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IOTW

IOTW no.471

By | IOTW

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Cinema advertising

This advertisement for Belcher’s Garage in Station Road, Southwold appears here by courtesy of the Southwold Museum and an offshoot website, Southwold & Son. The advertisement is in the form of a coloured slide which was was used in the local cinema during intermissions, perhaps the thirties equivalent of the post war Pearl & Dean ads. The car in question is a 1931 season Coachbuilt Saloon, available only in maroon and priced at £140.

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IOTW no.470

By | IOTW

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Brancaster Staithe –  May 2010

The late lamented Brian Maeers was an inspiration to many who crossed his path in the pre-war Minor world. His enthusiasm for all things Morris Minor was infectious and this photo typifies that passion. The occasion was a small gathering of Minor owners centred on Brian’s home at Holme-next-the-sea on the North Norfolk coast, over a wet and windy early May weekend in 2010. The poor weather wasn’t sufficiently bad to persuade Brian to alter his planned mini-tour route, which included this stop on a very windswept Brancaster Staithe. It was here that photographer Paul Keates captured this dramatic image of Brian’s 1932 Tourer OY 3270, Trevor Wilkinson’s 1934 Two-seater UN 6979 and the editorial Semi-Sports VJ 3156. Gone but not forgotten!

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IOTW no.469

By | IOTW

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Malcolm Campbell & Bluebird

For a generation of British ‘Baby boomer’ children, those who grew-up in the fifties and sixties, the name Campbell was synonymous with speed and record breaking. It was much the same for an earlier generation, those raised in the two inter-world war decades. The Campbells in question were father Malcolm, and his son, Donald, who over a 44 year period held 21 separate land and water speed records between them. All of the record breaking vehicles carried the name ‘Bluebird‘ as did Malcolm Campbell’s early racing cars. Here, a youngish Malcolm Campbell is pictured at Brooklands alongside such a car. Unfortunately, the image is uncaptioned, although the word ‘Bluebird’ is discernable on the bonnet top, along with the figure five, the car’s racing number. The photo is likely to have been taken in the immediate aftermath of WWI and prior to 1924, which was the year he broke the land speed record for the first time. (The author would appreciate any help in identifying the car and dating the photograph.) Photo courtesy Motor Sport Images (LATplate Black 3961A)

Edited to add: Joe Rayner has identified the car as a 1912 Lorraine Deitrich, ‘Vieux Charles III’ which can currently be seen on long-term loan at the Brooklands Museum. This extract from the museum’s website provides some background to the photograph. “In the ownership of Malcolm Campbell, after the First World War it was brought to Brooklands as one of his famous Blue Bird racing cars and won the first race when the track re-opened in 1920. Apart from a short visit to Hampshire, the car has been based at, or near, Brooklands ever since.”

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IOTW no.468

By | IOTW

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Contrasts

A timely reminder of  2018’s  ‘beast from the east’, this twenties ‘bleak mid-winter’ shot of an Austin Seven chummy is in stark contrast to the balmy or barmy (both apply!) February weather currently being experienced in much of the U.K. It is certainly fair to say that the majority of cars built in the fifteen year period prior to the commencement of WWII could cope far better in conditions such as that seen in this photograph, than many of the front-wheel-drive vehicles built today.

(Photo Courtesy of Motorsport Images LATplate Red 3929)

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IOTW no.467

By | IOTW

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JN 723

The two images to be seen here of a 1930 Southend-on-Sea registered Minor Coachbuilt Saloon were discovered quite seperately on eBay some three years apart. They have languished in the archive until a recent search for images of other ‘JN’ registered vehicles paired them together. There is little of merit in either photograph other than that they represent typical snapshots of the pre-war period. The unidentified motorcycle GY 8179 was first registered in London in 1932, while the top image is captioned ‘Riverside House – May 1939’.

Joe Rayner has subsequently identified the motorcycle as a Coventry Eagle ‘Silent Superb’. Thanks Joe.

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IOTW no.466

By | IOTW

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JO 5644

The 1933 season Morris Family Eight press car/factory demonstrator was first registered in Oxford in the late summer of 1932 as JO 5644. It was this car that was famously photographed beneath the Eiffel Tower sometime over the winter of 1932/33. However, both images seen here were taken in the UK. The first of these was shot just a short distance from the car’s place of manufacture in St Giles, Oxford where it is being directed into a parking space by an unkempt official. The second photo was taken adjacent to a quiet Thames backwater at Teddington, Middlesex and was used by The Autocar journalist Charles Wynne as a ‘header’ for his Touring Topics column. The same photograph also featured in a May 1933 edition of the Light Car magazine.

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IOTW no.465

By | IOTW

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DF 9053

This shot of 1930 Morris Minor Coachbuilt saloon DF 9053 and its owner Paul Harris was taken in the late sixties.

Paul writesDF 9053….which I restored in 1968 and covered (I think) in my article you kindly found. First photo is of her with me before I finished off putting windows in etc.”

Forty years later in 2006, former Network member Jeremy Evans refurbished the car and used it for two or three seasons before selling it to a Belfast enthusiast. Today, the car remains in regular use in the north of England.

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IOTW no. 464

By | IOTW

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1932 Wolseley Hornet Coupe OV 5829

Introduced at the same time as the lwb Family Eight Sports Coupe the 1932 Hornet version of the same body style very closely resembles that of the following season Morris Minor Special Coupe. This eBay sourced snapshot of a late 1931 Birmingham registered car is one of six negatives of the vehicle (and its owners), all of which look to have been taken in the fifties if the female fashion and general condition of the car are considered. While there are images of surviving Hornet Coupes to be found on the internet, they are few and far between, which would seem to indicate that not too many survive.

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IOTW no.463

By | IOTW

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More Minor postcard images

Two more old postcard images featuring Minors. These photos are rarely exciting but they do depict the cars being used for the mainly mundane purposes for which they were originally purchased. The website’s archive now contains over 100 of these postcard shots, which cover the length and the breadth of the land and there are even one or two from outside the British Isles. There are a further two North Hill, Minehead, Somerset postcard images in the archive to compliment the one seen here, while the Ripon, Yorks market square scene is a ‘first’ for this town. Top – 1932 Minor Saloon along with a Standard Litte Nine . Beneath – 1933 Minor Two-seater.

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IOTW no.462

By | IOTW

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A motoring gymkhana

A proposal to hold a motoring gymkhana today would no doubt raise a few eyebrows, but they were not uncommon during the thirties decade. Henly’s Motor Group held an annual customer event each summer at Heston Airport while the Eastbourne concours d’élégance weekend also held an associated gymkhana. This photograph was taken in July 1931 at a similar event which on this occasion had been organised by the Bugatti Owners Club. The two (very recently) London registered vehicles involved are an MG Midget (GK 1284), seen here clearly leading a Bugatti (GK 17). The Midget’s driver is about to occupy, or be seated upon the the upturned bucket, although the purpose of the exercise remains a mystery to the writer. However, it does look like they are enjoying themselves!

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IOTW no.461

By | IOTW

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Regular contributor and Christchurch, New Zealand resident John McDonald, has sent this image of a care-worn ohc Minor Saloon 379-926, which in view of its paint job was probably taken between 1966 and 1969. John advises that the photo was taken in Dunedin on New Zealand’s South Island while the car’s likely owner was sure to be under 25 years of age! Apart from the red heart emblems painted upon the body, along with similarly coloured painted headlamp shells, the carburettor has also received a coat!

John has sent a correction to this post: “The Minor wears registration plates that were legal between 1956 to 30 June 1961. Secondly, the sticker in the top left of the windscreen is an annual one, to be displayed when the fee is paid. The blue/yellow one shown here was for the period 1/7/1960 to 30/6/1961. So I think the given date of 1960 is correct”.

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IOTW no.460

By | IOTW

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This Shetland Museum image depicts a Minor Fabric Saloon PS 775, a 1930 ‘Zetland’ registered car but a model built prior to the change from Smiths to Armstrong shock absorbers. The other visible clue that this is perhaps an early 1930 season car or even a late registration of a 1929 model is the continued presence of the ‘Morris’ script attached to the radiator core. Both of these changes occurring in very early October 1929 after which the radiator core remained naked. The girder-framed motorcycle will be familiar to some who read this but unfortunately not to the writer.

