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IOTW

IOTW no.590

By IOTW

Period photographs of the 1931 season Morris Minor Semi-Sports do not surface often. This one came via Facebook and depicts RT 7279, a late 1930 East Suffolk registered vehicle. The car had seen far better days and had lost its original windscreen and front lighting equipment by the time this photo was taken, which was probably the late fifties or early sixties. If indeed the photo was taken in the sixties, it did not long survive the rigours of the newly introduced ‘MOT Ten Year Test’, as its registration is not recorded on the DVLA database.

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IOTW no.589

By IOTW

 GE 5860 is Glasgow registered 1929 Morris Minor Saloon. It was almost certainly constructed as a Coachbuilt model as this late thirties photograph show the variant’s Kopalapso roof in an open position. However, it’s clear that the roof has been (badly) re-canvassed at some point, while the A pillar mounted spotlight and bulb horn were not uncommon accessories.

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IOTW no.588

By IOTW

OC 957 is a summer 1933 Birmingham registered Morris Minor Two-seater and a survivor. There is a strong possibility that this snapshot (one of three of the car) was taken in the late pre-war early post-war era. There are  plenty of aftermarket fitments in evidence, including the front wing tie-bar, Hartford shock absorbers, side light and trafficators. The Morris Register is aware of the car which is currently on a SORN and was last taxed in 2013.

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I(s)OTW no.587

By IOTW

These two images were taken by Irish concert pianist Dorothy Stokes (1898-1982) and appear in one of her 25 photographic albums which are now held in the National Library of Ireland.  They were discovered on Facebook and forwarded to the Network by Kartik Lunia and depict a 1932 Morris Minor (BZ 961). The photo looks to have been taken in the fifties. Does its Irish registration provide any further clues that might help date the images?

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IOTW no.586

By IOTW

Very unusually, a latter-day photograph appears in the IOTW spot this week. 1934 Morris Minor Saloon (OU 3191) was once owned by member John Young and boasts a role in the 2004 film Ladies in Lavender in which acting royalty Dame(s) Judi Dench and Maggie Smith starred. Unfortunately, its original registration JO 7738 now adorns a white Audi and was replaced by 380 UXS. John managed to secure the much more appropriate Hants registration OU 3191 before selling the car on as it was simply too small for him. Back to the photo itself, which was found on Facebook and was forwarded to the PWMN without a caption or accreditation. This beautifully sharp image was taken on England’s south coast, but where precisely (Kent?) and who is now the owner of OU 3191?

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IOTW no.585

By IOTW

GU 5663 – Now this is an interesting eBay find. This Morris Minor Fabric Saloon was first registered in London in the spring of 1929, despite it missing its ‘Morris’ radiator script, a standard fitment for the model. Thanks to the record keeping of Minor enthusiast Ken Martin we know that a D.J. McLennan took part in the MCC High Speed Trial in a Morris Minor on 14th September 1929. What Ken didn’t know was in which Minor variant McLennan took part. Fortunately, the photograph came with the caption; “Donald McLennan after winning Gold Medal”. As a result his name could be matched to Ken’s list and the gaps filled-in, including the car’s registration details. In addittion, we now know that McLennan wore a suit (with plus-fours) for the occasion and that his Minor carried competition number 15, a small but important detail when researching old Brooklands photographs.

 

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IOTW no.584

By IOTW

This image was discovered on Facebook. The Minor pick-up has been converted from a 1929 Minor saloon and resides in a Belgrade, Serbia museum. It carries a local 1937 licence plate, while the photo itself bears a date of October 2017.

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IOTW no.583

By IOTW

Thanks to Ken Martin for providing a much clearer image of this 1931 £100 Minor rolling chassis than that displayed here previously. It’s now clear that this chassis was not fitted with a transmission handbrake!

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I(s)OTW no.582

By IOTW

WL 6523 is a spring 1929 Oxford built MG Midget, therefore an early production version built prior to the company’s move to Abingdon later that same year. While 1930 season Midgets (and beyond) had cable operated brakes the launch season cars had front brakes that were rod-actuated. To enable a straight run for the rods, the brake cross-shaft penetrated the louvred side valances, this being a key recognition indicator for 1929 models. This particular car also has painted Lucas 1130 side lights while some early Midgets, perhaps the majority, were fitted with plated examples. It’s difficult to ascertain when these images were taken although the poor condition of the car’s fabric skin might indicate that it’s quite some time after its manufacture.

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IOTW no.581

By IOTW

Click the image to see it full size.

