Live Auctions

High-Riding Brit: 1960 Morris Minor Traveller 4×4

Regular readers will be aware of my love of original and unmolested classics. That doesn’t mean I instantly dismiss custom builds because I feel they allow an owner to express individualism that will usually draw crowds. Such is the case with this 1960 Morris Minor Traveller. No aspect of this classic escaped the owner’s attention in their quest to create a genuinely unique vehicle. Unlike the wagon upon which it is based, this Traveller possesses off-road capabilities that should allow it to access some pretty harsh terrain. It needs a new home, so the owner has listed it here on eBay in Flemington, New Jersey. Bidding has raced to $13,200, although that figure is short of the reserve.

Many European countries took a long time to recover from the ravages of World War II, and England was no exception. Rationing continued for years after hostilities ended, but there was recognition amongst government and industry that one of the best ways to stimulate the economy was to get the population mobile. The first Morris Minor appeared in 1948, and when considering its design and space efficiency, it is unsurprising to learn that the legendary Alec Issigonis led the design team. The original sedan variant was barely more than twelve feet in overall length and featured a conventional front engine/rear drive mechanical layout. However, it could still seat four adults in relative comfort while accommodating a surprising amount of luggage. The Traveller appeared in 1953, and our feature vehicle rolled out of the factory in Cowley, Oxford, England, in 1960. It has undergone a radical transformation between then and now, making it genuinely eye-catching. The builder bolted the body to a 1987 Suzuki Samurai frame, adding a Zuki Offroad suspension kit, larger alloy wheels, and chunky tires to give the wagon a purposeful appearance. The Red paint that graces the panels isn’t from the 1960 Morris color palette, but it perfectly suits this automotive extrovert. The seller indicates it isn’t perfect, although its overall presentation and shine mean it is still pretty stunning. The timber recently received seven coats of Epifanes varnish, while the faux woodgrain inserts offer a lovely contrast. The Traveller is rust-free, with trim and glass that appears excellent.

When it was shiny and new, the 1960 Morris Minor Traveller offered respectable performance levels combined with excellent fuel economy. Its 948cc four-cylinder engine produced 37hp that fed to the rear wheels via a four-speed manual transmission. Such a modest power output resulted in a ¼ mile ET of 23.7 seconds, although it achieved this while returning fuel consumption figures of 38mpg on what was pretty poor-quality fuel. Those days are long behind it because the upgraded frame brought other more profound changes. Powering this Morris is a General Motors 4.3-liter V6 of 1992 vintage. Its power finds its way to the road via a Turbo Hydramatic transmission and a dual-range transfer case. The seller doesn’t specify a power output for the V6, but it is safe to assume that it should be around 160hp, with a torque figure of approximately 230 ft/lbs. Combined with the raised ride height, this Traveller should climb into areas its creators could only dream of. The seller says it is in excellent mechanical health, running and driving well. They point out the obvious: the raised ride height and chunky tires make it noisier and harsher riding than a regular Morris. However, it happily cruises at highway speeds and is a turnkey classic ready for a new owner.

The custom touches continue when we open the doors and survey the Traveller’s interior. Its front seats are aftermarket items, but the seller retrimmed the back seat to match. The painted surfaces contrast the exterior paint shade, and the timber addition below the dash is a classy touch. The builder added a more modern steering column featuring controls for the headlamps and wipers, while a heater makes life more pleasant on cold days. There are a few minor marks and flaws across the interior, but nothing that genuinely detracts from its appearance. If considered a driver-quality classic, it is definitely acceptable.

Variety is the spice of life, and the classics we feature at Barn Finds undoubtedly reflect that. We’ve seen a few Morris Minor Travellers over the years, but none that were like our feature vehicle. Meticulously restored classics will always command attention and respect, and owners are rightly proud of those cars. This Morris is a different proposition because it will appeal to someone craving an extrovert that contains the fun factor. One of the difficulties with vehicles of this type is assessing their potential value. While some custom builds follow a relatively conventional path, this 1960 Morris Minor Traveller is no such creature. It will be worth what someone is willing to pay, but the twenty-two bids submitted thus far suggest that a few people are happy to spend the money to park it in their drive. Are you?

