Mining For Minors – 5 For $1,000!

Jamie PalmerBy Jamie Palmer

There were over 1.3 million Morris Minors produced in the UK between 1948 and 1972, although relatively few found their way to the US. Unusually, this ad on craigslist in Morganton, North Carolina has five listed, all for the one price of $1,000. There’s one convertible, one coupe and three parts cars included in the sale.

I’m guessing these are two of the parts cars (you can see the blue one on the far left of this shot) and that they are the bottom two cars in the lead picture. It’s a shame they have been open to the elements for what looks like a long time, as I’m sure many interior items are the worse for wear as a result. I’ll bet most of you didn’t know that the Minor was originally supposed to have a water-cooled flat four under that hood; the famous designer Alex¬†Issigonis proposed that, along with the torsion bar suspension the Minor did get.

I’m guessing the black coupe that is under cover along with the convertible are the two best cars. There are two titles with the group, although the ad doesn’t state which cars they actually belong to. That’s something I’d want to sort out before purchase. Some more Minor trivia I came across — despite the mud dauber wasps evident in this picture, the code name for the Minor under development was the “Mosquito.” Okay, that was a stretch!

Although we don’t see the floor condition, which can be critical for these cars, the convertible, or tourer, looks to be the best project to work with here, and would certainly be the most desirable when completed. A lot of the body looks solid here, and if the blue color is original could make a very pleasing car. All of these cars are Minor 1000’s based on their grille and trim, so they are no older than 1956. This also means they should have the venerable A-series four-cylinder engine of either 948 cc or 1098 cc displacement. Of course, many folks have swapped in all kinds of other engines and transmissions into Minors, including but not limited to Datsun, Alfa, Ford and Rover drivetrains. It’s rare to see this many Morris Minors in one place, let alone on the East Coast. Any interest? You could make one into one heck of a “gasser” or restomod and still have four to play with!

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  1. BiggYinn

    Rust in peace….

  2. Tony Waters

    When I lived in Sri Lanka in 1986, ALL taxis were

    black Morrises Minor. If I asked “How old is this car?”

    a typical reply wd be, “January twenty, nineteen fifty-

    one.” “Where do you get parts?” “Singapore.”

    There was a small industry of after-market parts for

    Morrises Minor in Singapore.

  3. Nevis Beeman

    In 2014 I recall seeing a Morris Minor for sale sitting forlornly at the side of the road just south of Belfast, Maine. But in better shape than these I think.

    Did the pick-up and panel van versions make their way to the USA ?

    In Preston, Kent, S.E. England there is a vehicle restorer who has devoted his whole life to restoring Morris Minor Convertibles. Known as
    Canterbury Convertibles.

    • tom

      yes i have a panel van that is designated us market only per serial number. tom, florida.

  4. Tony Waters

    I don’t think the pick-up ever made it to the U.S. but

    the Woody did.

    • Doug

      Actually, both the panel truck and the pickup made it here. I remember a local auto parts store using one of the panel trucks for deliveries. A friend has at least one of each of the body styles, with a variety of engines and upgrades to some of them – several driven frequently. Popular upgrades include MG midget disc brakes and the 1275cc BMC engine – which can be built to make surprising power- and Datsun 5 speeds for highway driving.

      • Tony Waters

        Thanks. One lives and learns. I do remember that

        if you bang on the roof of the saloon/sedan, you

        can really hurt your hand.

  5. rustylink

    unattended Minors will be sold for scrap….

  6. Anthony

    Get the transferable registration on all 4 – and take your sweet time to fix them all.
    They do not make these anymore.
    They should be appreciated.

  7. Dt 1


  8. Derek

    Charles Ware in Bath is – I believe – your source for all things Morris Minor.

    • Nevis Beeman

      As are ESM or East Sussex Minors, Battenhurst Lane, Stonegate, TN5 7DU. (On the East Sussex/Kent border, UK)

  9. Brian M

    Lots of replacement metal parts available for these, probably because they rusted so badly in the homeland, a replacement parts industry sprang up while these were still in production. Wood for the Traveller is totally available, at a price and I have most of what I need to redo my 69 model, just lacking a bit of ambition. As a unit body car, nearly everything but the fenders is structural. The red “parts car” appears to be broken in half. The wagon and pickups actually had a bit of a vestigial frame under the rear as there really wouldn’t be much support otherwise. Neat touches like hiding the brake master cylinder inside the frame rail , and an inner/outer sill assembly made up of something like seven separate pieces welded together make these a challenge; but they are so cute when they’re done. My friend wants me to put a Cologne 2.6 or 2.8 V6 in mine (he has one he wants to get rid of.) Not sure about the weight compared to the 1098 currently living in there. Anybody have any idea about the relative weights?

  10. Mark-A

    If you want to go for Power in a small Engine bay how about the Cosworth 4×4 Engine & Floorpan as a Transplant? Have a wee look……


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