This photo appeared among the images in a recent eBay listing for HY 1833. The car is a comparatively rare Bristol registered 1931  OHC Morris Minor Tourer which has spent a large part of its life in the west country. Sadly, the car has been neglected in recent years and now requires a full restoration. The photo depicts a happy family holiday scene and looks to have been taken in the early seventies at what surely must be a recognisable seaside/port venue?

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IOTW no.580

By IOTW

Very little is known about this Dutch registered 1931 £100 Morris Minor PG-06-70. Its general condition would indicate that the photo was taken in the post war period but the photo is almost entirely lacking in other visual clues.

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IOTW no.579

By IOTW

Although a somewhat underwhelming photo, it does tell a story. The photo is captioned ‘Dorset 1939’, which means that this unidentified 1934 Morris Minor Sliding-head Saloon was only five years old at the time the image was taken. It has obviously led a very hard life if the very shabby bodywork and flat rear springs are anything to go by. How many other Minors had been scrapped by the outbreak of World War Two?

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IOTW no.578

By IOTW

This photo of an unidentified special was almost certainly taken in the fifties or early sixties. The huge headlights , bulb horn and neglected bodywork is indicative of the student specials to be seen on the roads prior to the introduction of the ‘Ten Year Test’ as the MOT test was known at that time. The 28 louvre, two catch bonnet would seem to point to a 1934 season car.

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IOTW no.577

By IOTW

The founding fathers of the Dutch branch of the Morris Register gathered in April 1978 to pose for this photo. One of these gents is Eric Groot who owned the 1932 Morris Minor Tourer 43-TL-99, the car continuing in his ownership until the summer of 2018. Eric and his wife attended the 2008 VMR Rally based at Thorpe Abbotts, Suffolk U.K. and were among a strong Dutch contingent present.

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IOTW no.576

By IOTW

This is almost certainly one of the very last Morris Minor publicity photographs. It was taken to promote the 1934 season Morris Minor Two-door sliding-head saloon.  It’s seen here in Windsor Great Park sporting bumpers, a very smart optional extra.

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IOTW no.575

By IOTW

Absolutely nothing is known about this internet sourced image. What can be determined from the clues provided by the photo is that the car is a 1932 or 33 Morris Minor Two-seater, while the shot was likely to have been taken in the late fifties or early sixties. That conclusion was reached by noting the car’s general run-down condition and the attire of the pipe smoking student. The sartorial indicators are the young man’s long scarf,  his scruffy duffle coat and peaked ‘ratting’ hat, all of which were fashion ‘badges’ of the period. The car’s many non-standard features including Lucas 1130 side lights, easyclean wheels and non-Minor bumpers, further indications of a pre-MOT Test scrap yard candidate!

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IOTW no.574

By IOTW

This photo was taken at Beaulieu in May 1967 according to the handwritten caption on its reverse. The car is an unidentified 1934 Morris Minor Two-seater wearing polished wheel discs, an aftermarket accessory that was available from motor factors such as James Grose, Brown Bros and Halfords among others throughout the thirties. The Network’s photo archive contains just one other similar photo of a Minor, the wheel discs in that instance appearing on a 1930 Gordon England Two-seater Minor special.

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IOTW no.573

By IOTW

Here is an interesting eBay sourced snapshot of a 1934 Morris Minor Two-seater (AFY 46), which was a February or March 1934 Southport, Lancs registered car. The garments worn by the two young females would seem to indicate the the photo was taken in the late fifties or early sixties just prior to their departure on a summer holiday. A check in the Harry Edwards maintained hand written register records that this was Minor car number 34/MS/43819. Harry further recounts that his data was extracted from an “album photograph” and that AFY 46 was offered for sale in Classic Car Weekly in June 1999 for £5,500. Although not on a SORN,  a DVLA check reveals that it was last taxed in 2007,  which means that it is still likely to be out there somewhere.

