Itty-Bitty Pickup! 1960 Morris Minor

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Reader Peter R. submitted this great British truck find that is waiting for you in Little Compton, Rhode Island. Surprisingly, it’s being sold at no reserve here on eBay, where 20 bids already have it slightly over $3,000.

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This 1960 truck is right in the middle of the Morris Minor production run from 1948 to 1971. The seller tells us that it was restored 20 years ago by a friend but then was eventually moved outside for some reason, resulting in some surface rust. Apparently there is rot in one place; the splash panel behind the front bumper. After a tune up and a new fuel pump it runs well, although the brakes are nonfunctional and therefore it can’t be driven yet.

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According to the seller, the rocker panels and floorboards have been “skillfully repaired.” I’d like to see some more detail on that before committing to buy. They also state that the transmission, clutch and steering all operate well. That canvas top was supposedly purchased as new old stock and has only just been installed for the first time, probably to facilitate the sale.

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The interior certainly shows wear, but nothing horrible. It’s pretty basic anyway, so if you wanted to replace it, it would be fairly simple. I’m not too sure all of it is original anyway, although I’ve got no complaints with the style. I would like to see the door panels at least match each other!

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As far as the engine goes, it’s an “A-Series” inline four cylinder with a single SU carburetor, which I believe is the stock specification for these little trucks. The seller states that the truck has covered 90,000 miles which is quite feasible. Being a British car nut, this would make a great parts truck for me; what would you do with a pickup this small? Let us know in the comments below!

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Comments

  1. Dylan Morgan

    Love it. Simple to work on. Good parts availability.from UK. Cheeky little truck. Great fun.

  2. Elmer Fudd

    I’ve owned 2 of these. Great if you don’t take them too seriously, and built better than non commercial Minors. It actually has a frame! Brakes are poor, axles are weak, trans is weak, but if you do a few upgrades like disc brakes from a spriget, a 1275, ribcase or toyota trans, and a few other things they can be driven daily. I keep looking for another one to buy, but this is too far away.

  3. Bill

    This would be a daily for me! As I am a total British car freak, I’d uprate the brakes, perhaps eventually go to an 1100 or 1275 engine with alternator and just drive it. Old British cars are quite reliable if you look after them. and in spite of all the Lucas jokes, the electrics are easily repaired.

  4. DREW V.

    Drive it with a BIG smile on my face…

  5. john

    At the moment great value! Cheap as chips to run and much fun too.

  6. Cassidy

    Cute little truck! Jamie, the truck looks pretty complete, why would you use it as a parts truck or did you mean use it as truck to haul your parts? Excellent upgrade ideas, Elmer!

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      Cassidy I just finished relocating 13 engines and 12 transmissions in my parts stash. I mean hauling stuff! :-)

      • Cassidy

        it is nice to have a beast of burden when you need it! I like my truck, bare bones long bed F250 from 1980; I could have hauled most of your goodies in one trip!

      • Dave Wright

        My 1920 Packard would have hauled it all in one trip, slowly…………Moris’s are great cars and the pickup version is the best……some simple upgrades as others have said……..Wonderful.

  7. ClassicCarFan

    I agree this is a great little truck. If your hauling needs were modest and you weren’t trying to do too much high-speed highway stuff. If the body isn’t too badly rusted where we can’t see in the photos, and you don’t mind it staying a bit scruffy, then this one looks quite viable.

    Yes, it could do with some upgrades for regular use but as the engine and drive-train were shared with so many other BMC/Leyland cars over the years finding the parts is easy and they are mechanically very straight-forward to work on. As other’s have already said, a 1275 A-series (even a regular single-carb one in base tune) in this relatively light chassis would be quite fun as long as you take care to upgrade brakes and suspension to match.

    I believe these pick-up style models are actually quite rare aren’t they? They made millions of Morris Minors but few were pick-ups – a bit like the Mini pick-ups, quite sought after….

    • rusty

      Believe it or not a lot made were utes or vans. We had heaps of them here in Australia and a lot still exist here so not that rare for us. I reckon they were far more sought after in the 80’s here before the internet became mainstream. The internet has actually shown there are often many available. Often coming up for sale with many ute/van “projects” unsold here [as people prepared to restore are harder to find now & most only wanting to titivate an older resto]. If they were in England they’d be snaffelled up I believe especially as our project cars have survived better.. Generally the finished utes here get sold off but still dont bring much money but generally more than sedans. Many here are far from original too.

  8. Mark S Member

    This is quite a cute little truck. I think it would fit in the back of my 94 Dodge cumins 3/4 ton. I could use it as weight over the back wheels in the winter. I wonder how much it weighs?

  9. rusty

    Morry utes and vans are very usable because of the separate chassis. Its an incredibly strong chassis and although all morries were under powered for the year built the later 1100 motor was a decent motor that came in the last of them [bigger brakes too]. Its a shame they never got a 1275 motor officially though its written that one Travellor [woody] as a special order did receive a 1275 officially.

