Page 1

Guide to the

MORRIS

MINOR Everything you need to know about RESTORING, BUYING & ENJOYING Britain’s favourite classic

100

INSIDE...

BUYING GUIDES

RESTO TIPS

£6.99

The Morris Minor story Service guides and restoration tales Tests and drives: Could you use a Minor every day? EXCLUSIVE: How the PC pick-up was restored in 72 hours

pages of pure Morris Minor celebration

ROAD TESTS


Contents driving 6 14 22 26 32

From the editor

i

have had a Morris Minor in my life for 15 years. There’s a simple reason for this: it’s a magnificent classic. To the untutored eye, my Traveller looks like a half-timbered, fossilised museum piece. But with an A-series engine, rack-and-pinion steering, long-legged differential and torsion bar suspension, it handles 21st-century roads without drama. It can also return 45mpg, has plenty of load space and gets you involved with one of the best clubs in the UK. There’s virtually nothing not to like, apart from a lack of rip-snorting performance (and that can be arranged). It’s no wonder that this brilliant car has become Britain’s favourite classic. Buy a Minor and you’re already part of the family, guaranteed a wave from every fellow Minorist. You can’t say that about many other cars.

EDITOR

36 38

managing director (carS) niall clarkson marketing manager rachael Beesley commercial manager anna Skuse adVertiSing enQUirieS 01733 468000 Printed in the Uk By headley Brothers additional Period imageS magiccarpics.co.uk © Bauer Consumer Media Ltd 2014. No part of this book may be reproduced in whole or in part without the written permission of the publishers. Bauer Consumer Media Ltd is registered in England and Wales, company number 01176085, registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough PE1 2RF

MORRIS MINOR GUIDE // PRACTICAL CLASSICS

me and my morris minors

PC pays a visit to Sandy and Rosie Hamilton’s fine collection.

Beaulieu or bust

A Minor adventure to the home of rusty bits: Beaulieu Autojumble.

Living with a morris minor

Matt Jones takes a sceptical view of the Morris as a daily driver.

moggy van buyer

Does a Minor van stack up against the Bedford HA or Minivan?

Starter classic buyers’ guide

Is the Morris Minor still the default classic for first-timers?

40 The ultimate buyers’ guide

All you need to know about finding the best Morris Minor.

restoring 47

Under the bonnet

Why the humble Morris Minor is such a joy to work on.

48

Series E sidevalve engine profile

50

A-Series engine profile

52 58

74

danny.hopkins@practicalclassics.co.uk PRACTICAL CLASSICS, Media House, Lynch Wood, Peterborough Business Park, Peterborough PE2 6EA. Tel: 01733 468000 Fax: 01733 468387 Email: practical.classics@bauermedia.co.uk Magazine subscription hotline: 0844 848 8872 or visit greatmagazines.co.uk/practicalclassics

Hits of Issigonis

Lowlight Minor goes up against later Issigonis creations.

buying

66 danny Hopkins

The morris minor story

The extraordinary history of a world-beating car.

82 84

Convertible restoration

Thirty years in a field, remedied in only nine months.

Fire truck restoration

Disaster, fires, serious illness – it’s a real-life emergency.

Barn find preserved

Even the spider webs were looked after.

Pick-up restored live in 72 hours

The story of a weekend restoration live on stage at the NEC.

Pick-up prepared for moT

The day after the NEC, John Simpson takes the pick-up for its MoT.

Restore your wood

The real world guide to Morris Traveller wood replacement.

90 Ultimate service guide

Your 31-step guide to a beautifully fettled Morris Minor.

94 98

Wood protection

Save your ash with our expert guide.