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IOTW no. 572

By IOTW

FJ 7579 is regarded as one of just sixteen survivors of the 744 Morris Minor Semi-Sports models that were constructed during the 1931 model season. This photo of the car resides in the Harry Edwards Archive while a note in his register made in 1982 states that the vehicle is M32806 which at that point was in the custody of M. Chamberlayne of Lincs. The DVLA records that the car was last taxed in the spring of 1993. It’s clear from the photo that its body had been rebuilt at some point, although the photo quality is such that it can’t be determined if it has retained its stippled bonnet as originally supplied. There are no 21st century photographs of the car, so let’s hope that it’s still intact somewhere. (Note its lack of running-boards and outriggers)

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IOTW no.571

By IOTW

TE 8277 was a 1929 Lancashire registration which adorned this Morris Minor Special. The image originates in the Harry Edwards Photographic Archive and is one of three photos of the car. Harry was a meticulous note taker, yet his register notes fail to mention this car at all. The special body bares some of the hallmarks of the 1933 military Minor scout/radio cars but could also well be that of a homebuilt. The greatcoat and military style hat of the man standing alongside TE 8277 might also indicate that he was a member of His Majesty’s armed forces, although that could be a Royal Mail cap badge!

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IOTW no.570

By IOTW

Yet another internet sourced snapshot, this time of a 1933 Morris Minor Sliding-head Saloon. The registration prefix of ‘UG’ informs that it was first registered in the city of Leeds, while its caption indicates that the photo was taken in  ‘The Cheviots’ on the Anglo-Scottish border. The shot was almost certainly taken in the years preceding World War II, perhaps while the family were on their summer holiday.

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I(s)OTW no.569

By IOTW

These two photos of WN 4621, a 1932 Swansea registered Morris Minor Two-seater were scanned from small negative images found on the internet (with apologies for the poor quality). It wasn’t until they were inverted to become positives that it was apparent that the photos had been taken in the late fifties or sixties. A check in the Harry Edwards archive revealed that the car was known to the Morris Register, his note referencing Network member, Ken Martin. Perhaps Ken can provide more detail?

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IOTW no.568

By IOTW

It’s unusual to find an advertisement for the Morris Minor that is infrequently seen. This one is such an ‘ad’.  The model featured is a 1929 season Fabric Saloon, the ‘ad’ appearing in The Light Car & Cyclecar on 9th August 1929. The copy extolls the virtues of the car’s long range touring capabilities, citing a recent 1200 mile Morris Motors sponsored trip to the French Riviera and back. This expedition had warranted a full blown article (written by ‘Mileator) which appeared in the March 1929 edition of the Morris Owner magazine.

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I(s)OTW no.567

By IOTW

MG 704 – A McEvoy Midget

There are just two known surviving images of J.A. Berry‘s 1930 McEvoy bodied Midget (MG 704) both of which appear here. Berry successfully competed in his factory bodied Midget throughout 1930 and 1931 before exchanging the body for a McEvoy example built by the Jensen Brothers in West Bromwich in the spring of 1932. The similarities between the McEvoy Minor and Midget bodies are clear to see in the images to be seen above. (The lower two items appear here courtesy of Motorsport Images)

 

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IOTW no.566

By IOTW

US 1050 is a Glasgow registered 1933 Wolseley Hornet Saloon. This internet sourced image provides no clues as to its precise location, or to when the photograph was taken, although it’s clear to see that the barge is about to cross (or has just crossed) a loch or estuary.

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IOTW no.565

By IOTW

This postcard of Midhurst in the heart of rural West Sussex was taken in 1938. Parked-up at the kerbside is 1934 Morris Minor Two-seater (AHW 212). The Minor was first registered in Bristol in June 1934, so already four years old and some distance from home territory. What’s perhaps noticeable about this image is that the Minor and the DHC on the right are the only true ‘open’ cars to be seen. Had a photo been taken from this spot in 1928, there would undoubtedly have been many more open models in shot.

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IOTW no.564

By IOTW

Yet another image about which little is known. This was recently found uncaptioned in the archive, having lain there unnoticed since 2003. The Minor 5 cwt van in question was first registered in Birmingham in 1930, although to which of the various Newnhams’  scattered across England this vehicle was associated is anyones guess. It had served a useful community purpose as a private mobile lending library, perhaps doubling as a grocery delivery vehicle? Neverless, a sad end to what was probably a hard working life.

Thanks to member Mike Taylor, more is now known about this van. It’s not a an OF (Birmingham) registration but DF 9897, first registered in Gloucestershire in 1930. Mike knew of the van’s existance from the late 50s through to the 70’s and confirms that it was saved and restored. The Newnham village concerned was Newnham-on-Severn, Glos. (The DVLA records that the van was last taxed in 1994.