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IOTW no.459

By | IOTW

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RC 300 – 1931 registered McEvoy Minor

It was the Jensen bothers concern in West Bromwich, who on instructions from Michael McEvoy,  built the first McEvoy Minor (Model 70) body in the autumn of 1931. The car in question was to receive the Derby registration RC 300 and become something of a celebrity after it carried competition number 1 at the first ever RAC Rally in March 1932. Prior to that, McEvoy had heavily advertised the model in the Motor Sport magazine who in December 1931 had commissioned a photographer to take a sequence of at least seven photographs of the car for use in the forthcoming advertisements. One of these images was never used as the camera moved at the time the shutter was released, resulting in a blurring of the subsequent photo. Here this photograph sees the light of day for the first time, although little will be learned as much of the important detail is lost. Despite that, it remains an integral part of the car’s early history and is published here on that basis. (Photo courtesy of Motor Sport Images)

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IOTW no.458

By | IOTW

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Ken the Horse, Hawick

Postcards can be a great source for learning. It was this image of a 1932 Minor that led to a little internet research which uncovered the fascinating story outlined below. The Minor Saloon is about to pass the 1514 Memorial in Hawick, a town located just on the Scot’s side of the Anglo/Scottish border. The following passage has been extracted from the Ken the Horse website: This memorial commemorates the victory of local youths or “callants” from the town over a party of English raiders at Hornshole, just outside Hawick in 1514, most of the men of the town having been killed on Flodden Field the previous year. The English flag was captured and carried back to Hawick, the capture of which is commemorated in this proud statue.

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IOTW no.457

By | IOTW

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Water baby?

This photograph first appeared in the August 1936 edition of the Morris Owner magazine on page 561. The image caption reads as follows:

Mr J.H. Marshall, the Ilkley Motor Club’s President, demonstrates that a Minor Two-seater can cross the River Wharfe without bridge or ford. Just beyond where the car is standing is the deepest part of the stream.

It’s interesting to note that the Minor continued to be regularly mentioned in this journal right up to the commencement of WWII, demonstarting perhaps that it was a model the magazine’s editorial staff and its readership held in high esteem.

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IOTW no. 456

By | IOTW

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The latter days of an M Type?

It’s likely that this car started life as an MG M Type Midget before it was rebodied at some point, perhaps in the forties or fifties. Certainly, the front of the car bears all the hallmarks of the first MG Midget, despite the rear wheels originating from a Minor. Unfortunately, the reverse of this eBay sourced print provides no clues as to the car’s location but a detective would no doubt start his/her investigation in Douglas, I.O.M. The car is wearing a tax disc and is parked-up at what looks like a regular parking-bay so is almost certainly mobile, unlike many of these seaside photographer’s props of the period. Such a vehicle today would certainly attract the attention of the boys-in-blue, but perhaps not in pre-MOT days?

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IOTW no. 455

By | IOTW

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There is almost nothing to commend this photograph in that the subject’s face is obscured by her hand and the car’s identity will forever remain unknown due to the angle of the shot. Despite that, there is still plenty to be gleaned from the image. It was almost certainly taken prior to 1950 as the rooflines are yet to be disturbed by television aerials while the car is undoubtedly a 1932 season Morris Family Eight Sports Coupe, (to give it its full title), note the sidelights and calormeter.  The photograph was taken in Holmthwaite in what is now Cumbria, the sign on the wall providing the clue, confirmed by its listing on eBay from whence it was purchased. Just another small piece of Minor history to add to the archive.

IOTW no.455

By | IOTW

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There is almost nothing to commend this photograph in that the subject’s face is obscured by her hand and the car’s identity will forever remain unknown due to the angle of the shot. Despite that, there is still plenty to be gleaned from the image. It was almost certainly taken prior to 1950 as the rooflines are yet to be disturbed by television aerials while the car is undoubtedly a 1932 season Morris Family Eight Sports Coupe, (to give it its full title), note the sidelights and calormeter.  The photograph was taken in Holmthwaite in what is now Cumbria, the sign on the wall providing the clue, confirmed by its listing on eBay from whence it was purchased. Just another small piece of Minor history to add to the archive.

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IOTW no.454

By | IOTW

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Changing history

Labelling reportage as ‘fake news’ when it is in fact truthful is not a recent phenomena and neither are attempts to change history, either deliberately or otherwise. If this undated, internet sourced item concerning the £100 Minor is to be believed, then all owners of the 1931 SV Minor Two-seater should expect their car to reach 100mph and achieve fuel consumption figures of 100 miles to the gallon of fuel. Those with an interest in the Minor will know that the figures referred to in the truncated image caption text refer to the specially built model that took part in a publicity stunt in the summer of 1931 and went on to become the Red Minor, piloted by Peter Skinner.

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I(s)OTW no.453

By | IOTW

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Designed by Gordon England

It wasn’t until July 1930 that Morris Motors added a two-seater to their Minor range,  a full two years after the model was first launched. They turned to an established coachbuilder for assistance and the Gordon England concern effectively resurrected a design they had first used some 18 months previously on their own ‘England Minor Two-seater’. The similarities are very evident in the photographs to be seen here including the stippled bonnet finish, which on the Morris Semi-Sports was rolled into the bonnet sheet metal, while a matching fabric to that of the body was applied to the bonnet of the England Two-seater. However, the England car was far better appointed in that it was supplied with Moseley ‘Float-on-air’ cushions and an integrated chassis lubrication system among other refinements. The heavily dished steering wheel to be seen on the England Two-seater dates the car to late 1928 or early 1929, making this special one of the earliest to be produced.

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IOTW(s) no.452

By | IOTW

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Identity crisis

The three images to be seen here of 1932 Minor Two-seater PL 6371 were taken over a period spanning almost 60 years. The first black & white photo of a young man seated in his freshly refurbished Minor (note new hood and paintwork) was taken in the late sixties. The next image depicts the same man some ten years later seated once again in PL 6371 outside his home with a young child peering through an open window. The third photo was taken in September 2017 and was used to successfully advertise the car for sale on eBay. Unfortunately, it looks as if the new owner has stripped the car of its identity as the registration plate PL 6371 is now affixed to a white Fiat.

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I(s)OTW no.451

By | IOTW

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Fothergill Minor Special

Tim Green emailed the Network in an attempt to establish if this 1931 Hertfordshire registered Minor (UR 9276) had survived. The car was owned by his friend Derek Fothergill, a Chippenham, Wilts resident who purchased and rebuilt the car upon leaving the army after WWII. The car was then used to tour Wales as honeymoon transport following his marriage in 1947. The two images seen here of ‘Jane’, as the car was  named, were taken at that time. Sadly, it doesn’t look as if Derek’s Minor has survived, as it’s not listed by the DVLA, either of the main registers and is also not recorded among the Minor survivors in the Harry Edwards archive.

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IOTW no.450

By | IOTW

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1932 MCC London-Edinburgh Trial

Lt. Cdr. G.M.D. Maltby R.N. was a keen motoring trialist as well as being a retired naval officer. He was also associated with the Kent coachbuilding company that bore his family name until that business was sold in 1927. Here he is seen in a 1929 Somerset registered MG Midget (YC 7221) climbing Park Rash during the course of the 1932 running of the MCC London-Edinburgh trial. Unfortunately, Cowbourne records that he wasn’t among the awards that weekend. There are further photos of Maltby in another Midget (MG 703 – This car is currently in the custodianship of member, Ian Judd)) taken at the RSAC Rally in 1936. (Motor Sport negative – courtesy of LAT Images)

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IOTW no.449

By | IOTW

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Cowley – but when?

Morris Films made many documentary ‘shorts’ throughout the late twenties and thirties and this still image was snipped from one of them. The film was shot at Cowley in late 1928 or 1929 and shows Minors passing along the production line. Dating the image more precisely is not easy, as although the cars have the later steering wheel (post early October 1928) they are still being fitted with nickel radiators, single stay radiator supports and Morris script all of which were replaced or updated early into the 1930 production season, circa October 1929. The image does however provide absolute clarity concerning the precise positioning of the manufacturer’s data plate and coil on the bulkhead.

