In July 1967, a Morris Minor saloon was delivered to its new owner. We can be sure he was pleased with it, as he allowed it to accumulate just 190 miles before storing it in his garage. It stayed there for 47 years, before being offered at auction, in Yorkshire, in February 2015, 47 years later.
The Minor needs no introduction here – I have already nominated it as the most influential car of the 1940s and as Britain’s favourite car. There are many still on the roads, and the car show circuit, of Britain, but not many still have the dealer’s plastic cover on the seat.
The handbook is still in its original envelope, the first service probably not yet completed even if the supplying dealer is either now buried under a retail shopping centre or, if still trading, insisting on addressing its customers by their given name and not as “Mr……. Even the currency the car was purchased with has been changed.
This car was recently offered for auction, with an expected price of up to £10,000.00, say $15,000.00 or so. The original sale price was £656, around £7,500.00 in current value. That surprised me, as a common understanding is that cars are much cheaper than they were. Petrol was cheaper though, at 6 shillings (equal to 30p in 1971’s decimal currency), which would be around £3 a gallon, compared with around £4.75 now.
The owner was quite content to keep his new car in the garage: he already had a Minor Traveller (the wood-framed station wagon version) for daily use. This car was kept cleaned, polished and working, but just not used.
And, for the avoidance of doubt, the Smiths speedo’s mileometer is not reading at 190.2 miles because it is connected to a Lucas electrical system.
hat tip www.telegraph.co.uk