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IOTW no.563

By IOTW

1930 Morris 8HP Fire Tender

The Minor based Fire Tender was first catalogued in the 1931 Morris Motors range brochure. As can be seen in this photograph it was extremely well equipped, although the chemical fire exstinguishers were not included in the £170 asking price. Comparatively few images exist of the model, this one being a recent eBay find. The vehicle depicted here was almost certainly photographed at an Olympia exhibition, the patterned stand floor tiling matching numerous thirties Motor Show shots. Few Fire Tenders made it to customers and just four are documented. These included one that serviced the Morris Motors Cowley site, while a second was gifted to the City of Oxford Fire Brigade. A third example was purchased by an Indian Maharaja, while a fourth made it all the way to Wellington, New Zealand.

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IOTW no.562

By IOTW

An early thirties postcard depiction of Preston, not the large town in Lancashire, but a small village in Dorset some 275 miles south. The car that is about to pass the village store is either a 1930 or 1931 season Morris Minor OHC Coachbuilt Saloon, although unfortunately the vehicle’s registration markings are indecipherable.

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IOTW no.561

By IOTW

1930 Morris Minor Arrow Coupe GJ 8534

Perhaps once or twice a year it’s possible to find an historic image on eBay (or elsewhere) that quickens the pulse rate of a Minor enthusiast. This was one such occasion. Photographs of the 1930/31 Morris Minor Arrow Coupe Special are extremely rare, with just four differing depictions of the model present in the archive. GJ 8534 is a May 1930 London registered example and was built at A.P. Compton & Co’s Arrow Coachworks  in Hanwell, W.7. According to the caption written on the rear of the print, the photo was taken in July 1939 at Whyteleaf in Surrey at which point the Arrow was already nine years old. While looking a little tired and well used, it only differed visually from those newly constructed in 1930 by the addition of a pair of scuttle vents.

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I(s)OTW no.560

By IOTW

Morris saloon car space evolution

These two photographs were taken five years apart but represent two consecutive models. The top photo displays the available interior space of a 1932 Morris Family Eight Saloon, while the lower photo is of the interior of the model that replaced it, in this instance the 1937 version of the Morris Eight. The long wheelbase Minor range ceased production in the summer of of 1934 with the new Eight model arriving in Morris dealerships in early autumn the same year. The most visable difference relates to the use of the available space. The seating position of the front occupants of the earlier model is significantly further forward than that seen on the later car, which results in a wider rear door providing easier access for rear seat passengers. However, the driving position position of the later Eight looks to be far less cramped. (Both photos courtesy of Motorsport Images)

 

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I(s)OTW no. 559

By IOTW

Hybrid Minor Saloon.

This scan of a 10 X 8 print, taken from Morris Motors negative 7537, has been in the archive for almost eleven years and raised something of a stir when first published at that time. As received, the photo was found to be mounted on a section of card, upon which were written the words “1929 Morris Minor Saloon”. The car’s body was identical in shape to that of the 1929 Minor Fabric Saloon, with smaller rear side-windows to those seen on the following season’s saloon models. However, this car had a metal paneled lower body with a fabric skin covering everything above the door cheekline. Clearly, the car was a prototype, as no such Minor Saloon ever entered production, which left and still leaves an unanswered question as to its purpose?

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IOTW no. 558

By IOTW

Another Connolly MG Midget advertisement surfaces

The full page advertisement seen here was found in the January 1932 edition of the ‘SMT Magazine‘, published by Scottish Motor Traction Co. Ltd, in conjunction with the LMS and LNER railway companies. The magazine was effectively a travelogue, full of holiday destination articles, written presumably to encourage the Scottish populace to travel using SMT’s vehicles as the means of transportation. There may be later Harold Connolly illustrated MG M Type Midget advertisements to be found, although the model ceased production just six months later. The colour rendition of the Connolly drawing was created by Peter Brock, to whom many thanks.

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I(s)OTW no. 557

By IOTW

1930 Maltby Minor DHC Special

Coachbuilders Maltby’s of Folkstone, Kent advertised two Minor variants for the 1930/31 season. These were the £160 de luxe Two – seater and the £185 DHC version. A solitary two-seater is known to have survived but has been undergoing restoration for almost 20 years and sadly hasn’t been seen for some considerable time. Unfortunately, it appears that none of the very well appointed DHC versions have survived. These Autocar diagrams along with the 1930 Motor Show program notes provide specification details. No period photos of the DHC version have been found to date.

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IOTW no.556

By IOTW

OC 7194

This Morris Minor Two-seater (OC 7194)  was photographed on one of the 7 hill sections of the 1934 Sunbac Colmore Trial which took place on 24th February. R.V.M. Barry was at the wheel of the Morris and was tasked to complete 70 miles prior to the trial’s end. There were 155 starters and contempoary reports indicate that delays were experienced.

