Woodworking Project: 1960 Morris Minor Traveler

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Friend of the site Jim S. sent us this neat find–thanks, Jim! It’s a 1960 Morris Minor Traveler, and yes, that is wood you see in the rear of the vehicle. It’s located in Murray, Kentucky, and is up for sale here on eBay with a buy-it-now of $1,600 and they are inviting lower offers.

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Unfortunately, although the wood is present, the seller states that almost none of it is usable, even as patterns. And, unlike a lot of “woodies”, the Traveler actually uses the wood for structural purposes. Fabricating the wood frames are quite complex, as you can see from this Wheeler Dealer excerpt. However, I was able to find several suppliers of the wood; here, here, and here. Of course, they are all in the UK, so shipping a kit over might be expensive.

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The seller describes getting this car out of a barn a few months ago, but since then they have realized they have too many projects. There are some components missing, like the engine and transmission (same as MG Midget/Austin-Healey Sprite), the front seats, most of the interior trim, and other parts. Keep the low asking price in mind, however–maybe you could combine this with a sedan to get the more desirable Traveler. Or maybe a British restomod?

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One thing you’ll have to do is a better repair job on this frame rail. Kudos to the seller for being so frank about the work needed, though. I’m thinking one good hit with a cold chisel and hammer would take that plate back off.

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In case you think all is lost by this point, here’s a picture of some of the included parts. The sheetmetal actually looks really good. Are you ready to try your hand at woodworking?

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Comments

  1. z1rider

    Does this even qualify for a parts car when it’s missing the engine and trans?

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      @Z1rider — maybe a “combination car”? I could see using the drivetrain from a rusted out Midget, or I’ve seen many rusted out Minor sedans for less than $1k as well.

  2. Nick G

    Those BMC “A” series engines usually outlasted the bodies. A bit of searching sould yield a decent one, though with all the work already needed, a more powerful engine might be a good alternative. This era of British car wasn’t much for keeping up to speed on long hills.

  3. Mark S Member

    Why not transplant the motor and trans. Out of a Toyota corolla or a hillex, something with an SR5 trans. The wood work would be a nice challenge, this is the kind of project that would be a big commitment and require a range of skills. I’d love to have a space for this little woodie, I hope it gets saved.

    Like 1
  4. skloon

    Seems that one should be able to get a CNC file and rout the stuff out of – not original but functional

    • David Frank David Member

      CNC is a nice idea, but many of the parts are laminated and curved. Solid pieces would not work. Recreating these pieces and laminating them without the jigs necessary would be a huge challenge. One could create a set of jigs…

      • Mark S Member

        The idea behind laminated strips around curves is strength and would be required for reproduction parts. You just make a jig to hold the strips in place, then with a home made steam bender heat the strips up. When ready quickly stick in the jig and clamp them. Gluing comes later.

  5. bcavileer

    Wood is not difficult, strips of proper width, stack with epoxy sandwiched are easily bent, cured then finnally shaped on a bandsaw. Cool project, but again the initial investment is too high for what is there. They are cool though, maybe a realistic offer could get it.

  6. brakeservo

    The coolest Morris Traveler I ever owned and drove was one fitted with the Lancia version of the Fiat 124 twin-cam motor and five-speed gear box! Of course then it required disc brakes, and mine had them from a Ford Scorpio. The final thing really unusual about this particular Traveler was that it was from the final year of production – 1971 and was also claimed to be the only one ever built by the factory with a Webasto folding sunroof! It was sold about 10 – 12 years ago by RM at their Monterey Auction during Pebble Beach Week.

  7. roger

    I love woodies.They are all I have owned since 2005.
    Of course mine are early fords with chevrolet engines.
    Would be cool to take something like this and fix wood,then put in V8 running gear.
    Fixing wood cars are easy to anyone who works with their hands,it is just simple angles and curves.
    No big deal.

  8. MikeH

    Here is a complete wood kit out of CA. It will set you back $2800.

    http://www.morrismania.com/part/MMT1200-KIT/Wood-Kit-Diy-Morris-Minor-Traveller

  9. dogwater

    I had a chance to buy a Morris for 800.00 been stored for years all the part where there in good shape, but it was hard to find replacement parts.

    • brakeservo

      Morris Minor Parts are so darn easy to find, and generally fairly cheaply priced all you need to do is look. The Internet is a good place to begin. Perhaps you didn’t realize that nearly all the mechanical parts are the same as MG Midget / Austin-Healey Sprite and with all the specialists in England all the body and trim parts available new immediately as well. While I collect primarily Bentley and Rolls-Royce, for these cars I also buy usually in England because the prices are so much better, even after shipping, than buying from US based specialists. Shipping time is fairly quick too.

  10. Mark-A

    Another engine/gearbox that can/could be used is either the Mazda MX5 Miata 1600/1800cc or how about fitting the BMW 316-18-20 4 pot with gearbox? If you have the time anything is possible. Personally I wouldn’t bother I’d spend extra for a running example

  11. brakeservo

    One of the coolest Morris Travelers I ever owned had the 1800cc Lancia version of the Fiat 124 engine with 5-speed.

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