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IOTW no. 448

By | IOTW

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1932 Brighton Speed Trials

The Brighton Speed Trials is an event that dates back to 1905 and takes place on Madeira Drive adjacent to the sea. It’s generally an annual event although there have been a number of notable breaks.  One such hiatus was between 1925 and 1932 following a change in the law prohibiting motor sport on public roads. Its return after a seven year gap was made possible when it was realised that Maderia Drive was owned by the town corporation and not the Ministry of Transport, therefore it was not deemed a public highway.  The 1932 event attracted a crowd of over 100,000, no doubt enticed by the prospect of a duel between John Cobb and Malcolm Campbell.  This short Pathe film of the event shows the two world land speed record holders going head to head along that famous seafront. This photograph, taken at that 1932 event,  shows a 1932 Kent registered Swallow Wolseley Hornet special (KJ 1461) competing against a Frazer-Nash, the duel’s outcome not being known. (The Pathe film cameraman can be seen in the background.) For more information about the speed trials visit this website. (LAT Autocar photoscan)

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IOTW no.447

By | IOTW

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A spring 1931 Birmingham registered EW Hornet Sports (OV 1173) features in this Autocar column heading artwork. The fountain at Hascombe, Surrey still exists while sadly, this lovely early example of a Hornet special, doesn’t. The original image appeared in the 30th June 1933 edition of The Autocar. (Photoscan image by courtesy of LAT)

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IOTW NO.446

By | IOTW

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1932 GPO ‘Linesman’ Minor 5cwt van
Of the 87,000 Morris Minors produced between the autumn of 1928 and the summer of 1934, 58,000 of them were saloons of various types.  Numerically, and some way behind the saloon, the 5cwt van took the runners up spot with just under 10,000 examples leaving Cowley. This was due in part to a succession of orders from the GPO, who extensively used the Minor van for Royal Mail delivery as well as in a variety of other roles. This photo of a 1932 model depicts a GPO Linesman’s van, GW 2426 which was among the first batch of six such experimental vehicles to be supplied to the organisation. The bodies were built by Harold Perry Ltd., who also successfully bodied a number of Ford Eight specials around the same period, their business eventually gaining Ford main dealership status. Grateful thanks goes to forumist Joe Raynor (oilyrag) for the use of the photograph and for the background information.

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IOTW no.445

By | IOTW

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PL 2347 again!

This post September 1930, Surrey registered Wolseley Hornet Saloon PL 2347 was used by the Chief Photographer of the Iliffe publishing group, Mr. Donald Osmond, throughout the early thirties and into the second half of that decade. It appears in many feature articles in the Autocar magazine and constantly crops up in the background of many other photographs held in the LAT Photographic Archive. This photo has a caption scratched into the plate’s emulsion that simply reads Haweswater. The Network’s archive holds over 50 different images of this car taken between 1931 and 1937.

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IOTW no.444

By | IOTW

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1925-26 Nomad

Marketed as a ‘real car’ by makers Gnome of Chelsea the Nomad sold for £99-9s-9d long before the introduction of the 1931 SV Morris Minor. According to Nick Baldwin’s book, ‘A-Z of Cars of the Twenties’, the firm sold at least 25 examples from their New Kings Road, SW6 premises. The rear-mounted  343 cc Villiers single cylinder two-stroke engine produced 8.25 bhp and powered the car to 40 mph while consuming a gallon of petrol/oil mixture every 50 miles. No suspension was fitted, the pneumatic tyres providing the necessary cushion effect, being inflated to just 6 psi according to Baldwin. (LATplate Red 2768)

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IOTW no.443

By | IOTW

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1934 WASA Trial

London registered 1933 Minor Two-seater JJ 9444 has featured in this spot on a previous occasion (IOTW no.200). That image was also taken during the course of the March 1934 running of the WASA Chiltern Trial. Here, the Minor crewed by two unnamed women, is about to begin a descent into a sunken green lane somewhere in the Chiltern Hills, watched by a small but interested band of spectators. (LATplate C2551)

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IOTW no.442

By | IOTW

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German Minor

Another eBay Minor find, on this occasion by Tom Bourne, the Morris Register historian. Tom spotted the image on the German eBay site and as a result the snapshot was purchased for the Network’s archive. There are no caption details on the reverse of the print and the only clue appears on the vehicle’s registration plate. The letters ‘HZ’ inform that the car was registered in Herzberg, a town in the Gottingen district in Lower Saxony.  The 1933 Minor Two-seater HZ 52259 is carrying a strange ‘Morris’ script on its radiator while the period looks to be the forties or fifties. Was the car exported to Germany in the pre-war period or was it perhaps the former mount of an occupying British seviceman?

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IOTW no.441

By | IOTW

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WL 6556 1929 MG Midget

The 28th June 1929 edition of The Autocar carried a two-page road test (no.61) on an Oxford built MG MidgetWL 6556. This LAT scan features one of four photos  appearing in that article and displays the model’s interior with the dash panel, leather Moseley float-on-air seat squab, carpeting and rectangular door pocket clearly on view. The later Abingdon produced cars had front hinged doors with a brake cross-shaft hidden from view, while the centrally mounted horn button was also moved to a new position under the dash.

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IOTW no.440

By | IOTW

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Autumn 1934

This photograph is one of a sequence in which a number of different models are being photographed outside the premises of a car dealership, presumably in order to advertise the cars ‘For Sale’. As can be seen from the window display the dealer is has announced the arrival of the 1935 range of Morris cars, which of course included the Minor’s successor, the new Morris Eight. The 1934 season Minor two-door sliding head Saloon would now be considered ‘old hat’ and this particular example has covered plenty of miles if the condition of the spare tyre is an indicator. The 1934 season Minors were extremely good value for money when new with leather upholstery, a four-speed synchromesh gearbox, along with hydraulic brakes and shock absorbers, which may partly account for their comparatively high survival rate. (LATplate E9842)

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IOTW no.439

By | IOTW

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MG Car Club Abingdon Trial 1939

When this photograph was taken in 1939, Minor Two-seater YY 7277 was already six years old, the model having been out of production since July 1934. W. C. Greenleaf was a regular competitor in the car,  a number of photographs appearing in both the Light Car and Morris Owner magazines. This shot shows the car needing a helping hand as it struggles to find grip on a muddy Chiltern incline during the course of the MG Car Club’s annual Abingdon Trial in the run-up to the start of WWII. The photograph was taken by noted motoring photographer Bill Brunell.

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IOTW no.438

By | IOTW

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Yet another eBay snapshot this time of a Stewart & Ardern registered 1932 Minor two-door Saloon (MU 3932) The apparel worn by the driver is clearly a clue as to his profession and is similar to that worn by those employed by railway or bus companies or that of a chauffeur. The Minor is clearly his pride and joy! A lot more about Stewart & Ardern here.

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IOTW no.437

By | IOTW

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Brooklands – Mid-twenties

The Jappic was a 350 cc ‘V’ twin JAP powered cyclecar which held many speed records between 1924 and 1931.  Apart from being quick, the car was also extremely lightweight and could be manhandled  easily as seen in this YouTube video. There is also much more about the car elsewhere on the internet. (LATplate Red 1085)

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IOTW no.436

By | IOTW

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MW 4892 1929 Minor Fabric Saloon

First registered in Wiltshire in mid-1929 this Fabric saloon looks to be in good general condition, although the almost bald nearside front tyre might appear to indicate otherwise. A manual trumpet horn has been fitted to the windscreen surround, something that was not unusual and indicative of the temperamentality of the Lucas Sparton Horn, the car’s standard warning device. For what usage or purpose was the Ingersoll-Rand branded item of industrial equipment, as seen in the background? (Thanks goes to Mike Tebbett for permitting the publication of this image, which was from a French source.)

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IOTW no.435

By | IOTW

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1929 MCC London-Exeter Trial

There were 194 car entrants for the 1929 running of the MCC’s London/Exeter trial. The event was held over two days (27th & 28th December 1929) with participants leaving the Slough Trading Estate in the late evening of the 27th, with a run through the night to Exeter where breakfast was taken. This photo was almost certainly taken at that breakfasting point in Exeter shortly after sunrise although the image has not been captioned by the photographer. While no Minors or Midgets can be seen in this photo, two Minors and ten Midgets did take part, those numbers increasing to five and twenty eight respectively for the 1930 event. (LATplate B3013)

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IOTW no.434

By | IOTW

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Appearing on he front cover of 18th December 1928 edition of the Motor magazine was an  MG Car Co. advertisement. (of which this is an extract) Alongside the new 18/80 six cylinder model was a depiction of the MG Midget, launched just two months earlier at the 1928 London Motor Show. What is interesting about this artwork is that the Midget body had still to undergo changes before the first production examples appeared just over a month later. This artist’s impression shows the car with a raised scuttle and sculptured doors ala the prototypes that appeared at the Motor Show, while the production bodies did not have either of these features. Also of interest is the Limerick CBC registration – TI 1271. Did the artist have a premonition concerning  the capacity of the engine that was to power the Wolseley Hornet some 16 months later? Doubtful, but an interesting co-incidence none-the-less.

