Wonderful Woody: 1960 Morris Minor Traveller

Some cars have the ability to go well beyond being cool, and this 1960 Morris Minor 1000 Traveller “Woody” is just such a car. This represents an older refurbishment that has held up really well over the year and needs little beyond a new owner who will enjoy the experience of driving a true British classic. If you would like to be that new owner, then you will find Morris located in Stanton, California, and listed for sale here on eBay. The owner has set a BIN of $19,600, but the option is available to make an offer.

It isn’t clear when the refurbishment work was completed on the Morris, but the owner believes that it was quite some time ago. Looking the car over from top to bottom, it would appear that whoever the person was who completed the work, they insisted on it being completed to a very high standard. The vehicle started its life finished in a color called Clipper Blue, and while the description states that this is still the color, the paint that has been applied to the Morris appears to be of a far brighter hue. The timber rear framing for the Woody is made from Ash and appears to be in good condition. Normally (but not always) the inserts between the timbers would be finished in the body color, but the restorer chose to continue the timber theme in these areas, which looks very effective. One really distinctive external feature of this car is the fitting of wire wheels with knock-off centers. I suspect that these might be MG wheels, but they do suit this little car rather nicely.

The engine bay of the Morris presents extremely nicely, and from an appearance perspective, it wants for nothing. The 948cc Morris A-Series engine in this Traveller has recently been treated to a rebuild, and it sends its power to the rear wheels via a 4-speed manual transmission. As with so many British cars of this era, engine power isn’t enormous, but if the owner has followed what seems to be fairly standard practice with these engines, then some modifications may have been performed to extract a few extra horses. The owner provides this YouTube video of the Morris. This shows a pretty comprehensive walk-around, and we also get a chance to hear that freshly rebuilt engine running. It certainly sounds nice and strong. In keeping with the theme of improved performance, the brakes have received an upgrade, with the Traveller now sporting front discs.

If the exterior timber just wasn’t enough for you, then we’ve got you covered when we move inside the Traveller. You will find timber trim on the dash, timber edging on the under-dash parcel shelf, and the door trims are also timber. Oh, the trims in the rear seat area are also timber, as is the flooring and trim in the cargo area. I’ll bet that you can’t guess what the headliner is made from. How did you guess? Actually, all joking aside, the timber-work inside the vehicle does look really nice, and if you take a look at the photo gallery at the bottom of this article, you will see just how well this work has been completed. The front and rear seats aren’t timber, but in fact, they are alligator-pattern leather. The rear seat also folds flat, which blesses the Morris with a surprisingly large cargo area. The carpet is in good condition, and any painted surfaces appear to be in great order. A wood-rimmed wheel completes the timber theme, and as well as a nice little cluster of gauges, this car has one of the coolest interior features that I have ever seen. The car features a roof-mounted tachometer, which is mounted in the center of the roof near the rear-view mirror. I’m not sure just how practical it is, but when you see the photo below, you will see what I mean about it being a great feature.

As I said earlier, some cars just seem to transcend the definition of cool. In my opinion, this 1960 Morris Minor 1000 Traveller is just such a car. It is a car that looks like it is ready to drive and enjoy. I can guarantee that if you owned this, you would get plenty of smiles and waves wherever you went. Leaving that aside, it is a car that looks like it would be fun to own and drive, and enjoyment is what owning a classic car is supposed to be all about.

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Comments

  1. Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

    Adam, I love both this car and the writeup!

    6
  2. sir mike

    Very pretty from the outside.Would change wires to knock off minilite’s.But isn’t there way too much wood on the inside?? Never saw wood door panels and the wood on the dash.And why the tach on the roof???

    2
  3. Philip

    Would look great next to my Morris Mini Cooper S.

    3
  4. scott

    Gorgeous! This car looks beautiful, but I would def change the wheels to something more appropriate. The wires belong on a sports car, which this is not- it’s a small estate wagon that doesn’t need to be tarted up

    3
    • Allen Member

      Amen regarding the wheels. And 15″ ones are way too big for this car. It’s now sitting too high – ‘ looks like when the boy racers put 21″ wheels and those extreme low-profile tires on the likes of old Ford Crown Vic’s. The rest is lovely to my eye. Yeah, there’s some extra wood inside, but how can you have too much wood in a British car?

