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

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

12 Search results
Morris Minor
499 20995 GBP
  • Morris Minor 1000 Green '64

    £9,082 £9,082

    Lowered price from €12.950 -> €11.950 (from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) The Morris Minor was a British economy car that debuted at the Earls Court Motor Show, London, on 20 September 1948. Designed under the leadership of Alec Issigonis, more than 1.3 million were manufactured between 1948 and 1971. Initially available as a 2-door saloon and tourer (convertible), the range was subsequently expanded to include a 4-door saloon in 1950, and in 1952 a wood-framed estate (the Traveller), panel van and pick-up truck variants. Sir Alec Issigonis' concept was to combine the luxury and convenience of a good motor car at a price affordable by the working classes. The Minor was a roomy vehicle with superior cornering and handling characteristics. Internal politics inside BMC, the parent of Morris, may have led to the limited North American sales. The Minor prototype had been known as the Morris Mosquito. More than 1.3 million of the lightweight, rear-wheel drive cars were eventually produced, mainly in Cowley, Oxfordshire, and exported around the world, with many variants of the original model. Production continued in Birmingham, England until 1971 (for the commercial variants and estat

    • Year: 1964
    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
  • 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
  • Morris Minor Van

    £4,000 £4,000


    • Mileage: 50000 mi
    • Engine size: 1098
    For sale
  • Morris Minor Project 1968 Freg 68 model Rally Style with Retro Mods

    £499 £499

    Bought this Morris Minor Rally Style ongoing Project a while but not a lot of spare time at present,bought with no engine,radiator exhaust or seats etc,but the car comes with Full Rollcage,expensive Sports Steering Wheel,Dash mounted Rev counter etc,No Mot and the car is on Sorn,V5 in my name and some paperwork related to the car,the car was titted with a 1275 engine and bucket seats were removed by the last owner for another Project,i have bught an 1100cc engine and gearbox which are on a rolling trolley,the 1100cc engine has a LCB down pipe,bigger carb on a sports inlet manifold,alloy rocker cover and a few other shiny bits,new clutch and water pump fitted by the previous owner of the engine,the bodyshell is in good condition for year,excellent back wings,front wings and boot lid need a tidy,the car is standing on normal road wheels with aged tyres,this Morris Minor will make an ideal Historic Rpad Rally themed car,the car is offered as an ongoing Project and would need to be trailered away etc,No Silly offers or Timewasters Please.

    • Mileage: 73776 mi
    • Engine size: 1100
    For sale
  • Morris Minor Saloon

    £2,750 £2,750

    2750.00 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 a

    • Year: 1965
    • Mileage: 73665 mi
    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 - 1964

    £4,995 £4,995

    ;;This delightful, ever popular classic is full of character and can still perform as a practical everyday transport.;Having light steering and miserly fuel consumption, this is the ultimate classic ‘green machine’. ;Tested and ready to drive away but would benefit from a little T.L.C! ;Classic motoring cannot get any more affordable than this this!

    • Engine size: 1000
    For sale
  • Morris Minor

    £6,990 £6,990

    Low mileage, Leather seats, Service history 1961 July Morris Minor 1000 Traveller, only 81000 miles. Only two owners. The second never used the car. Finished in Smoke Grey with matching leather interior, not restored and maintains an historic patina. Supplied by Stewart & Arden in Berkeley Square and has the original bill of sale, Drivers Handbook, Operation Manual, Maintenance Voucher Book, Sales Brochure, Accessories Leaflet and Schedule of Repair Charges Book.The wood is original and in excellent condition. The car has just had many thousands spent on restoration by a well known Morris Minor Workshop.A lovely car, worthy of viewing and good value, with a new MOT. The number plate is the original.Please call for an appointment to view.

    • Mileage: 81000 mi
    • Engine size: 948
    For sale
  • Morris Minor Van

    £4,000 £4,000


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