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IOTW no.433

By | IOTW

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Morris model

Following his elavation to the peerage, Lord Nuffield was presented with this silver model of a Morris 10-4  by the principals of his dealership chain as a token of their esteem on 22nd October 1934. (LAT photo scan)

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IOTW no.432

By | IOTW

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PS 782

This Minor Fabric Saloon was one of nine such Zetland registered cars in the year 1929. Remarkably,  Morris Minors represented almost 14% of all new vehicle registrations that year which of course includes motor cycles, goods and public service vehicles. This Fabric Saloon PS 782 was first registered on 1st May to a Mr Robert Henry  and retained this registration until 1946. Thanks to forum member ‘Crashbox’ for the research and the Sheland Photographic Archive. (Photo reference NE 04262)

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IOTW no.431

By | IOTW

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Henley’s Gymkhana

Throughout the early thirties the Henly’s dealership held an annual motoring gymkhana on Heston Aerodrome, located just to the west of London. The event was popular with their customers who attended in some numbers to watch the many events. One such arena game was ‘car musical chairs’ as portrayed in this LAT image (LATplate C911) taken at the 1933 event. The women driver of the 1932 Minor Family Eight is either slow vacating her chair or quick to be seated depending upon whether the music had stopped or just started again!

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IOTW no.430

By | IOTW

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JG 785

Very little by way of additional information can be added to this simple family snapshot. The car is a 1930 Minor Saloon registered in Canterbury, Kent as JG 785 and like so many of the photographs of the period it depicts the family partaking in a roadside picnic. It is quite possible that the car is the fabric skinned version of the model and that the photo was taken some time later that decade if the almost bald tyres are anything to go by.

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IOTW no.429

By | IOTW

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Cowley – late 1933

This recently discovered image of a Minor chassis passing along the production line at Cowley was probably photographed in the autumn of 1933. The plate’s emulsion  has been marked, recording that the car is a 1934 Morris Minor while the radiator surround is identical to those fitted to the 1933 season model along with those from the early part of the 1934 season. It’s interesting to see that a document wallet is attatched to the n/s bulkhead to rad support bar, presumably held in which are the dockets that accompany the car down the line. (LATplate Motor X-899)

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IOTW no.428

By | IOTW

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Minor art

This extract from a full-page Morris Motors advertisement for the Minor first appeared on the front cover of 12th April 1932 edition of The Motor magazine. This was not unusual in that the Minor featured on magazine covers on almost fifty occasions while in production.  Many of the famous graphic artists of the period painted and drew the Minor including the likes of Morton, Steerwood, Shuffley and the acclaimed Harold Connolly. These cover images are all available to view in the Member’s Area of the archived site.

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IOTW no.427

By | IOTW

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Wartime McEvoy

TJ 1876 is a 1933 McEvoy Model 60 Minor Special owned at one time by the late Bev Hicks, who was a founder member of what is now the Morris Register. This photograph was taken during WWII when the car was in the custodianship of an RAF Observer.  A known survivor, the car was last seen ‘For Sale’ in Belgium in 2015. (Image courtesy of the Harry Edwards archive)

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IOTW no.426

By | IOTW

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Here is an official Morris Motors shot of their 1933 Minor rolling chassis. This is not the image used in the 1933 Operation Manual but the four-speed gearbox, cable brakes and handbrake lever easily identify it as such. This particular viewing angle shows off the conical shape of the Minor’s silencer to good effect. (The mark on the n/s front wheel is damage to the emulsion on the glass plate negative.) LATplate E2760

 ( Edited on 21st April: James Ashford correctly points out that this is a long wheelbase Minor chassis.)

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I(s)OTW no.425

By | IOTW

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UD 2268

This sequence of four images of UD 2268, a development model Minor Fabric Saloon, were shot at Cowley in a section of the factory that was used for this purpose for many years. These early development Fabric Saloons differed from the production versions that followed in many detailed ways and first started to appear in the late spring of 1928, four such cars appearing in the promotional material of the time. Some years ago an internet debate took place in which it was speculated that these images were all of the same car, simply fitted with differing number plates. (LATplates L3935, 3936, 3941 & 3942)

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IOTW no.424

By | IOTW

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1931 Belgium 24 Hour Race, Spa-Francorchamps

Minors were no strangers to big international races. There were Minors entered in the 1929, 1930 and 1931 Australian Grand Prix, Whelan coming 9th in the 1930 event, while William Sullivan competed in his Minor ‘Sullivan’ Specials from 1932 to 1934 in a number of internationally renowned events, both in his native Ireland and elsewhere. Perhaps the most successful Minor was that entered by a Belgian Morris dealership for the 1931 Belgium 24 Hour Race, held at Spa over the weekend of 4th/5th July 1931 and driven by Abel Blin D’Orimont and Robert Goemans. They competed in the under 1100cc class against six other cars, a factory team of three twin-cylinder, two-stroke DKWs, a Salmson, a Rally and Tractor. Amazingly, they beat their opponents winning their class, covering 1660 kilometres at an average speed of 43.4 mph. The LAT archive contains three images of the Minor taking part that weekend and this shot shows the car at the La Source hairpin with a DKW just ahead of it on the road. (LATplate B6734).

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IOTW no.423

By | IOTW

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Tickets please!

AG 6521, a mid-1931 Ayr registered £100 Minor was taken on charge by the Western Scottish Motor Traction Co as a vehicle to be used by the company’s inspectors. Over the next 30 months the car covered a total distance of 185,000 miles which equates to almost 6200 miles per month or over 200 miles each day. The short article alongside was scanned from the July 1934 edition of Morris Owner magazine.

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IOTW no.422

By | IOTW

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Ledbury – Market House

Described as the jewel in Ledbury’s crown, this magnificent Grade I listed timber-framed building took 51 years to finish, eventually being completed in 1668. Its beauty has attracted photographers for many years and the pre-war Minor has featured in a number, including the two Birmingham registered saloons to be seen among this quartet of shots. The first of these is 1929 Fabric Saloon OF 2118 seen partly obscured by the tree at the roadside. The second such image portrays Coachbuilt Saloon OG 4483 which was first registered in 1931, towards the tail-end of swb OHC Minor production. The final two images shows a scene outside the Market House from circa 1930 and a recreation of the same vista by Kate and Ken Martin while on a recent visit in their 1930 Coachbuilt Saloon VX 4590.(Photographs courtesy of Kate Martin, Judges and LAT Images)

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IOTW no.421

By | IOTW

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SW 4154 1933 Minor Family Eight

This lwb Minor and its occupants survived what was potentially a serious mishap when it fell twelve feet and landed upon its roof. The image caption relates the tale. (The only visible damage in this July 1933 Morris Owner snippet is the offside headlamp which appears askew.)

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IOTW no.420

By | IOTW

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1930 Minor Semi-Sports GK 3661

Another eBay find. This wartime snapshot of London registered Minor Semi-Sports GK 3661 was taken when the car was at least ten years old. The blackout cover over the offside headlamp confirms the period while the nearside lamp had been removed completely (not an unusual practice at that time), while the hood was also missing.   It’s pure guesswork as to the location, although the grazing sheep and windmill might indicate somewhere on the South Downs.

Thanks to Mark Berry from Windmill World the location has subsequently been identified as Burton Dassett in Warwickshire.

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IOTW no.419

By | IOTW

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A 1931 car radio

This scan of a heavily retouched photograph first appeared in a February 1931 edition of The Autocar. The fur-coated model is seen adjusting the controls of a radio installed in a Crossley saloon. It’s clear from the radio’s position on the nearside of the dash, that for a driver travelling alone, re-tuning while on-the-move could prove to be quite a distraction. (LAT photoscan from The Autocar 20th February 1931)

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IOTW no.418

By | IOTW

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Bluebird or Blue Bird?