Disc brake fitting guide

Ford disc brakes make a very useful upgrade – here’s how. www.practicalclassics.co.uk


From the PC archive


Traveller Wood Replacement

Good wood revival Replacing your Minor’s wood at home is not as hard as you’d may think

W

hen Morris was building Travellers, the most difficult part of the construction process was, unsurprisingly, the wooden back body. It took a long time and a lot of fiddling to get right, and that was by men who could virtually do the job in their sleep. Woodies, the father and son team of Steve and James Foreman, had shown me the correct way to replace a rear pillar and had supplied me with a new nearside ash pillar and wing over section. Now it was my turn to fly solo. I had faith. Woodies are the biggest manufacturer and supplier of Morris Traveller woodwork in the world. As I started the process of deconstruction of the nearside rear end last November, I was safe in the knowledge that the Woodies boys were only a phone call away. I unpacked the tools, dragged out the extension lead and set to work. The first job was to pull out the old wood. An evening with a Phillips screwdriver, electric drill and chisel saw a pile of rusty wood screws and chipped varnish at my side. The brackets that join the pillar at the top back corner of the frame were removed as were the doors and associated hingery. The rear lights and reflectors were next. I labelled up the wires and stored everything in a plastic ice-cream tub, which I immediately kicked over – if anyone wants to come and look for the bullet connector

MoRRIS MInoR GuIde // PRACTICAL CLASSICS

Job done – and even the winker works.

Dark colouring hides the rot within. It’s all stripped back.

I lost during this incident then you are most welcome. Six months on and I still haven’t found it. Finally, it was off with the rear bumper and then the moment of no return, I started to waggle the wood. It took another whole evening of hard waggling, extra screw removal and chiseling before the car finally released its grip on the rear pillar. I had to dig into carefully filled wood to reach screw heads that had been hidden decades ago, all the time in the knowledge that too heavy a hand could cause splits in the good wood I wanted to reuse and potential glass crackage. Eventually, on my third foray into the garage, with a loud crack (that scared the cat) it came free in my hands, along with the silicone sealer that the previous wood waggler had used to fill gaps. The gloop was the main reason why the job had taken so long. I repeated the extraction on the wing over section – which took another evening of cat scaring.

Then I began the process of cleaning up the ends of the adjoining wooden sections, stripping the old varnish from the whole side of the car, sanding back the frame, carefully filling the gaps with Sikkens filler (top stuff) and treating what was left with wood preserver. Then I got to work on the metal work that the wood was screwed into. Luckily it was sound, but I reckon another winter and the rear wing would have required replacing. I stripped it back and treated it in situ, deciding that I would rather

www.practicalclassics.co.uk


wood 1 Good Woodies’ Steve Foreman looks at the nonstandard pillar. He made an all new bespoke item from scratch in about half an hour.

renewal 2 Door A new door frame has been fitted to the nearside door. This rotten crossmember was extracted from the offside.

the bench 4 To Plane, sand and cut. Keep returning to the car as you work. Removing wood is easy, putting it back is tough. A decent bench is useful.

not disturb any more wood than was strictly necessary. What I did do, however, was dig out all the sealing grot I could find and then dribble preserver to every crevice. Now the car was ready to receive the new wood. I started with the over panel, offering it up and filing and trimming until I was confident it would be a good fit. Then I clamped it into place and with a marker poking through the original screwholes identified where I would need to drill. Drilled and ready, I started screwing and, after another night, had a fully attached panel. Next was the big one, the rear pillar. And this is where it all began to unravel slightly. My back body was so different from standard that the usual laws of Traveller wood did not apply. I spent several evenings carefully filing and sanding the top of the pillar so it would fit in the roof, rear wooden top arch and nearside roofline panel. Immense care has to be taken here, you can lose wood very easily – a bit like virginity, once it’s gone, it’s gone; getting it back is impossible. Something I discovered when, after another two nights of pillar fettling, I realised I had taken slightly too much wood off the rear over-wing section. The cat was absolutely petrified this time.

everything 5 Keep When the section is ready, treat with wood

section 3 New The new section will need work to fit. Careful measurements are taken. It is also a chance to locate the position of fixing screws onto the section back.

done 6 Job Drill the holes and fit to frame and metal panel

preserver and re-check where screw holes should be.

with brass screws. Glue and screw into the uprights too.

Until it is fitted, keep sectional offcuts – just in case.

Seal with wood putty and preserve with a stainer or oil.