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IOTW no.555

By IOTW

This image of JO 764, the £100 S.V. Morris Minor development car was taken on a very wet and dismal day somewhere in the Oxfordshire countryside, just prior to the car’s announcement in late December 1930. This is one of a sequence of photos of the car, all likely to have been taken on the same day and held by Motorsport Images among their LAT Collection. The photos are an important reference source and have helped with the car’s restoration, currently being carried out by London based Morris enthusiast, Mick Roberts. (LATplate Red 9061)

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IOTW no.554

By IOTW

1930 MCC ‘Exeter’

Here is a recently discovered Morris Minor saloon photograph from the LAT Collection (B5299), which was taken at the 1930 MCC London-Exeter Trial. The car’s competition number of 151 identifies it (via Cowbourne) as being driven by M. Longridge. The car’s registration is partialy obscured by mud or a badge and reads as GC 7?17, making it a London 1930 registration. It’s lack of a ‘Morris’ script on the radiator would indicate that it’s a 1930 season car, although it’s impossible from this head-on shot to determine whiich of the two  saloon versions this one is. Unfortunately for Mr. Longridge, he had to retire the car and therefore did not gain an award. (Courtesy of Motorsport Images)

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IOTW no.553

By IOTW

Wagner again

T. Wagner competed in Morris Minors from the spring of 1933 until immediately prior to the commencement of the Second World War. His first Minor was a 1933 Two-seater model (KJ 9509), while his first recorded event was the Scottish Six Days Trial held in May of that year. After this his name crops up regularly among the results of the national reliability trials of the period.  Photographs of his second Minor, a 1934 Two-seater (OY 8787), also appeared from time to time in the motoring magazines . While perhaps not the best known Morris Minor personality of the period, he was certainly a regular competitor and judging by his results, was also a very capable driver. Here he is seen competing in the 1934 London – Gloucester Trial ‘ somewhere in the Cotswolds’. (LATplate C5804 courtesy of Motorsport Images)

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IOTW no.552

By IOTW

Unless you are an enthusiast or own classic or vintage cars, it’s doubtful that you would deliberately include a car ‘in shot’  if you were taking a family photograph today. In the thirties, the opposite seems to have been the case. Back then, the family car was captured on film at every opportunity. Here, a ten or eleven year old boy dressed in full school uniform has been posed alongside the family’s 1929 Portsmouth registered Morris Minor Fabric Saloon (TP 7975).  The Minor itself is only noteworthy for its spotlight and non standard horn, although the luck associated with the horseshoe affixed to the radiator may well have been called upon from time to time to compensate for the car’s totally bald front tyres! This damaged snapshot has no caption on its reverse  and was a recent eBay purchase.

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IOTW no.551

By IOTW

Wolseley Hornet Saloon

The launch of the Wolseley Hornet in April 1930 was a huge event at the time. The intense public and media interest was not due to the cars appearance as its body was already a familar site and shared with the Morris Minor, the Morris product having been launched some 18 months previously. No, this  excitement was due to the compact 1271 cc, six-cylinder OHC engine designed for this model. This ‘head-on’ LAT photoscan view does reveal the narrow track it shared with the Minor but not its elongated bonnet, under which sat the extended Minor engine. (Photo courtesy of Motorsport Images) 

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IOTW 550

By IOTW

1933 SSDT

The May 1933 running of the Scottish Six Days Trial (SSDT) encompassed some of Scotland’s most beautiful scenary. Although not apparent from this edited extract of LAT plate C317, H.F. Barge‘s 1931 SV Tourer (JO 2231) is seen climbing away from the village of Inverfarigaig on the shores of Loch Ness, leaving General Wades Military Road (B582) far behind. (Courtesy of Motorsport Images)

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IOTW no.549

By IOTW

WE 5586

1929 Morris Minor saloon (WE 5586) was first registered in Sheffield, as was WE 7511 but some time later the following year. UD 3335 is aso a 1930 registration, although originating in Oxford. The photograph was one of a miscellaneous batch of five recently acquired via eBay.  The concise caption on its the rear reads as follows, “Morris Minor, Marmon Straight Eight and Essex Terraplane”. Nothing else is known.