In 1924 a former Royal Flying Corps pilot made his first attempt at the  world’s land speed record on Pendine Sands, South Wales. By the spring of 1935 he had broken the record on eight separate occassions which led to much national acclaim and the bestowal (in 1931) of a knighthood for this magnificent achievement. The cameo captured here took place at Brooklands, Surrey where Campbell himself can be seen alighting from the cockpit of Blue Bird in front of the assembled British media. The photo was taken over the winter of 1934/5 prior to his fifth and last visit to Daytona Beach, Florida USA where on the 7th March 1935 Sir Malcolm Campbell‘s latest Blue Bird car, a 36.7 litre Campbell-Railton (powered by a supercharged Rolls Royce RV12 engine) raised the record to 276.816 mph. Later that same year Campbell journied to the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, USA where, on 3rd September, a longer course enabled him to propel Blue Bird past the 300 mph mark to record a remarkable aggregate of 301.337 mph over the two-way record setting run. This was to be Campbell’s ninth and last land speed record breaking attempt. (LATplate Motor 778-60)

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IOTW no.417

By | IOTW

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Freddie Kindell’s 1930 Le Mans Midget

Sir Francis Samuelson and Freddie Kindell both drove modified Double-Twelve MG Midgets at the June 1930 running of the famous 24 hour race. While neither car was classified among the finishers they performed admirably, the model eventually spawning the MG ‘C’ Type which went on to much racing success in 1931 and ’32. This photo was found on eBay, the original print having been folded in half. Thanks to a Photoshop repair effected by Ken Martin it can now be viewed as the photographer intended.  It’s Kindell’s car that is featured in this photo.

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IOTW no.416

By | IOTW

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A long story with a happy ending

The short article ablongside appeared on this website back in July 2009 and details some of the early history of VG 2007, the 1929 Minor Fabric Saloon which Dutch owner Halbe Tjepkema has just returned to roadworthiness. (To read the article click on the image)

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IOTW no.415

By | IOTW

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What’s the occasion?

Another eBay snapshot purchase with very little to go on. The car is a 1932 season Minor Family Eight in what looks to be very good condition, which in turn may indicate that the photograph was taken prior to WWII? The two young men are dressed for an occasion, maybe a wedding (is that a buttonhole?) or a garden-party.

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I(s)OTW no.414

By | IOTW

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Guy Harris was recently re-united with his 1933 Minor Two-seater FS 5294, a car he first owned as a student in 1958. He writes: The (recent) picture was taken when I had it picked up (on the back of a flatbed).  I was given the lead by Ian Grace of Vintage Minor Register and followed it up. The car had lived within 30 miles of where I have lived for many years. I have since turned the headlight brackets round as it looked rather weird – the brackets had been put on the wrong sides for some reason. It is in quite good condition as you can see, but various bits need de-rusting. I ran the engine briefly on January 1st after fitting a new coil, rebuilt carb as needle was corroded and bent, rebuilt distributor etc. Probably needs rewiring as a lot of the wires look original and a bit tatty in places. Hood needs replacing  sometime as the remains of the hood that came with it looks like the John Wrigley hood I fitted in 1959 – cost £6-17-6 according to the invoice that was still with the car. A note on the invoice from JW states – “ sorry about the price increase” !! Yes all my invoices from 1958 to 1961 were still with the car, along with the original buff logbooks, which indicates that only 3 people have looked after the car since I sold it in 1961 for £15, after 10,000 miles, one replacement crankshaft, Bowden cables on the front etc. The crankshaft broke after a “race” along the Dorking by-pass with a Morris 8 when an indicated 60mph was noted briefly – quite exciting as the car did not have any shock absorbers (pre- MOT), but the two main bearing crank obviously protested reasonably enough.
I am looking for a petrol tank cap, plus drawings of side screens and a good photo of the door pockets of the 2 seater, as the originals have been replaced with flat fabric covered door cards. Hopefully somebody may be able to oblige? If anyone can help Guy, please contact chris@prewarminor.com in the first instance.

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I(s)OTW no.413

By | IOTW

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2018 Planai Rally

These images tell their own story and appear here courtesy of Arie and Tineke Roest the crew of AM-62-91, their 1930 Wolseley Hornet Jarvis Special.

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IOTW no.412

By | IOTW

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An ‘opposition’ showroom

This glorious early thirties photo of a car showroom full of Austin Sevens is very much of its time. The draped opulence, chandeliers and palm fronds provide the art deco feel while the Mulliner two-seater and Swallow Saloon are the complimentary automotive glamour alongside the more mundane models. (LATplate Red 7380)

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IOTW no.411

By | IOTW

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1930 Minor Fabric Saloon

Another eBay sourced period snapshot, this one of a 1930 Hertfordshire registered Minor Fabric Saloon UR 7203. Despite the small enprint being of poor quality  sufficient detail is visible to establish that a small pump-type extinguisher is attached to the running board and that the man is cradling a pipe with a very long stem. Unusually the photograph was taken in the winter at a time when many cars were ‘laid-up’. Perhaps this man was a commercial traveller?

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IOTW no.410

By | IOTW

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PN 8736 – 1932 Minor homebuilt special

This vehicle was first registered in East Sussex in early 1932 and possibly started life as a Minor 5 cwt van, the door shape and height providing the clue. The van rear section and roof look to have been modified to resemble a shooting-brake, although this is not clear. The photograph was probably taken in the late fifties or early sixties as is indicated by the attire of the young men (students?) present.  The radiator mascot appears to be a plastic goldfish while the leather strap and bulge on the bonnet top are possibly un-necessary adornments, affixed to indicate that something with more than 19bhp lies hidden beneath.

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A Minor a day 20 …

By | IOTW

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1930 SV Minor Two-seater JO 764

This car is the £100 Minor prototype which currently languishes in a Devon Theme Park awaiting a long overdue restoration. It was also this particular model that until this month the VSCC had excluded from its PVT list despite the fact that the prototype was a true vintage car i.e. constructed before 31st December 1930. The one hundred pounder was without doubt a pared-down model, devoid of many embellishments, most notably a lack of chromium plated parts and a spartan paint finish resembling battleship-grey. However, JO 764 is arguably the most important surviving Minor, yet it is in a parlous condition with no guarantees that it will be sympathetically restored when the time comes. It still retains some very important original (and unique) features which can be found in this interesting Harry Edwards article.

It really is about time that the Morris movement got its act together and saved this unique vehicle. I’m sure that one of the two national Motor Museums would accept such an important car as part of their collection. Perhaps the MVA (Morris Vehicles Association) could be galvanised into action and that the funds required for its purchase and eventual restoration could be raised at local and national Morris gatherings. Come on the Morris Minor Owner’s Club, Morris Register, Vintage Minor Register and even the VSCC. Isn’t it time to pool resources and come up with a plan?

This is the last of this year’s ‘A Minor a day’ series. Thank you to all those who have contributed images without attribution.

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A Minor a day 19 …

By | IOTW

1933 Minor Two-seater S.V. 31826 aka AMG 30 and 289 UXG

This is a very well known car within club circles. With a post-war history reasonably well-documented and going back to 1964, AMG 30 was owned for a number of years by forumist, Alister Reid (Highlander).  The valuable original (AMG 30) Middlesex registration was stripped from the car by an earlier owner and is now held on retention, presumably awaiting a wealthy Mercedes Benz owner. Alister’s height caused him to reconsider ownership towards the end of the last decade and the car was passed on to Simon Tuke a Surrey neighbour. Having covered very few miles during Simon’s ownership the car was then purchased in 2013 by one of this forum’s moderators, Roger Lucke.  The car is now used regularly and is of course meticulously maintained, as would be expected!

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A Minor a day 18 …

By | IOTW

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OU 6930 1930 Minor Coachbuilt Saloon

This was the editorial Minor from 2002 until 2014. The car was sold in November 1930 by Wadham Bros. in Southampton to a serving RAF officer based at nearby Calshot. His steed during the day was a Supermarine Southampton flying boat whle he drove home in his new Minor. OU 6930’s history is somewhat sketchy from then on but it was laid up during WWII and was subsequently owned by a builder in South London. By 2002 it was located in Bromley, Kent in a part renovated state which is when it came into the author’s hands. The car was returned to a roadworthy condition over that winter and then covered 7500 miles over the next 12 years. During this time it had a brief competition history and took part in a number of VMR rallies and the very first Network rally. It was sold to Simon North in 2014 who in turn sold it on to the Vintage Petrol Pump Co a few months later. Sadly it has now gone to ground.