There was a half-inch gap to fill, and no matter how hard I tried to tell myself it wasn’t so, it just was. I left it to fester over Christmas and then, after some bravery wine, in mid-January I went out and applied my brain and hands to the conundrum. I had kept all the wooden off-cuts from the previous timber work, so started my solution-hunt by rooting through them and pulling out the ones that looked most likely to fit the errant cleft. I then filled the space with wood filler and slipped the wood into the sticky gap. Once set, I drilled through the layers and added a wood screw to bind it firmly and then finished it with another skim of filler.

Compared to the other side it looked a bit ropey, but once I had fitted all the brackets, securing the set up finally, it looked decent and I knew it was strong. Next, I covered all the wood on that side with Sikkens wood preserver – base and topcoat. Lights, reflectors, hinges and doors were added and once the rear bumper was on I managed a short dance. Bizarrely, a month later I was missing the sound of electric planer and drill so much that I spent a weekend replacing the bottom wood section from the offside rear door. Simple and hugely satisfying, I approached it with confidence and nearly got it absolutely right (see above). Given time, confidence, decent materials and tools, mastering simple woodwork is easy. I’m no genius, but I stuck at it and now have a Traveller that’s now much easier on the eye. It will also pass its next MoT – wood is structural on a Minor – so I look forward to positive comments from Colin, my local tester. So does the cat. n

To subscribe to PC go to www.greatmagazines.co.uk

‘It took an evening of hard waggling before the car finally released its pillar’’

PRACTICAL CLASSICS // MoRRIS MInoR GuIde


Buying advice

The Minor as a starter How the Moggy shapes up against first-time rivals

What car?

WORDS nigel boothman PHOTOS PC libRaRY & WWW.magiCCaRPiCS.Co.UK

M

aybe you’ve been reading classic car magazines for a while, but you’ve never quite got round to owning an old car. Or maybe this is the first time you’ve picked up a Practical Classics guide. Either way, you’re about to discover how close you really are to living the dream. Buying and owning a classic has never been so easy and so cheap and the Minor is first in the queue in the ease of ownership stakes. But now that 1980s classics are firmly part of the mix, especially for younger enthusiasts, our broad church is getting a whole lot broader. Does the Minor still compete? Certainly its parts supply is still second to none, and while prices for high-end classics have shot up, Minor values have stayed constant in comparative terms, almost cheaper to buy now than it was 15 or 20 years go. For all these starter classics insurance is cost-effective but it is the club scene that sets the Minor apart: the MMOC provides so many benefits, so much free advice and with the rise of online forums, is so easily accessible that it makes the car almost impossible not to own! Here’s our menu to suit all first-time classic tastes. The Ford Capri Mk III offers a macho, retro-driving thrill; the Morris Minor brings the charm of 1950s motoring, the Triumph Spitfire is one of the cheapest top-down classic experiences money can buy, the Mazda MX-5 makes a reliable Japanese re-boot of the same thing and then, finally, there’s the MGB GT. Great car, great value.

There’s a Morris Minor for most budgets – budget from £1800 for a sound saloon.

MORRIS MINOR GUIDE // PRACTICAL CLASSICS

1978-86

Ford Capri Mk III

1956-71

Morris Minor

Price range £2000-£6000

Price range £1800-£10,000

What’s so special about it?

The Mk III Capri might not get mentioned in the same breath as the E-type or Mini but it’s as recognisable as either. Few cars guarantee such a warm reaction from mates and strangers.

Alec Issigonis’s innovative design rarely fails to make adults misty-eyed with nostalgia. And, unlike the Mini, Minors are still amazing value for such a lynchpin in our motoring heritage.

Is there a fun factor?

If the reaction it provokes isn’t enough for you, there’s the driving experience. All Capris are tailhappy, but easy and predictable. The V6 versions feel quick, too.

Absolutely. They might look like something the district nurse drove but they have superb rack-andpinion steering and lively engines, easily upgradable for more vigour.

Can I use it every day?

Daily use is well within the Capri’s grasp, especially in hatchback Mk III form. It’s a practical car for every task except long trips with four up. The V6 models are a little thirsty for chugging about on urban errands.