      4
  5. scott

    Just want to add, I am a big fan of the steering wheel, a much more acceptable upgrade than the wires. And yes, upgraded disc brakes, never a bad thing on restorations

    3
  6. scott

    I think I had too much coffee today, so sorry to chime in again, but yes, the paint seems a little bright, even if original. The woodwork IS the focal point, so black, or brown, to not clash as much between front half and back half. I’m in love with this otherwise!

    1
  7. scott

    Lol, me again. Just watched the video, the color works in that format! So many aspects of this hobby
    😇

    6
  8. 86_Vette_Convertible

    I know next to nothing about this model car, but what I see I like. I don’t know if the interior is original style or not but reminds me of an older Ford Woodie interior.
    This could be a good parade car, show car or go the ice cream parlor car.

    4
  9. Larry Mastropolo

    I once owned this car. I lost it to Hurricane Sandy when it went up to the top of it’s hood in salt water. Hagerty Insurance totaled it. Amazing that it’s still holding together.

    5
  10. bobhess Member

    Brakes and wheels Sprite/Midget and well worth the effort. The 4 drum setup was OK but the discs up front are much better. Consider the interior as a custom piece and you will be just fine. Not original but a nice touch. Original steering wheels are nice on a true restoration but are not much fun to drive with in comparison a smaller, thicker one. Get a late MG Midget rear 3.9 or 3.7 gear and you have a highway runner. I like it.

    1
  11. Little_Cars Little_Cars Member

    Those wheels are too tall and narrow to be Sprite or Midget. They are listed as 15″ chrome plated so…. Perhaps MGA? If this thing was in my backyard, I would buy it and have it in my back yard (shop).

    • Little_Cars Little_Cars Member

      Note: after watching the walk around video, the wheels appear to be painted, not chrome plated so a bit deceptive spec in the listing. Agree that the steering wheel is a nice upgrade, but would have held out for something with an identical grain/type of wood rim instead of what appears to be cheap cherry. Me want for my shop truck!

      Curious about the Hurricane Sandy reference, Larry…an amazing comeback if this was soaking in salt water on the East coast only a few short years ago.

      1
  12. John B Member

    I love this as is, I would play with this forever, if I wasn’t in the middle of buying a house! GLWTS!

  13. Del

    Someone spent a pile on this resto.

    I do not think it will be recovered.

    Hard to value.

    2
  14. Puhnto

    I guess I’m alone here but I much prefer the original, thinner, larger-diameter steering wheel to this upgrade, both for looks and driving! Don’t care for the wood pieces on the dash either.

    2
    • Allen Member

      Agree on the steering wheel! I much prefer the original. And if the owner insisted on replacing it, considering what he spent on the overall car, would it have been that much more to get a steering wheel (and shift knob in wood that matches the rest. I actually rather like the wood on the dash, but I would have done both glove-box lids the same. And the handle on the right side is ghastly.

      Regarding the tach above the windscreen – Morris Minors never had much instrumentation or any place to put it for that matter. There are some nice little 2″ ones available in the aftermarket – had the left glove-box door been matched to the right, perhaps the tach, maybe with those two gauges hanging under the dash could have been cut in there. The current location for the tach is OK by me, but the installation itself is “tachy” (tacky, I know…). It looks like an after thought – it doesn’t even fit. A nice little matching wooden overhead console to properly mount it would have been welcome.

      To finish my rant – it rather looks like the original 948 engine in there. (Why would anyone put in a 1275 with a single carb!). If I ever get around to building a Morris Minor, it will have a 1275 with a 5-speed gear-box and a 3.9 rear end.

      But overall, this is one beautiful car and I wish I could afford it – even though the asking price is very reasonable. If I found it in my garage one morning I would not dump it out on the street!

      4
  15. BlisterEm Member

    Seller here, What a great write up. Thanks Adam! And, “Little Cars”, you’re right, I misspoke on the chrome wires. That has been corrected on ebay. I appreciate the catch. The car does drive nicely. Happy to answer any questions. Happy New Year everyone!