Comments

  1. Cadmanls Member

    I like these stock, but this is a well done bizarre maybe, conversion. Don’t know the history, maybe wasn’t a whole lot of the Morris left. Providing it’s not a putty bucket it looks really good. My hats off to the builder.

    Like 9
  2. Dave

    Shag-wagon, needs a Union Jack.

    Like 1
  3. DA

    Silly.

    Like 3
    • maxVitesse

      . . . really really silly, even if well built. A ‘thing’ of two halves – I’d sell the bottom bit and bring it back to earth!

      Like 5
  4. Big C

    You lost me at “Chevy V-6.”

    Like 6
    • Rw

      4.3 one of top 3 dependable engine ever built,tell me why you disagree??

      Like 8
      • Big C

        It’s a Chevy V-6. That’s why. As exciting as a potato. But, hey, you do you.

        Like 4
      • Jonathan Q Higgins

        Top 3? Puleease.

  5. mike

    Ruined a perfectly good Morris Traveller

    Like 12
    • Dave

      . . . a stick in the mud would say

      Like 2
  6. Rw

    Wheels,tires,chome JC Whitney tubes, beyond sucks, could be made cool, with someone with style/class.

    Like 2
  7. BlondeUXB Member

    Nothing exceeds like excess…

    Like 1
  8. oilngas

    For sale again? Was just here a year ago. Had a 61 Pickup for 30 years. Should’ve never sold it. Dependable, easy to work on, lowest operating cost vehicle I ever owned. Miss that truck.

    Like 2
  9. Mutt

    Oy, Hold my Guinness and watch this…

    Like 12
  10. Austin Overpowered

    Barf. Why ruin a cool and super rare Morris Minor?

    Like 2
  11. Geoff A

    What? really what a waste of a great classic. With the money spent could have gotten a nice SUV or pickup. I wonder what drove someone to this level of insanity. No road noise with those tires.

    Like 6
  12. Tom

    Love, love, love ALL British cars. My Austin Devon A-40, much like this Morris, is a bit of a monster. Carol Shelby knew British style and American muscle made for a winning recipe. My A-40 has a 302/auto/9 inch/disc brakes/ custom chassis, etc, etc. Would I do this to an AH 3000 or Bug-eye? Hell no! But these and others of the same “class” were like Bic lighters”. Disposable… If this Morris could talk, it would be the proud and loud Dwayne Johnson of its marque.

    Like 3
  13. Andrew S Mace Member

    Someday, the owners of the few remaining stock Suzuki Samurais will a: be thrilled at the scarcity and value of them, while b: scouring junkyards for jacked-up Travelers, Spitfires and the like for needed chassis bits. ;) All that’s missing from this build is rotting timber trim and faux patina. But as always, to each her/his own, right? :D

  14. MikeH

    In Texas it was, and still is to the best of my knowledge, that the title goes with frame. This car should be listed as a Suzuki Samurai 4X4. Whatever you call it, I don’t want it.

    Like 2
  15. Jonathan Q Higgins

    The seller has another unsullied example in one of the pictures so presumably they know what they are doing. Worst thing about it for me is the transmission, and that’s just a quibble. I would buy this in a heartbeat. It wouldn’t take too much to make it better.

    Like 1
  16. chrlsful@aol.com

    back toward the ground 6? inches, 14 X 31 tire (‘pie cutters’ if needed)? 1.3 or 1.6 (we’re turboin 1 in a “tracker” right now) motor w/turboed ?

    Lub the rest0 job, less the mod…
    Gimmie the Traveler, keep the Zuk.

    Congrats on all the work, nice package~

  17. Jay McCarthy

    I cannot explain my love for these creations but it really doesn’t matter the vehicle to me, from El Camino’s to station wagons and minivans dropped on a 4X4 chassis they all make me smile

    Like 4

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