Only the VW Beetle and the Citroën 2CV can claim such an old design and such usability. You’ll be blown away on busy motorways and salty roads will line up corrosion headaches, but pottering about in a Minor daily is still A-OK.

What goes wrong?

Capris decay along the sills, the front wings, front suspension turrets, door skins, and A-pillar where it meets the bulkhead/ scuttle. Worn Ford engines rattle and blow smoke. Beware of bottom-end rumble on 3.0-litres.

Rust! Check for rot in the floor, wheelarches, sills, headlamp surrounds, door bottoms and the crossmember. Minors eat their trunnions so check for wobble at each front wheel. Travellers get all kinds of serious wood rot.

Parts problems

Good interior trim is hard to find, with dashboard tops scarce. Lots of panels are available, as are engine spares, but you don’t want a wreck for your first classic. Join Capri Club International (01386 860860 www.capriclub.co.uk).

There are few classics better supplied for spares than the Minor. The Morris Minor Owners’ Club is the starting point for all your adventures, not least for examining the choice of cars for sale.

How much will it set me back?

A first classic should be one you can get into and enjoy. For that, you’ll need from £2000 for the 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre models with 2.8 and 3.0 V6s starting at about £3500 for a decent example. The best fetch £6000-plus.

£1800 will buy a sound 1960s saloon, while £3000 nets a usable Traveller. Lovely examples cost £4k-£6k, convertibles £4k-£10k.

For more market news, go to www.classicarsforsale.co.uk


classic... 1962-80

Triumph Spitfire

Price range £2000-£4500

You may find that your first classic is a car you’ll want to keep forever.

1990-98

Mazda MX-5 Mk I

1965-80

MGB GT

Price range £600-£1500

Price range £1500-£4000

It’s more elegant than an MG Midget, with a great range of engines as the model developed. Choose between classically 1960s examples with pretty dashboards or more macho 1970s models with better handling. They are still such bargains.

‘Small Japanese car of the 1990s.’ Doesn’t sound special. But ‘125mph twincam re-invention of the classic British sports car’ does. And that’s what you got – all the thrills of an MGB or a TR4 but with a waterproof hood and total reliability. Well, almost.

The MGB GT is a bonsai Aston Martin. It’s as dashing and as British as David Niven, only a whole lot livelier. The tintop is versatile, too, tackling supermarket runs, long holiday trips or road rallies with equal ease. Being an MG owner comes with a lot of magic.

Of course it’s fun… even the name is exciting. Going to the post office to buy envelopes is fun in a Spitfire. Thanks to that low-slung seating and the dip in the hip that exposes you to the breeze, 20mph feels like 40mph, and so on up the scale.

The MX-5 Mk I is fun on a stick – these things are nippy, almost 8sec for the 0-60mph dash and handling like racing cars, thanks to the doublewishbone suspension at each corner. And hey… pop-up headlamps!

Fun? Oh, yes. It’s there in great big, bracing, seaside spades, thanks to an inspiring 1960s dashboard of Smiths clocks that didn’t alter much over the years, plus the rorty induction sounds of twin SU carburettors on that gruff, but valiant, B-series engine.

If you’re a moustachetwirling hero, or a plucky type of girl, everyday use is feasible. But the folding roof leaks water in any decent shower so fit a hard-top from September to April if you’re serious.

Everyday use is so easy for an MX-5 owner. Yes, the luggage space and lack of rear seats makes it more of a dirty weekender than a school-run omnibus, but it’s a proper sports car, innit?

You can certainly use a BGT on a daily basis, because it ticks the boxes of affordable fuel economy, mechanical sturdiness, spare parts availability, capability in modern traffic and a big boot. Get one with overdrive for a much nicer ride on big roads.

Spitfires can rust for England, and don’t believe anyone who tells you body corrosion isn’t a problem because there’s a separate chassis. Check the floors, sills, bulkhead, boot-floor, arches and that huge bonnet. The later 1500cc engine wears out fastest.

For years we thought Mazda had replicated the MG/Triumph sports car experience only without the rust. Now we know better. MX-5s can rot quite badly, but they’ve been hiding it very well. Check rear sill sections, rear inner wheel arches and front chassis legs.