    3
  16. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    To me this little car falls into the category of “cute”.
    As a boy growing up in rural Northern California a neighbor down the road and over the hills about a half mile drove these cars. Mr. Black worked in security at a local bank, and was elderly in the 50’s. He bought a new Morris Minor every couple years, they were always black, he owned various models from the coupe to the woody wagon.
    Now that I’m in the elderly stage of life I can can relate to the common sense thinking of Mr. Black. Everything he did was cost effective.
    God bless America

    2
  17. Gaspumpchas

    Good info on the hurricane sandy story. Might haunt you down the road, but either way, tuck the info in the back of your mind if you go after this cutie. I’d be interested to see what it sells for. Regardless, looker over good or get some one to inspect. Good luck to the new owner!
    Cheers
    GPC

    2
  18. Racingpro56 Member

    I drove one of these for 4 years while stationed in England. Toured all over the British Isles with no issues I can recall. Unfortunately I didnt have the rank to ship it back to CONUS when I rotated back. Loved that little beastie! I sold it to a buddy when I left and I heard rust finally killed it. I’m very tempted…

    1
  19. Daymo

    One glaring mistake here. There has never been a Minor where drive is from the REAR wheels. The A-series engine only provides FRONT wheel drive. Sorry.

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

      Gotta disagree. Every single Morris Minor ever built (as well as all the Midgets and Sprites that used the A-Series) were all RWD. Now all the A-Series Minis and their derivatives WERE FWD, that’s true.

      1
  20. Allen Member

    Daymo,

    ‘ Gotta agree with Jamie. You are thinking only of the Mini. The design of the Minor precedes it by about a decade. In fact, back in the day I had a new ’59 Morris Minor 1000. The engine was the A series Austin-based 948 and it was rear-wheel-drive. Alec Issigonis had a hand in designing the MM and later designed the Mini – which started the trend for most cars built today: crosswise engine with front-wheel drive. He never intended it to be anything but a sublimely efficient family car and was somewhat dismayed when the performance guys discovered it’s racing potential. I don’t think Issigonis and Cooper were very close friends!

    At any rate, all MMs were rear-wheel drive prior to the Mini, and what’s more, the rear-wheel-drive MM continued in production for about another decade after the Mini was introduced.

    If you look at the photos, you will note the A series engine is mounted conventionally – parallel to the length of the car.

    3
  21. hugh anger

    A Great car and easy to upgrade and adapt to many uses. Engine upgrades may be many from 1100, 1275, MGB 1800 and one I knew in the UK boasted a high performance fuel injected Rover 3.5 litre unit. That could fly and stunned many from the traffic lights. It was road legal, used on track days and driven to the venue. There are infinite possibilities with the apparently humble Morris 1000 whether a saloon, pick-up, van or traveller. I believe the pick-up and van are about as common as rocking horse manure or hen’s teeth.
    Huge

  22. Larry Mastropolo

    It has MGA painted wire wheels. 1275 single carb engine. It was a Weber when I had it. Ribcase trans. It was a great car. Randolph Williams built it. It had alligator leather seats. They didn’t survive the salt water.
    I now have Randolph’s red Morris pickup with chrome MGA wires, 1275 engine, convertible hinged roof. I’ve added a Nissan 5 speed. I do miss the Traveler.

    1
    • Little_Cars Little_Cars Member

      Be interested in seeing photos of your Minor “pickup” which sounds like a great produce truck and all around sporty utility. Oh, and pics of the MM wagon after its Sandy devastation!

      1
  23. ANCMatt

    Curious how this turns out with the Sandy history.

    1
  24. canadainmarkseh Member

    Must not have been in the water very long or all the wood would have shown it and all the joints would have fallen apart. So either a short swim or a restoration has occurred. Cute car I think Scotty should buy it I think he’s in love.

    1
    • Larry Mastropolo

      It was under water for two cycles of high tide during the storm so probably a total of six to eight hours. The engine, trans and rear end were submersed in salt water. The leather seats were soaked. All the wiring was salted. It looks like there is a new engine and transmission in the car. It’s still the same wood, though. And the same steel.
      Is there a way to post photos to this conversation?

      2
      • canadainmarkseh Member

        I’ve tried and I’ve never been successful at post pic’s. The best thing that could have been done to this car would have been to pressure wash it inside and out right after it came out of the salt water. But I’m sure that circumstances did not allow for that. Still it’s good to see it on the road.

