Let’s have something as opposite of the Starliner as possible to focus on today: mini-utes. And here’s one of the grandaddies of them, the Morris Minor. This one was also shot by John, and what a cutie it is. Stephanie always goes gaga over these and the Traveler woodie wagon version. We are so overdue on a Minor CC…must work harder!
I’m hardly an expert on these, but I know that rear bumper can’t be original, unless they made these in Australia into the seventies or something. Oh, I see it has a trailer hitch and trailer light receptacle; yes, just the thing for trailering indeed! At least the skinny tires look a bit more appropriately sized for this fly-weight.
One damned POS car this is. I own a ’51 4-door sidevalve example. Slow, noisy, underpowered, zero brakes, small, cramped (even for my small frame), doors that don’t fit, lousy electricals, terrible fuel system, blah, blah, blah, you name it this car’s got it, as long as its crap. Parts design and quality is unbelievably poor. The Beetle is a miracle by comparison. But the looks, oh the looks…
To keep these cars running requires substantial investment in parts and time, not to mention access to a good shop. Good thing the parts are cheap-ish. The best way to keep ’em running is a Ford/Suzuki drivetrain/brake transplant. Not on mine, though, I’m a masochist. Try http://www.minormania.com for more info. Eagerly waiting for a CC.
My first grade teacher had a Morris Minor Wagon with wood siding. Even at six years I was becoming a curbside car fanatic. I think I remembered this car because it looked so out of place amongst the other cars of the early ’60s.
In 1961 my mother, living in the NY metropolitan area, had to park her 1951 Dodge Coronet SW about six blocks from where she lived, not being able to find anything closer.
I found a tiny parking space for her around the corner, and without checking with her, bought a brand new Morris Minor (which fit the spot dandily) and presented it to her.
I should have paid more attention to the forced smile. Unbeknownst to me she loved that Dodge. She never really fell in love with the Minor.
After a decent interval (six years) she opted to get another car, a new Dodge Dart. I volunteered to drive the Minor out West–where I was then living–knowing I could get a much better price for it there.
By the time I got to WVA one of the exhaust valves began to burn. 500 miles later that cylinder was useless and I chugged on with only three operating cylinders the rest of the way. Meanwhile, two or three times a day the electric fuel pump would die. If you waited an hour (or filed the points) it would start up again and then motor on.
It was a long trip, but I made it (to Eugene). I did a valve job in the basement, put it all back together and sold it. (If Stephanie was living there then, she could have bought it!) I still have the burned valve which I use as a coat hook. The hole in the perimeter is about the size of a pencil eraser.
On the one hand, this Morris exhibited all the foibles that British cars of the era (especially with Lucas electrics) seemed to have a patent on.
On the other, how many 998cc powered cars do you know that could soldier on for 2000 miles cross-country on only three cylinders?
Love these little Morrys great little cars fun to drive too fast on gravel I got my licence in a 59 sedan version there are thousands still on the road in NZ if you need photos Paul there is a major collection of them near where I live and I found a mint original 52 convertable where I bought wheel cylinders for my Minx ,sidevalve but with twin carbs. Shorrock had a supercharger kit for flat head Minors that made em go, and on the later models just speccing the engine to MG Midget levels gets em moving. Utes like this are getting rare and I like the HQ rear bumper.
I found this one outside a car show a while back. Big tires and raised height make me wonder if there is a modern 4×4 frame underneath. Sort of look like Ranger/Bronco wheels with Morris caps.
large size http://www.flickr.com/photos/daveseven/4668033052/ and rear http://www.flickr.com/photos/daveseven/4668031474/in/photostream/
That rear bumper seems to have a GM look to it, could it be from the bizzaro GM styling studios from elsewhere in the world? Looks a lot like the rear bumber of the 1978-87 A-body wagon/ElCamino.
I was going to say Holden Ute, but they have their tailights in the body no?
I had the same thought about the A-body wagons — while this bumper is obviously smaller, the resemblance is striking. The previous generation of the same body styles (1973-77) also featured a rear bumper that was similar in concept, although the lights were shaped differently.
Yeah, but a colonade bumper is wider than this car is long, it looks like a modified Holden bumper from the 70’s.
HQ Holden sedan narrowed
Try HQ Monaro cut down to size between the lights and number plate space on each side.
It’s what my ex did to one very much like this one that I owned. Bumper was gold then, and it had gold velvet interior.
Morris’ latter day brand mate Austin went even dinkier with the A35 pickup.
David: Your’re right on the money this ain’t a real Moggy. The rear photo clearly shows a leaf spring up front, where Moggys always had torsion beam independent suspension. FWIW, this may not even be a Minor. but a Frankenstein composed of a Morris Oxford front and who knows what rear on a RWD truck frame. Morris Minor body is too small to fit any American truck frame. The Ranger is huge by comparison.
OTOH, a Suzuki Gypsy/Jimny/Samurai frame is about the right size for a Minor frame+body transplant. I’d not be much surprised if it does in fact turn out to be such.