Rust. Again. External stuff is obvious, but assuming the front wings and wheel arches aren’t falling off, check the battery boxes (under the back seat area), footwells, inner wings and most of all, the sills and nearby castle rails. Worn kingpins mean wobbly front wheels.

Parts worries are almost unknown except for odd bits of trim on the first Spitfire 4 and Mk II models. Cars are still being broken and specialists keep new parts on stream. Check Club Triumph (www.triumph.org.uk) and the Triumph Sports Six Club (www.tssc.org.uk)

Yes, there’s an owners’ club, large and well-established (www.mx5oc.co.uk). It’s the only car on this spread that’s wellserved by main dealer parts supplies, but cheaper options are plentiful.

We’re in Morris Minor territory for backup, with giant club support and equally vast aftermarket parts supply. Start with the MGOC (www.mgownersclub.co.uk) and the MG Car Club (www.mgcc. co.uk) and you’ll live happily ever after with your BGT.

Scruffy Mk IV and 1500 models still turn up in running condition for less than £1000, but pay £2000 and you should have a wide choice of usable cars. £3500 buys the best Mk IVs and 1500s, another grand gets the top-notch 1960s Mk I-III cars – the earlier, the more desirable.

They cost peanuts. All Mk Is were 1.6-litre until 1994, and these early cars can be found with MoTs from £600, though spending £1000-£1500 on something with a full history is wiser. The 1.8-litre cars don’t fetch much more.

Chrome bumper (1965-74) cars are creeping skywards, so buying a 1960s one for under £4000 is tempting. £1500 gets an MoT’d rubber-bumper car (1974-80); £2500 is a better target.

To subscribe to PC go to www.greatmagazines.co.uk

PRACTICAL CLASSICS // MORRIS MINOR GUIDE


Living with...

Living with a...

Morris Traveller Matt Jones spends a week with the school matron of classic motoring

spot the rot

Wood on Travellers isn’t decorative – it’s part of the car’s structure. If it’s gone, you’ll have to take the whole vehicle apart. Footwells fill with water and rust away.

be wary of...

Rusty rear spring hangers (they’re awkward to repair), rotten bulkheads and floors.

moRRIS mInoR GUIDE // PRACTICAL CLASSICS

www.practicalclassics.co.uk


I

may have descended into cliché by likening the Morris Minor to a public school matron, but I didn’t start it. The car did. It is so much like the formidable lady who ruled with a rod of iron in the junior house dormitories. From the driving position (or posture correction), to the harrumphing overrun, the Minor is the figure of authority who at first wants to correct you, then afterwards smother you in her warm and ample bosom. The Morris Minor Traveller I’ve borrowed for this ‘Living With’ exercise belongs to Fuzz Townshend, and therefore isn’t the finest example of the breed. But its lightly antiqued bodywork and careworn mechanicals are in the sort of state you’ll find with most non-project Morris Minors.

They’re all the more charming for it. After all, matron’s starched cuffs always had a few stains on them. Inside, a lot of things you’d find in most other day-to-day cars of the period are missing, but what’s there – seats, a few buttons, a speedometer and a dished steering wheel – are thrown into starker relief, giving drivers the opportunity to appreciate the genteel dashboard styling. Thankfully, the heater works in Fuzz’s Traveller, belching out blasts of hot air onto your toes. The seats are comfortable, too, even if you can almost hear matron telling you to stop slouching and sit up straight. Once under way, though, you do have to adjust your driving style. Torsion bar front and leaf rear suspension does have quietly ➽

Need to know

1948

Split-screen Morris Minor MM launched with 918cc sidevalve engine. District nurses rejoice.

1949

Headlights moved to top of front wings. This was initially done for the US only.

1950

Export-only four-door introduced – the midwives of North America rejoice.

1952

803cc A-series engines introduced as Morris and Austin merge. Ford and Vauxhall rejoice.

1953

Van, pick-up and Traveller versions appear as S1 MM comes to the end of its run.