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A Minor a day 17 …

By | IOTW

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LJ 4435 1930 Minor Semi-Sports

This Minor has associations with the Hambros Bank concern but when found certainly didn’t look a million dollars, as can be seen by the first image in this gallery. A lengthy and detailed restoration was carried out by Ian Grace who at that time was living in Grand Rapids, Michigan USA. The car was completed in time to be shipped to the UK for the 2007 VMR rally in Dorset although it didn’t take part in the two organised tours. Its owner returned to the US leaving LJ 4435 behind, initially in storage but it was later sold. Very little was heard of the car  for a year or two, it next surfacing on a prestige vehicle trader’s website. Here it remained for four years, its price fluctuating between £16,000 and £18,000 before being sold earlier this year. Its current whereabouts is unknown.

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A Minor a day 16 …

By | IOTW

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FH 7622/YWG 771 1932 Minor Sliding-head Saloon

This is something of a sad tale concerning a lovely Minor Saloon that has been horse-traded in recent years. The car first emerged ‘For Sale’ on the carandclassic website in September 2012 when it sold very quickly to Paul Critchley. Paul joined the Network and attended our 2013 rally in Marlborough, Wilts. As a succession of rally images show alongside, the car suffered from some unreliability issues over the rally weekend, which in truth were of a minor nature (no pun intended).  Shortly afterwards the car was sold and  then quickly passed through the hands of its long list of short-term owners. In fact over a four year period FH 6722 was sold on at least five occasions loosing its original registration in the process and becoming YWG 771. The DVLA have the audacity to call this an ‘age-related’ registration while future custodians of this vehicle will struggle to discover anything of its early history as a result.

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A Minor a day 15 …

By | IOTW

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WP 1085 1931 (32 season) Minor Two-seater

Continuing the longevity of ownership theme, common among a number of Minors and their owners as featured here,  WP 1085 has been in the custodianship of Mike Rose since the sixties. The images from that decade tell their own story and WP 1085 or ‘Moonlight Frolic II’ was certainly a draw – or maybe it was Mike! The car has subsequently been beautifully restored and Mike used ‘Frolic’ while attending the 2012 Network ‘Forester’ rally in Hants in June that year.

The editor would like to take an opportunity to thank the many photographers who have contributed to this feature without attribution. In the vast majority of cases the images have been published here previously at which time due recognition was given.

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A Minor a day 14 …

By | IOTW

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LV 975 1933 Minor fixed-head Saloon

Peter and Tilly Yates are further evidence (if it were needed) that Minors are for life. Peter has owned the car since his student days in the sixties and following  a restoration, has continued to use the car regularly for local Morris Register events around Loughborough and more recently at Network rallies. Unfortunately, drive train issues curtailed the car’s involvement in the 2016 and 2017  Network rallies but it didn’t seem to stop the car’s occupants seeing both rallies through to their conclusion. It is hoped that Peter, Tilly and LV 975 will be attending the 2018 Network rally and that Suffolk proves to be a more hospitable county than either Dorset or Rutland was for their Saloon.

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A Minor a day 13 …

By | IOTW

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RT 8431 1932 Morris Family Eight Sports Coupe

RT 8431 has been with the Miles family from Mendlesham, Suffolk for around 30 years and until the winter of 2010/11 had lain dormant in a barn for the greater part of that period. Over the winter Andrew Miles, who was then 16 years of age, decided that it was about time his father’s car took to the road once again. He then set about  renovating a vehicle that hadn’t turned a wheel in anger for over twenty years and looked like it never would again. Andrew joined the Network’s forum at this time and asked many questions of the forumists while they watched on in awe of Andrew’s enthusiasm and determination to complete the task at hand. By the spring of 2011 the car was in running-order with Andrew taking to the wheel on a private airfield to understand and resolve the inevitable teething problems – of which there were many.  Since then RT and the Miles family have regularly attended the Network’s rallies and are also ‘ever-presents’ on the annual spring Felixstowe Run. As a result of Andrew’s efforts that winter he became the inaugural recipient of  the club’s Harry Edwards Trophy in June of 2011.

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A Minor a day 12 …

By | IOTW

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UY 1196 Austin Twelve Clifton

This car has attended so many Minor events it has long since been regarded as an honorary  Morris Minor. Cambridge based owner Mike Taylor has missed just one annual Network rally since their inception in 2010. The association started way back in the early part of the last decade when Mike would bring his Clifton along to VMR pub meets at Barrington and Thriplow on the outskirts of Cambridge. Lasting friendships were struck and Mike has continued the association, always driving his car to our rallies, no matter where they are situated.

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A Minor a day 11 …

By | IOTW

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APC 484 1933 Minor Two-seater

This is the second car to feature in this spot that currently resides in the village of Marnhull, Dorset. The car’s owner Dan Brockway, a near neighbour of John Nagle, purchased the car at the tail-end of 2014 from Devon, following its appearance  in a carandclassic internet advertisement. Just a few months later APC 484 was used to convey Dan’s bride to the reception following their marriage at a local church. Since then the car has been used extensively attending Morris Register  meets and participating in the Network’s 2016 rally which was based upon his village. The car has been laid-up of late but is  shortly due to take to the highways once again.

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A Minor a day 10 …

By | IOTW

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UN 6979 1934 Minor Two-seater

This is a very well known car in Minor circles, having been owned by Trevor Wilkinson for over twenty years. Trevor and UN 6979 are one of only four ‘ever-presents’ at all eight annual Network rallies while also attending a number of VMR rallies prior to that. ‘UN’ or Ewan has been on tours to Ireland and Wales and has never been trailered, being driven to all events. Notably reliable and quick, the secrets hidden beneath the bonnet have never been revealed.

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A Minor a day 9 …

By | IOTW

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SL 9739 1929 Minor Coachbuilt Saloon

Now pay attention as making sense of what follows will be difficult. SL 9739 is from a DVLA reissued sequence, the car’s original registration (W 808) having been lost. Clive Hall purchased ‘SL’ on eBay and commenced its restoration before selling the incomplete project to Steve Lewsley. (SL was one of the very first Coachbuilt Saloons to leave Cowley with a body number of M030, which it transpires is different to the bulk of the coachbuilt saloons that followed.) Steve did not want many of the car’s body parts as he was intent on building an MG M Type replica which he proceeded to do. Mike Houston in Tunbridge Wells was in need of a Saloon body as the body of his own Saloon (VG 3260) was beyond salvation. A deal was struck and Mike acquired the early body  from Steve and restored it beautifully. However, Mike had a Semi-Sports to restore and couldn’t find the time for both so sold VG 3260 to Tony Gamble in Selby. Tony needed a chassis upon which to erect his beautiful Enrique Llinares CMS Super Sports body and used VG 3260’s chassis to do so. Tony then sold on, the by now, fully painted early Coachbuilt body to a gent in Nottingham and then his Part completed CMS to Brian Arnell in Lincolnshire. After finishing the car in fabric, Brian sold his newly re-registered VG 3260 to Bob Kellock, who I believe resides in the West of England. Steve Lewsley meanwhile had retained SL’s original bonnet which the writer then acquired for his Arrow Minor Special project. After gathering a kit of parts and realising that running a website was almost a full-time job the Arrow project was sold on to Tony Gamble bonnet et al. Which just leaves the current whereabouts of SL’s original (and very important) body? It’s believed that this has also made its way to the West Country where I suspect that the current owner does not appreciate its importance or its chequered past.

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A Minor a day 8 …

By | IOTW

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1930 Coachbuilt Saloon UX 6524

Paul Rogers purchased his Minor in the early years of the last decade. It was very much a ‘project’, having been dry stored for a number of decades. Paul and his father Barry, commenced a very rapid restoration that saw the Minor traverse the perimeter track at RAF Colerne in July 2002 in an incomplete state. By 2003 Paul had joined the VSCC and had begun using UX 6524 in competition, taking part in LC&ES trials and the annual Brooklands Driving Tests.  Throughout the middle of the decade Paul’s saloon became a familiar sight at these events, achieving some notable results. Following Paul’s acquisition of a Vauxhall 30/98 the Minor took a back seat but remains in his ownership and is seen out and about from time to time.

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A Minor a day 7 …

By | IOTW

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VJ 1756 1929 Minor Tourer

Brian Maeers was something of a giant in the pre-war Minor world. His infectious enthusiasm for the model knew no bounds and this certainly rubbed off on those with whom he came into contact. He used his four Minors at every possible opportunity, running regular pub meets in his home village of Peatling Magna, Leics, setting up impromptu tours around his holiday home in Holme-next-the-sea plus attending both PWMN and VMR rallies. Today his 1929 Tourer, VJ 1756, is featured here. Known as ‘Prudence’, Brian used this car competitively, often being accompanied by his friend Dennis Johnson. Following Brian’s death in December 2013, VJ passed into the very capable hands of his daughter, Janie, who continues to campaign the car in a very similar manner to that of her father.