CARMINE: No GM bumper will ever fit this car. It is too small. REALLY small.
i see what you mean….. if you scan the first pic you can see a splice of two different sheet metals and the color looks a bit off as well.
I would have never caught that if someone had not brought it up, however.
The bumper isn’t necessarily the original width. It is painted so it is entirely possible that they sectioned it to narrow it to the desired width.
What I see hanging under it certainly could be Suzi.
Morris utes were available in Australia, but the rear bumper is definitely a cut down rear HQ Holden bumper (Bryce is right).
I’ve attached a photo from a dealer’s showroom from an Australian collection as proof its not a “frankenstein.” The caption to the photo is as follows:-
“A 1954 Morris Minor Series 2 ‘hi-light’ utility. 803cc engine, 4 speed gearbox with floor shift. This model has a ‘V’ windscreen and does not appear to have any indicators, as sedans of the same period used ‘semaphore’ indicators. BMC product – UK designation quarter-ton pickup, also available as a van. Posters on the showroom wall advertise the Morris Oxford, the new Minor and convertible and the large Wolseley.”
Davo I believe Carcounter is talking about the lifted Minor posted by David Saunders
Bryce has got it (of course), the bumper is a sectioned HQ Holden sedan bumper, which was the only model that had inset tail lights. The Morris wouldn’t have had a bumper at all to start with.
A friend of mine uses a Morris Minor van for his painting business, I will have to ask him how many years or more likely decades! The body join that runs behind the doors enabled Morris to use different bodies.
This was shot on the banks of the Yarra River in Melbourne, I stopped to take a couple of quick photos on my travels for work. I also put a shot of a Morris Minor sedan in the Cohort album (I think I did at least, I can’t see it) that was less than a mile from where this ute was from.
And lets not forget the Mini ute, second from the top of these pile of Austins in a 1963 publicity photo.
Nice photo! Until a road widening a couple of years ago there was a van version of the 3rd-from-top truck selling flowers on the side of a road here in Melbourne with those lower windows. Hard to imagine how it would work as a truck cab – look at the size of the door (if it has a door!) window.
The door on the 3rd from the bottom is on the rear 1/4 not the side of the cab unusual design and nobody copied it
Ive remembered FGK was the model prefix for that oddball somewhere I have an article on it
I ran across this Morrises direct ancestor today a Morris 8 Z ute
m sisters first boyfreand had a gray mm pickup,god i used to love rideing around in the back ..staning up in the back ..this was 1977 so you could here in the uk do things like that,lol..that car was a lot of fun..dxx
Can you really tow anything with these? Given that the standard Morris Minor has an A-series engine of 950cc or 1100 cc, barely powerful enough to get it out of its own way… Though the gearing is probably very, very short.
Somehow Morris went through the trouble to give the van and pickup version a separate ladder chassis, whereas the sedan version has a monocoque chassis.
They didnt stop building the van untill 1975 so I guess they got their money back. You can tow a light trailer with a Morry Minor but the chassis was to give carrying capacity not towing ability and to be able to offer van and ute with minimal tooling costs.
I was brought up in the world of Little British Cars, or LBCs, and this Cohort Classic brings back memories, I tells ya!
When my dad returned from a non-volunteer stint in the Army in 1956, he found that three of his childhood buddies had gone together to form an imported car dealership selling BMC products – MGs, Austin-Healeys, Morris Minors, in time the odd Mini, etc. Dad drove a long line of pretty cool cars for back in the day – a 1952 MGTD, a new 1957 MGA (he worked part-time at the dealership to pay for it), an Austin-Healey 100-6, and a couple of MG 1100 Sports Sedans. Notched between the MGA and the big Healey was a light green Morris Minor convertible. My sister and I were small enough at the time to be able to stand up on the back seat facing to the rear, lean against the seatback and watch where we had come from. Not at all safe but that’s how things were back in the day. Dad traded the Morris for the Healey as mom always thought the big Healeys were really sharp. I remember they drove it up to Watkins Glen in maybe 1962 for some sports car races. I have a souvenir ashtray they brought back with them.
So from then forward to 1967 when we moved from the first house to the second. One of the dealership buddies had by then acquired a Morris Minor pick up. We moved the entire house using that little hauler in tandem with my mother’s ’64 Bel Air wagon. They had some movers take the piano, washer, dryer, fridge and range, but most everything was boxed and hauled by that Morris truck.
Now at the time, the hottest thing on the LBC scene was the MGB-GT and I was delivering papers to save money so I could buy one, that is until I was introduced to that truck. From then on I said I’d rather have one of those than a GT. I never had either one, but I did dance with a couple 1100s and a 1972 round arch split bumper MG Midget. I still really like those Morris Minors.
In case anyone wants to know,the green morris ute,3rd pic,was a morris cab and home made tray fitted to a suzuki sierra chassis.
I know this thread is old but thought I would add to it anyway.
I used to own a car just like this. The bumper could be a HQ Monaro cut down to suit the size. That’s what we did. Would be interested to know the history of this vehicle as it could be the one I owned nigh on 30 year ago!
I own the oldest Morris Ute on the planet.
Having the old girl restored right now.
Won’t be long before it’s back out there.