1954

Half-timbered and not half bad – the Tudor-framed Moggy is anything but dull.

SII gets facelifted with new dash, grille and lights. Hooray!

1956

Morris 1000 replaces SII with 948cc engine, revised rear wings and also gets a larger rear window.

1961

350 Minor Millions are built to celebrate the millionth Minor.

1962 1963

1098cc engine replaces the 1000’s 948cc unit.

don’t worry about...

Going slowly. All unmodified variants are relaxed. A taller differential will help cruising speeds.

New front and rear lights appear. District nurses can see where they’re going at night.

1964 1969

Better seats and heating, plus a revised dash.

Final convertible made. District nurses don’t

seem to mind.

1970

Morris 1000 saloon leaves the line-up. Anyone fancy an 1100?

1971

The last British-built Travellers, vans and pickups are made.

1974

Assembly of CKD Minor finally comes to an end in New Zealand. Shame.

You will be able to fit plenty of antiques in a Morris Traveller.

Photos: matt howell

To subscribe to PC go to www.greatmagazines.co.uk

PRACTICAL CLASSICS // moRRIS mInoR GUIDE


Service Guide

you will need... EquipmEnt trolley jack, axle

(hrs)

3

monEy

timE

stands, oil pan, aF spanners and socket set, screwdrivers, long steel bar, test lamp or multimeter, grease gun, oil can.

TECH TIP

(£)FroM

Regularly check your Minor’s tyre pressures. We recommend 24psi all round for crossplies, 28psi all round for radials.

60

difficulty rating

Morris Minor

31 easy steps to get your OHV Minor in perfect fettle

Words and pictures KIM HENSON

T

he Morris Minor is perfectly suited for home maintenance. Its compact engine and drivetrain are elegantly straightforward, and access to all elements is excellent. No specialist tools are required and spare parts are available cheaply from a wide array of specialists. What’s more, a thriving club scene provides a rich knowledge base to draw upon should you encounter any problems. At its launch in 1948, the Minor was a modern small car in most respects, featuring torsion bar front suspension, responsive rack-and-pinion steering and chassis-less construction. By contrast, though, the sidevalve engine was distinctly pre-war in design and feel, being derived from the 918cc motor of its Morris Eight predecessors.

MORRIS MINOR GUIDE // PRACTICAL CLASSICS

Happily, following the 1951 merger of Austin and Morris to become BMC, the Austin A30’s overhead valve 803cc engine became available. With the substitution of the Austin unit’s Zenith carburettor for an SU – thus releasing a couple more horsepower – the unit slotted neatly into the Minor’s spacious engine bay. BMC’s stronger, more powerful 948cc A-series engine was adopted

Servicing intervals Every 3000 miles or annually, whichever comes first. Variations to this general rule that relate to specific components are identified in the steps. Kim henson technical writer

from 1956, creating the Minor 1000. A further enlargement to 1098cc with a corresponding increase in power followed in 1962. Minors were thus-equipped until the end of production in 1971. Track down a workshop manual for your model for detailed advice and specifications.

This also applies to... Similar drivetrains were used in the Austin A30 and A35. Most of the running gear of overhead valve Minors is similar to that of the earlier sidevalve models. Many of the engine servicing steps are broadly similar for all classics fitted with a BMC A-series. thanKs to Brian Wood, Gerald Morgan and John Marston – owner of the superb 1098cc Traveller shown in our photographs.

www.practicalclassics.co.uk


TECH TIP

Check shock absorber fluid level with length of wire in the filler. Top up with correct fluid.

joints 1 Swivel The upper and lower front swivel joints need

2 Steering Rock the wheel to check the steering rack

to be lubricated often (ideally every 1000 miles). Grease nipples are located on the top and bottom swivels on each side of the car (four in total). Clean the nipples and administer multipurpose grease.

for wear. Inspect the rubber gaiters on the rack and balljoints. Replace them if they’re damaged or deteriorated. Lubricate the rack assembly with EP90 oil and the balljoints with multipurpose grease.

suspension 3 Front Make sure the torsion bars are securely attached. Check the lever-arm shock absorbers for leaks and bounciness. Also check that the mounting bolts are tight. Examine the lower arms, tie-bars, eyebolts and bushes for play or deterioration.