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A Minor a day 6 …

By | IOTW

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KJ 3553 1931 (32 season) Minor Two-seater

KJ 3553 is a beautifully well-preserved example of the 1932 season Two-seater, many believing that this model is the best looking Minor of all. With a chassis number  of SV8558 it was constructed in October 1931 and was registered soon afterwards in the county of Kent. The car first came to the Network’s attention in September 2011 when it appeared on eBay with a Manchester address. The following year it was clear that the car had been repatriated to Kent as an image of the car and its new owner was found on a Faversham newspaper website. In 2013 Tim and Avril Ovenden attended the Network’s White Horse Rally in Wiltshire and have been a permanent fixture at all of the subsequent events. It should also be said that Avril and Tim are regular attendees at the annual Morris Register Rally and also participated in the ‘Around the Edge’ charity run.

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A Minor a day 5 …

By | IOTW

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WV 4924 1934 Minor Two-seater

This 1934 Minor has been known to the Morris Register since the sixties. The car was first registered in Wiltshire in the spring of 1934 with a chassis number of 34/MS/41071. The earliest (colour) photo here was taken in 1974 when the car may have been in the ownership of Les Leach. By the time Ken Martin took the second (b&w) photo at the Morris Register National Rally at Stamford Hall in 1979 Les was confirmed as the car’s then custodian. Its history over the next thirty years is not recorded in the Network’s archive, the car next surfacing for sale at Malcolm Elder‘s emporium in Oxfordshire in late 2009. The car remained on the market for a number of months until acquired by Clive Hall of Sisland, Norfolk in March 2010. The car has remained in Clive’s ownership ever since, taking part in two Network rallies and the circumnavigation of the East Anglian coastline in May 2011.

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A Minor a day 4 …

By | IOTW

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OW 4224 1934 Minor Two-seater

Yet another Minor with an interesting history inexorably  interwoven with the life of its present owner. John Nagle first purchased OW 4224 in 1959 and owned it for four happy student years until the arrival of a company car in 1963 forced its sale. Fast forward 45 years and the car entered John’s life once again, not before also passing through the hands of  another Minor enthusiast and member here, Paul Harris. Paul saved the car from the scrap man back in the late fifties before coming across it once again in 1973 when he used OW as his main form of transport for a number of years, eventually selling it in 1979.  After passing through a series of hands John N. eventually rediscovered and purchased the car from Derek Powell in 2008, restoring it to its present pristine condition and completing a cycle that had started almost 50 years previously.

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A Minor a day 3 …

By | IOTW

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1929 Minor Tourer MT 3286

Like the Sears Minor featured here yesterday, this is also a well-known car within Minor circles remaining in the same family for many years. Roy Hogg bought the car well over 50 years ago and campaigned it extensively.  Roy and the car were famously involved in the recreation of the MCC London-Exeter boxing night trips from the Slough Trading Estate to the West Country in the sixties. Roy’s Morris Register colleagues described his driving style as ‘enthusiastic’, MT being notoriously quick in his hands. After Roy’s death his son Ronald  inherited the car and continues to attend events. MT was last seen out and about at the Network’s rally in June 2016. The four images to be seen here feature both father and son using the car while just a few years ago MT was almost the star attraction at a wedding.

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A Minor a day 2 …

By | IOTW

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1932 Minor Two-seater PJ 5155

To many of us, this is a very familiar car indeed. It has has been in current owner Toby Sears family for many years (forty plus?) and has travelled up and down the country attending the Network’s rallies as well as covering several hundred miles in the 2015 Around the Edge Challenge. His car was once the resting place of choice for Toby and Linda’s dog Riz, as can be seen in one of the four images here

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A Minor a day…

By | IOTW

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WD 1430 1930 Minor Coachbuilt Saloon

Stuart Clark from Bromsgrove, Worcs owns this lovely Coachbuilt Saloon and has used it extensively, particularly while attending the Network’s rallies. The car has been known and ‘on the scene’ for at least three decades and was regularly seen out and about when in the custodianship of the late John Seddon. Following an accident in 2016 the car underwent repairs to its rear which entailed the body shell being repainted.

This is the first of a daily series of short profiles of our cars. if you have an unpublished photo of your car please forward it to info@prewarminor.com and it will be included here in the run-up to Christmas.

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IOTW no.409

By | IOTW

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OU 961

This photograph first appeared in the 16th June 1939 edition of The Autocar and its brief caption tells us that the image was taken at Potters Bar in Hertfordshire, perhaps on the A1000. By then, the Minor (OU 961) was already a ten year old vehicle having first been registered in Hampshire during 1929. It’s difficult to determine the time-of-year although the haystack and ploughed field might indicate early autumn, while the heavily laden lorry could be carrying sacks of grain. (LAT Photo-scan)

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IOTW no.408

By | IOTW

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A recent eBay find, this snapshot reveals very little. The Minor is a 1929 Tourer model, that much is deduced from the presence of a ‘Morris’ script on the radiator, an item the Minor wore for just that first season. The design of  the tax disc on the car’s windscreen indicates that the photo was taken prior to 1961 (velologists may know more) while almost nothing can be determined from the driver’s attire. It seems most likely that the photo was taken in the thirties as the car’s paintwork appears to be in excellent condition and the Dunlop triple stud tyres look almost new. Is that a horn on the scuttle or something else?

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I(s)OTW no.407

By | IOTW

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This 1930 Gordon England Two-seater Minor special was first registered in Bradford, Yorks in mid-1930. Fred Dobson owned KW 8071 throughout the 1940’s while living in Weymouth, Dorset during which time the car was used extensively. It’s known that both of these photographs were taken while Fred and his wife were on holiday in Northwich, Cheshire, some 240 miles distant from Weymouth.  The Minor looks to be in reasonable condition and up to the task of transporting the couple around the Cheshire countryside. Period photographic evidence suggests that Gordon England produced more than just a few G.E. Two-seater Minor specials although none are known to have survived into the 21st century.  (Images courtesy of the Harry Edwards archive)

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I(s)OTW no.406

By | IOTW

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1930 Jarvis Minor Coupe

First seen in late 1929, the Jarvis Coupe was a luxurious version of the Minor. In order to justify its £187-10s-0d, it was equipped with  Mosely ‘float-on-air’ seat cushions, a burr walnut dashboard and door cappings, a wind-up/down passenger door window and fitted carpets. Although Jarvis later sub-contracted the building of their special bodies to other coachbuilders these Minor coupe bodies were almost certainly built in-house. The images featured here originated from Temple Press, publishers of both the Light Car and The Motor magazines. The individual standing alongside the coupe is Harold Hastings, the Light Car journalist. (Images courtesy the LAT Archive.)

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IOTW no.405

By | IOTW

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EX 135

The original incarnation of EX 135 was built for George Eyston who used it for both road and circuit racing as well as a Class G record attempt vehicle. Built in 1934 on a K3 Magnette chassis it was acquired by Goldie Gardner in 1937 where it was fitted with the Railton designed body as seen in this Autocar cutaway drawing by Max Millar. This beautifully streamlined bodyshell enabled the MG to reach a speed of 186 mph over the ‘flying mile’. EX 135 was taken to Dessau in Germany during 1939 where it raised the Class G record to 203.5 mph on a new section of German autobahn. (LAT photoscan)

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IOTW no.404

By | IOTW

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Hornets and ladies

There are a number of thirties cars that were advertised to directly attract the attention of potential female customers. One such car was the MG Midget Sportsman’s  Coupe (perhaps it should have been named the Sportsladies Coupe?) while another was the Wolseley Hornet. This photo and caption of actress Miss Jane Welch and her 1930 Hornet Saloon MY 4875 first appeared in a January 1930 edition of The Autocar and was among a series of what can only be described as publicity photos of Hornets and attractive females. A recent Hornet Specials image (no.21) from the same period was another case in point while further examples reside in the website’s archive. The first of the two images featured here show the original artwork for the photo feature, while the second is a cutting of the item itself.