  25. Little_Cars Little_Cars Member

    Larry, you have to be a member, or on the free trial of BF in order to post photos. In looking at the photos…The only thing evidentiary of a previous aquatic life is small areas of discoloration of the wood around the rain gutter in the back, and at the top of the back seat. This project would have been thoroughly dried out, metal sandblasted, and to think the car made it’s way cross country in the process! At the current price, the seller will definitely not recover all the sweat equity and labor to bring this cutie-pie up to standard.

  26. Mitch Ross

    Is there any possibility that there were 2 of these made and it is not the same one as was lost to Sandy?

  27. Allen Member

    A lot more than two were made! ‘ Can’t find Traveler production data at the moment, but Traveler production began in 1948. If these are now rare cars, it is through attrition rather than low-volume production. A lot of them wore out or rusted out over the years.

  28. Little_Cars Little_Cars Member

    Larry wrote “he once owned this car.” So we have been presuming, and he has been responding that, this is the same Traveler. Larry, if you would please clarify whether you believe this to be your exact former Morris, that would help us. Thanks. Happy New Year, all!

    • Larry Mastropolo

      This IS my exact former Morris. I’ve spoken to the seller.

  29. Piloto Jim

    Bah Humbug~! Someone was daring and put a nice set of wire wheels on this woodie and I vote 100% for the looks. One doesn’t always have to be a purist to make a car ‘right’, injecting a little personality such as the wires makes it unique and I believe they look great. Partial to wires though having had 3 MG’s, two Jaguars and a Mercedes with wire wheels.

    2
  30. Dale Davis Member

    Just dropped the price by $2,000 guys. It’s a great driver with a fresh engine and transmission. Servicing by John Haines at British Connection in Long Beach Ca. He’s had a look at the car, did some fine tuning and says it’s a nice one. Send your inspector, the car will not disappoint.

    1
  31. Allen Member

    Jim,
    I agree with you regarding wire wheels in general – except on my cars where I drive ’em too much and detail ’em way too little – in which case they are a PITA. My objection here is only that the wheels are too big. 14″ ones would look better and 13″ ones would look way better, IMHO.

    1
    • Little_Cars Little_Cars Member

      ….except that Morris Minors originally came with 14″, I know because there was a set of unusable, severely rusted steel wheels in the back of my MG Midget, identified by the seller as belonging to a MM and no longer wanted. My Midget was also a flood car…hmmmm…maybe this wagon passed through his hands as well on its way from East to West Coast?

  32. BlisterEm Member

    Driving video up now https://youtu.be/fpCgJzAziqI Thanks

    1
  33. Allen Member

    Are you sure that’s an original 948? It’s awfully difficult to judge speed in a video with the camera mounted as it is, but it sure seems to wind out quickly. Having owned a new MM 1000, I find this performance hard to believe. But to achieve better performance, dual carbs are usually about the first thing you do. So, why no dual carbs? Is it possible that this is actually a 1275, equipped with a single carb to make it look totally original?

    Also with the camera mounted there, I’m guessing something else. I know that MGBs with wire wheels use an axle 1-3/4″ shorter as the wire wheel splines set the tread out further away from the hub. I notice in this video that the wheels are standing out into the wing arch much more than original disc wheels would have. Narrower rear axles for wire wheels were of course not available for MMs. The good news about this is that these are proper “correct” wire wheels and not some bolt-on aftermarket junk. I applaud that. Obviously, there are no “correct” wire wheels for an MM, but I say “correct” because these components are designed to be compatible – even though not always entirely.

    At any rate, the video, along with your recent price-cut, makes the car all the more desirable. Still above my pay grade, darn it, unless I sell at least one MG. Still, there’s another problem: this car is too nice for me. I’d want to drive it without worry about the engine bay getting greasy/cruddy.

    Oh well… someday!

    3
  34. RICHARD MILES

    Love it – absolutely beautiful !

  35. BlisterEm Member

    Sold on ebay at the buy it now. She’s off to a local beach town for her next adventure. Thank you everyone for the comments.

    • Larry Mastropolo

      It’s still a beautiful little truck. I wish the new owner well.

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