied new by Cleveland Garages in April 1965, this Minor 1000 comes with a history file which includes the original service book, associated service invoices and the original service handbook. With seven previous owners, this well documented local car. In very good overall condition , some attention will be required to repair sections of the chassis front leg and R/H chassis cross member. The engine is in good condition, it starts readily and pulls well with no smoke, the gearbox is good with syncro. on 2nd , 3rd and 4th. We have compiled a list of the works to be carried out, and which we would be happy to complete on behalf of a new owner, following which it will be a very usable Minor 1000. The green body work is in generally in very good condition with solid wings, it requires a small amoun

    • Year: 1965
    • Mileage: 73665 mi
    For sale
  • 1972 Morris Minor Van

    £14,995 £14,995

    This highly desirable, sought after Morris Minor Van has come to us having been in a private collection in Scotland. The Van is presented in beautiful condition and is ideal for marketing purposes, shows, rallies or just some weekend fun. SBX 124K is stucturally excellent with lovely bodywork, a straight, strong underside and a lovely deep paint finish. The chrome work is bright and of a very good standard and the engine bay and interior are smartly presented. On the road this Minor Van is impressive with a lovely sweet engine performing perfectly, a smooth quite gearbox and brakes, handling and steering feel sharp, precise and efficient. This is a Van for some many purposes and prior to moving to a new home, it will be put through a full service, function check and MOT test ready for its next owner. Just arrived, more details to follow.

    • Year: 1972
    For sale
  • Morris Minor Van

    £4,000 £4,000


    • Mileage: 50000 mi
    • Engine size: 1098
    For sale

    £7,250 £7,250

    1966 Classic Morris Minor Traveller Estate that qualifieys as a historic vehicle and therefore the tax is free.;;This car is in very good condition having only had three owners from new, it has been well maintained. In early 2000 it had a Major refurb with upgrades to include Servo assisted brakes and a new interior including modern reclining front seats and a full respray.;;the last change of owner was in 2006 and was purchased as a gift by the owners son ~ in this time the car has had little use doing on average less than 300 miles a year;;The car starts 1st turn of the Key ~ the engine sounds great without any rattles or noises the gear change is very smooth.;;The paint work is very good with No rust visible ~ the wood is good condition there has been some small repairs in the past but no rot.;;The Red interior is in very good condition ~ with new red carpets;;The car has just passed it mot last week and is ready for the summer !! ~ (MOT tester commented on how solid it was underneath) ;;This is a great car and a great investment ~ these cars are only going up in value in this condition;;ANY Inspection is welcome -

    • Mileage: 100972 mi
    • Engine size: 1.098
    For sale
  • Morris Minor Van

    £4,000 £4,000


    • Mileage: 50000 mi
    • Engine size: 1098
    For sale
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