    Even with the 1000 motor I used to tow a car trailer with a Goggomobil Dart on it with my van [a ute with a van body] . The motor did it fine, though the non sychro first made for some special towing shifting. I used larger Morris Major brakes or discs though on my morries. Later I installed an 1100 motor which was better and finally a 1275 with a 5 speed toyota box made the car a powerhouse. But even the 1000 motor was capable of deeds far beyond what people expect.

    As a stock original car dont think of them as useless wonders..even a stock 1000 is capable but remember you are jumping out of a modern car into a car from the past..nothing feels capable after that..It will feel slow and the brakes will feel useless though if in good condition are adequate for normal use without trailers. [their brakes are often critized but generally by people who bought an old banger. If they are done up correctly they are appropriate for a stock 1000 motor but improve them for any larger or hotted motors].

  10. rusty

    oh and the canopy is very rare.

    shame its not the bench seat version as the cabin is very squeezy towards the dash. The bench seat gives just a little extra space for the driver..just

    • rusty

      Jamie said “I would like to see the door panels at least match each other!”

      If it helps anyone door panels were made of a cardboard material without being covered and were painted. Far different to a sedan which is vinyl covered. Sedans have enclosed panel pins where utes/vans had external panel pins.

      These look correct though the drivers door maybe a remake. The passenger door panel definately looks original and as often the case the paint has flaked off leaving just the base cardboard. Note the door pull coming thru the panel unlike a sedan that screws over a panel.

      As far as I can see via a photograph the drivers door panel could be an original and still painted which is pretty good seeing the drivers panel is usually the buggered one but it looks very fresh with a colour similar to the painted colour but possibly too vibrant and is buckled around the panel pins..it maybe original but probably a remake either way its a good thing and far more original than most utes. Could he have lucked it and found a new old stock door panel as well as the canopy.

      Good to know these are far easier to remake than a sedan one so I wouldnt worry about whats on there. Honestly most utes are missing these or have sedan or bodgy onbes..these two door trims are a bonus keeping this ute looking original. If it helps I would more likely consider both are original. One still having the paint on????

      • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

        Thanks for the explanation on the door panels; I thought they were vinyl covered cardboard. It’s always good when we have knowledgeable folks chime in; thanks, Rusty!

  11. rusty

    no worries Jamie, not to be a smartypants but as another help to perspective buyers [as I know not many Morries went to your shores unlike here where they were everyones first car.] My first car and I still believe the easiest cars to restore for the home restorer.

    Utes and vans were different to sedans,convertibles and woodies in subtle ways that most casual observers dont notice. Even though this ute has been previously restored as far as i can see it still has most commercial parts on it that sedans dont have which is nice as most many morris minors have been modified or simply had parts from sedans replacing the not as flash ute parts.

    For instance
    1. the radiator is the shorter commercial version that only commercials had,

    2. it has the shorter commercial bumper chrome blade which also means no outer hole drilled in the bumper shroud,

    3. has correct bonnet badges [which are identical to the early Sidevalve/early Series 2 badges

    4. and a correct commercial bonnet without side flashes and badges which means no holes drilled in the sides of the bonnet,

    5. still has the open gloveboxes which are correct as utes didnt have lids [though sedan lids are often fitted by later owners]

    6. and generally utes came without hubcaps if you want to be totally anal it kept costs down but was more of an aid for quick removal of the wheel in a commercial world..how do i figure that.. well the lug nuts are double ended meaning you grab them and put them on without looking unlike the one ended sedan nuts ..these lugnuts perhaps was one of the few non cost cuts to aid commercial servicing.. these lugnuts are hard to find though easy for a workshop to fabricate. Though I would put on hubcaps as they could be bought when new.

    7. Wing mirrors were a commercial vehicle option and are very rare in Australia though I had a few but its hard to see in the pics if these look original. All mine were painted versions as befitting a commercial vehicle. These are perhaps aftermarket chromies but could have been original type but i cant see them closeup to tell but the holes in the guards for them could have been considered correct. Especially as you got english versions of utes where we got complete knockdown versions assembled in Australia with local content. Thats why wing mirrors are rare here as its definately not the aussie way..our mirrors are generally door mounted or preferably in the triangle near the quatervent window.

    Basically in most counts Commercial vehicles were always barebones over other versions to keep price down.

    Overall this looks fairly close to original with the canopy being a really nice rare addition..I only ever had one canopy frame on one of mine with a vinyl canopy that had shrunken..I would think mine was not original but this one look the real deal..very nice. Though fitting of said canopy means drilling holes in side of the well back for the rope fittings which personally I couldnt bring myself to do on a clean well back..maybe this one was already fitted with a frame and they found a new old stock canopy.

    and ohhh no i am that smartypants…sorry.

  12. Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

    No apology necessary, Rusty — thanks for the expertise!!! :-)

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