British Woodie: 1967 Morris Minor 1000 Traveller

You don’t see a Morris Minor show up much these days, except maybe at a British car show. And when one does, it’s usually a sedan or maybe a convertible, but a Woodie? They were only one of about every six that were made. This one is from 1967 and must have been brought over individually from England as it’s a right-hand drive model. This one is being sold out of an estate by the owner’s widow and can be found in St. Petersburg, Florida. It’s available here on eBay where a no reserve auction has it at $4,494.

British Motor Corp. built more than 1.6 million Morris Minors from 1948 until well into the 1970s. The number of those that made it to the U.S. is unknown. The third series, called the 1000, was the largest and most powerful and likely sold the best. One of the body styles offered was the Traveller, a wood-framed estate wagon, appearing in the States long after the last American woodies converted to all-steel bodies. Cabinetmakers built the wood bodies from the B-pillar back with seasoned ash. It’s said to be the last production car in the world that used wood as a structure, except perhaps the Morgan sports cars. If you removed the back half, you’d have a chassis cab. We’re told that if you consult the owner’s manual, it will suggest sanding off the varnish every two years and applying a new coat of boat wood varnish in its place. I wonder how many folks actually did that.

The seller’s husband, who passed away nearly a decade ago, apparently had a collection of British cars, which included this 1967 Morris Minor 1000 Traveller. He had owned it since 2005 and used it regularly until his death, having always been garage-kept. The wood frame is said to still be solid, but rust is present in the floor pans and the rocker panels. The paint is not original and looks worn close up, so some metal and paint work should be done. But the wood itself looks good and that would be the hardest part to repair anyway. The seller believes the materials in the passenger cabin are original and in good shape, but the carpeting has been replaced. The speedometer needle is temperamental, but a tap on the glass may set it straight when that happens.

The car is powered by a 1,098-cc inline 4-banger, an upgrade from the 948-cc the cars first came out with. We’re told it starts up and runs smooth and makes no unusual sounds. The 4-speed manual transmission shifts as it should. The car has been updated with power-assisted front disc brakes, perhaps from a Morris Marina. At some point, the generator was given the boot in favor of an alternator with built-in regulator. The seller says the mileage is 174, but surely that can’t be right (“and don’t call me Shirley!” – sorry). The back of the wagon appears to contain a plethora of spare parts.

Hagerty indicates that high-teen dollars is about what these cars can go far in great shape. This one is mostly that, but the Woodie body style is bound to bump that number up nicely. I’m kind of surprised that this car has no reserve set for it in the auction, so it’s possible someone could end up with a bargain. We understand these cars are easy to work on and parts are not hard to find – kind of like the VW Beetle from the same era. Tip of the hat to Motor Trend for their uncover work on these cars.

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Comments

  1. oilngas

    Man if shipping hadn’t gone crazy like it has.This would be coming to Texas. I’ve got all it takes to change to LHD, a 1275 and a ribcase.

    Like 2
    • Brakeservo

      It’s been a while since I shipped a car – what has happened with shipping?

    • stillrunners stillrunners Member

      With ya…always wanted one since seeing one at church in the 60’s.

    • Bill McCoskey

      I don’t know what year Morris finally made the change, but for earlier LHD Morris Minor cars, the 2 bolts holding the brake master cylinder to the frame were installed before the drive train was installed. They were installed in the same direction as in the RHD cars, from the right to the left.

      Problem was, when it came time to remove the master cylinder from it’s protected position inside the frame box member, when the nuts are removed & with the transmission in place, the bolts hit the trans case! You’ve got a choice; Either remove the trans/engine assembly, or cut the bolts off!

      I mention this so when a RHD to LHD change is attempted, make sure the master cylinder bolts are inserted with the nuts next to the transmission, not the outer edge of the car!

  2. chrlsful

    Rt 10 makes it less than a 2 day fly-in/drive home trip (10, 12 hrs) to Huston…

    I’d use mate (or gloss) marine poly 1# every 5 yrs and that’s cuz I have no garage…

    Like a lill wagon like this – esp the barn doors !

  3. Chinga-Trailer

    Rust is one of the big concerns with these. Wood rot on the back side of the wood is next. But per comment of oilngas, what’s the deal with shipping? Gas prices are down, so shipping costs should be too.

    Like 1
  4. luke arnott Member

    Grille looks wrong.Morris also built an Oxford woodie into the 50’s.

  5. Malsal

    The wood on these is actually structural and needs to be inspected carefully otherwise repair costs will exceed the value of the car.
    I drove to San Antonio from Orlando Florida to pick up a car in January and actually towed a car out there so the trip paid for itself total 2500 miles 54 hours easy peasy.

    Like 1
  6. Peter starkey

    All the wood and body parts are easily sourced from Britain and not expensive .

    Like 1
  7. Willowen Member

    A girlfriend and I took my Austin Mini Countryman from Palo Alto to Nashville, via San Bernardino in 1973. It looked like the smaller version of this, except the wood (though real) was simply decorative … and literally a drag, as in heavy and non-aerodynamic. As this appears to be in much better condition than mine was, I would not be too worried about driving it home some distance, of course after a thorough inspection. And some seat belts installed …

    I’ve always liked the Minors, and been in several, but never got around to having one. At almost-but-not-yet 80 I suppose I should either drop it or jump in, but dreaming is fun and pretty cheap. And three cars in the family is enough.

  8. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Hold me back !!!!!!

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