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IOTW no.403

By | IOTW

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UD 2483

UD 2483, a 1928 Oxford registered Morris Minor Fabric Saloon was one of a series of development cars  that were extensively used by the company for publicity purposes from late 1928 and into 1929. This particular car is known to have undertaken two tours, the first of which was to East Anglia, the second during the summer of 1929 saw the car touring Scotland. It was while on the second of these trips that this photo was taken, the image appearing in an August 1930 edition of The Autocar. (LAT Images Photoscan)

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IOTW no.402

By | IOTW

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The Semi-Sports Two-seater filled a gaping hole in the Minor line-up when it was first announced in July 1930. At that time the range consisted of just three models, the 1928 launch models of  Fabric Saloon and Tourer which had been belatedly supplemented by a steel-panelled Coachbuilt Saloon, added in the late summer of 1929. The saloons were of course the big sellers for Morris Motors but the coachbuilding trade had spotted the lack of a two-seater model and were successfully selling a wide range of models to those prepared to pay a little more for the individuality these cars offered. One such coachbuilding concern in Wembley (Gordon England) were consulted on the design of the new Morris two-seater, the resultant development car (JO 132) pictured alongside. Produced for just one season, the company built a total of 744 cars over the course of the 1931 model year. (LATplate Red 8648 & Motor 549-3)

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IOTW no.401

By | IOTW

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Devon 1933

Charles Wynn wrote a weekly column for The Autocar throughout the early thirties period entitled Touring Topics. His column was invariablyy headed-up by an appropriate image and occasionally this would be a Minor. His column for 19th May 1933 edition of the magazine featured this 1933 Minor Two-seater parked on the road overlooking Thatcher’s Rock in Devon, the car being notable for the bumpers fitted front and rear. (LAT photoscan) 

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IOTW no.400

By | IOTW

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Airborne Magnette

This photograph features in a December 1935 edition of The Autocar and shows N.K. Crawford’s airborne MG Magnette (JW 5703) rapidly ascending Nailsworth Ladder in the Cotswolds. This excellent image was taken by an unknown photographer during the course of the MCC’s London-Gloucester trial. Author of the book ‘Wheelspin’, C.A.N May was driving an identical Magnette (No. 53) and this very photo appears in his book while a sketch of the scene adorns its front cover – see the second image. (LATplate C7773)

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IOTW no.399

By | IOTW

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Pre Health & Safety!

This Getty image from the Hulton collection shows a 1932 Minor Saloon crossing the River Adur at Shoreham via a steel girder bridge which carried the A259. It was first erected in 1922 and replaced by the current concrete bridge in 1987. The photograph above shows a gang of 12 painters  plying their trade on a structure that remained open to traffic, with no  warning signs in place and the only visible protection on view being their dungarees – these being worn to protect their clothing! A far cry from today’s safety standards.

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IOTW no.398

By | IOTW

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Dutch Rally September 2009

Halbe Tjepkema hosted a Minor centric rally adjacent to The Hague in September 2009. Six of us attended from the U.K. and had a tremendous time over the long weekend. We stayed on Kaag Island and in order to reach our destination it was necessary to negotiate a stretch of Dutch motorway which has a minimum speed limit of 50 mph. On the flat this wasn’t a problem and as much of this part of the Nederlands is very flat indeed and so most of the time we kept within the law. However our fully laden Minors did not like any inclines at all and this brought the wrath of the truckers upon us, but thankfully not that of the police. (This photo wwas taken by Roger Lucke on 12th September 2009)

Chris Lambert

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IOTW no.397

By | IOTW

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This Getty Images shot of Piccadilly Circus was taken in May 1932 and features a Minor Fabric Saloon in the middle foreground and a Wolseley Hornet Saloon at circa three o’clock. There are other Morris cars to be seen along with a Green Line coach that plied its trade between Chesham and Croydon, crossing the centre of London to do so.

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I(s)OTW no.396

By | IOTW

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KJ 5909

The 1935 MCC London-Exeter Trial took place on the 27th & 28th December 1935, competitors starting from Virginia Water in Surrey. Cars commenced leaving from 11:27 PM on Thursday evening onwards, travelling through the night to the breakfast control point in Exeter. Minor owner J Lyle was a regular competitor at these national trials in his 1932 Two-seater (KJ 5909). The two images shown here were both taken on Simms Hill in Devon where the Minor clearly needed assistance in order to scale the summit. Had the climb been unaided Lyle would have qualified for a ‘Simms Hill’ Trophy to go along with his Silver Award presented by the Motor Cycle Club. (Images: LATplate C7803 & Morris Owner clipping from February 1936 edition)

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IOTW no.395

By | IOTW

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Autocar Trophies

Throughout the thirties, The Autocar magazine donated trophies for many of the national motoring events of the day including both the RAC and Scottish rallies. Unlike conventional trophies of either a plate or a cup The Autocar preferred small art deco figurines. The two statuettes featured here were awarded to competitors who took part in the Scottish Rally in 1935 and 1937 respectively.

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IOTW(s)no.394

By | IOTW

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Finchingfield, Essex

The beautiful village of Finchingfield in North West Essex is set in a shallow valley through which flows the Finchingfield Brook. Its village green provides a focal point and its around this central feature that the village grew and expanded. The Network’s 2014 rally passed through the village during the course of its Saturday tour and many rallyists stopped to take photographs. Philip Butland was one such photographer and he captured the green and its surrounds immediately after a thunderstorm. The second b&w image here was taken in early March 1937 and apart from a distinct lack of traffic it seems that little has changed in the intervening 77 years. (B&W image courtesy of LAT Images – An Autocar photo scan)

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IOTW no.393

By | IOTW

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An unusual view

TJ 1876 was a 1933 McEvoy Minor Special, which during the course of WWII was owned by an RAF Wireless Operator/Air Gunner. This image from the late Bev Hicks collection is one of seven depicting the car during this period and is unashamedly of the car itself, with no individuals featured. Photos of our cars taken from above only ever appear infrequently and there are fewer still of Minor specials. From this angle it’s clear that the area behind the McEvoy’s rear seats was destined to be primarily used for luggage storage and not for the conveyance of passengers. The nearside wartime headlamp shroud also helps date the photograph.

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IOTW no.392

By | IOTW

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The Minor’s nemesis!

In February 1932 the Ford Motor Company launched their new ‘Eight’ model in the U.K. Designed in Dearborn, Michigan, the first prototypes began arriving at Ford’s new production facility in Dagenham, Essex during October 1931 with full scale production beginning at the new plant early in the new year. Within a matter of months the new Ford was outselling all other 8HP competitors, including the Minor which was having its most successful sales year to date, following the launch of the long wheel base models in the autumn of 1931. Less than two and a half years later the Minor was history with Morris launching a new Ford Eight inspired range, their own ‘Eight’, the car going on to become the company’s most successful pre-war model. This image of the 1932 Ford Eight, taken at its launch is a scan from the LAT Images archive (LATplate E2152)

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IOTW no.391

By | IOTW

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While images of Minors, Midgets and Hornets taken in action at sporting events, along with those issued for publicity purposes by the manufacturers, provide vital information for enthusiasts and restorers, so also do those taken as family snapshots. While the photographer has dated this image, the Minor and nearside front quarter of the MG Midget on view would have provided significant clues to an historian or researcher had that not been the case. The indistinct image of a Minor Coachbuilt Saloon in the background is either a a 1930 or 1931 OHC model (rectangular chromed radiator surround, low headlights and front opening doors) while the hooded guards and original wheel centres on the Midget indicate a 1931 season model, the later strengthened wheels centres being introduced by Morris for the Minor in October 1930 and presumably for the Midget at the same time. Other clues as to the date of the photograph could well be established via a knowledge of women’s fashion of the period, something beyond the scope of the writer.

N.B. The saloon could also be an early (1930/31) Wolseley Hornet, the two models sharing the same body and very similar radiators.

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IOTW no.390

By | IOTW

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A holiday snap?

Yet another eBay sourced snapshot – this being one of a series of three. It’s not clear if this is a pre, or post-war image, either from the attire of the  subjects, or from the appearance of the car itself. The 1933 Minor Saloon (OJ 3933) was first registered in Birmingham in the latter half of that year but had subsequently seen non-standard headlamps and sidelights fitted. The two front tyres are almost devoid of tread while an interesting vent has been fitted to the side of the n/s bonnet – perhaps to aid cooling? The shingle base upon which the accommodation has been constructed  indicates that the property is a ‘seaside-let’ and that this is yet another family holiday photo.

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