TECH TIP

Always investigate the cause of uneven brake wear.

suspension 4 Rear Inspect the leaf springs for sagging, corrosion, broken leaves and worn eye bushes or shackles. Examine the shock absorbers for insecurity and leaks. Check for worn bushes in the link bars connecting the springs to the shock absorbers.

brakes 5 Drum Remove each road wheel in turn and remove

adjustment 6 Brake Early cars: adjust through the hole in the drum

the screws securing the brake drum. Slacken the brake adjusters and ease off the drum. Check the shoes for wear, the cylinders for leaks or seizure and the drums for scoring. Always renew in axle sets.

with a flat-blade screwdriver. Later cars: adjust the square-headed screw on the backplate. Rotate each adjuster until the drum locks, then slacken slightly until the hub just rotates freely without binding.

Don’t forget

wheel bearings 9 Front Jack each wheel in turn. Hold it at the

top and bottom and rock it to check for bearing play (but also watch out for play in the swivels). Spin the wheel to check for roughness. Lubricate with wheel bearing grease.

column 10 Steering Ensure the steering column is firmly attached. Up/down movement of the steering wheel should be minimal.

pedal 11 Clutch Adjust free pedal movement: 803cc and hydraulics 7 Brake Scrutinise the flexible hoses and brake pipes for leaks and deterioration. Inspect the master cylinder (under the floor) for leaks and check the fluid level in the reservoir. Renew the fluid if it’s discoloured, or every two years regardless.

8 Handbrake Add grease to the nipples on the handbrake cables and oil the linkages. Tighten the cable (if necessary) at the lever using a ⅝in AF spanner. Pull the lever to its third notch and adjust until the rear wheels just rotate under heavy hand pressure.

To subscribe to PC go to www.greatmagazines.co.uk

948cc – ¾in (19mm); 1098cc – 1 ½in (38mm). Lightly oil the operating mechanism.

and catches 12 Hinges Sparingly lubricate door, boot and bonnet hinges and catches with engine oil or aerosol grease. Wipe off excess.

PRACTICAL CLASSICS // MORRIS MINOR GUIDE


reader’s restoration

Before

As found, rotting away in a Gloucestershire garden.

morris minor GUiDE // PrACTiCAL CLAssiCs

www.practicalclassics.co.uk


1953

Morris Minor Convertible Could a Morris that hasn’t run for more than 30 years be restored in nine months using tools bought for under £250? Mike Sargeant found out INTERVIEW: neil campbell PIcTuREs: rory game

M

AfTer

To subscribe to PC go to www.greatmagazines.co.uk

y first Minor convertible was too good for my liking. All it needed was a little welding and new brakes for the MoT. I loved driving it, but I couldn’t bond with it. I decided I wanted another, but this one would have to be worse. Much worse. When an early convertible described as ‘spares or extremely brave restoration’ found its way onto eBay in late 2007 I knew it was the one. It had been parked in a Gloucestershire garden for more than 30 years – and, naturally, it had deteriorated terribly. Perfect! Sadly, it had lost the original side-valve engine in the 1970s, as was apparent when I viewed it – several shrubs were where the 918cc should have been. That wasn’t the only problem. The vendor, keen to show me the musty interior, wrenched open the driver’s door. The combination of massive corrosion and seized door hinges meant the A-posts simply twisted. Oh dear. I managed to get in, only to discover the rear seat was so sodden that it was too heavy to pick up. What a wreck. But a wreck was what I wanted. The project was intended to challenge me and inspire others to try their hand at restoration. To up the ante, I resolved to restore the car in my 20ft by 8ft garage, gave myself a tools budget of just £250 and do the lot in nine months, in time for the September 2008 Malpas Vintage Vehicle show. ➽

PrACTiCAL CLAssiCs // morris minor GUiDE

Practical Classics - Guide to the Morris Minor  

Everything you need to know about RESTORING, BUYING & ENJOYING Britain's favourite classic.

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you