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IOTW no.548

By IOTW

T. Wagner

T. Wagner successfully campaigned his Two-seater Minors (’33 model KJ 9509 & ’34 model OY 8787) between 1933 and 1938, appearing in many events and regularly featuring among the top award winners throughout that period. Here he is photographed in June 1938 while taking part in the MCC’s London-Edinburgh trial, driving (according to Cowbourne) a 908cc (sic) Minor Two-seater. This image was taken from a recently discovered cache of ‘Motor’ 35mm negatives held in the LAT Collection. (Photo courtesy of Motorsport Images)

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IOTW no.547

By IOTW

Autumn 1939

An unidentified 1931 SV Morris Minor Coachbuilt Saloon is seen here queuing for fuel shortly after the annoucement of the declaration of war on 3rd September 1939. Petrol ration books were distributed to U.K. car owners on 8th September, with rationing coming into force on the 15th. The owner of the Morris Eight saloon behind the Minor has already painted his front wings in line with HM Government advice, although none of cars on view have as yet fitted shrouds to one of their headlamps. This Motor image looks to have been taken in one of London’s new Metroland suburbs, perhaps in Surrey or Middlesex. (LAT collection 35mm Motor negative – courtesy of Motorsport Images)

 

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I(s)OTW no.546

By IOTW

Sir George Kenning (knighted in 1943) was the founder of what was to become the Kenning Motor Group. He was a larger than life character who helped shape a change in the way cars were sold in the U.K. He was photographed here in 1929 alongside a Morris Minor Fabric Saloon. Perhaps better known is the early 1931 photo as used in the Morris Owner magazine and the national press of Sir George driving a £100 Minor to promote the new model.

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I(s)OTW no.545

By IOTW

Two magazines – same image

January 1930 editions of both the Light Car and Morris Owner featured the same image depicting a 1929 season Morris Minor Fabric Saloon behind which a small outboard motor powered craft had been towed to the water’s edge. While both captions mention Durban, South Africa as being the venue, the Morris Owner heads-up its piece ‘With a Minor at the Cape’ despite Durban being located in what was Natal Province, some considerable distance from the cape area.

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I(s)OTW no.544

By IOTW

In the main just a single image adorned the cover of The Light Car & Cycle Car (later shortened to the Light Car) magazine throughout the thirties decade. However, many photos of the selected subject vehicle were taken and the rejected shots eventually found their way into the magazine’s archive alongside the chosen image. Here is one such example. The editor wanted a suitable photo for the magazine’s 10th November 1933 edition to commemorate ‘Poppy Day’. He selected this photo of a 1934 Minor Saloon but consigned the people-less photo of the car and war memorial to the archive. (LAT Motor plate 714-10 courtesy of Motorsport Images)

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I(s)OTW no.543

By IOTW

On the cover…

The Morris Minor featured many times on the covers of the weekly motoring magazines, primarily between 1929 and 1932. Here are two Light Car and Cyclecar covers from 1929, one of which is an advertisement placed by Morris Motors, the other featuring  XV 9071, a Temple Press company car used from time to time by motororing journalist, Harold Hastings. Fabric Saloon XV 9071 was first registered in London in late 1928 and went on to feature on the cover of the magazine on three further occasions, in April 1929, November 1930 and finally in April 1931.

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IOTW no.542

By IOTW

1932/3 Wolseley Hornet Sports Coupe

As mentioned in this spot on a previous occasion, this style of Sports Coupe body was very much in vogue between 1932 and 1935. Most large scale/high volume car manufacturers (with the exception of Ford) produced such a model, all of which had a very similar shape. This model from Wolseley, (unsurprisingly) closely resembled the Sports Coupe offerings from Morris Motors and no doubt shared many parts.

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IOTW no.541

By IOTW

Here is another eBay sourced post-war snapshot of a Minor that has seen far better days. GT 1993, a September 1931 London County Council registered car is wearing ‘L’ plates and is showing clear signs of wear and tear. The 1932 Minor Two-seater has a patched-up hood and paintwork that hasn’t seen polish for some time, although the front tyres appear to be in good condition. It doesn’t look as if the car survived the introduction of the MOT Test in the early sixties, as nothing is recorded on the DVLA database.

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IOTW no.540

By IOTW

Yet another IOTW from across the globe, sourced (once again) by John McDonald from Christchurch, New Zealand. This present-day image of an almost derelict 1933 Morris Minor Saloon is from a local NZ website, the site owner being an avid Austin Seven enthusiast. There are two further images and it’s possible to count at least six Austin Sevens, all kept undercover in barns. The Minor however has been left in the open, exposed to the elements, crying out to be rescued.

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IOTW(s) no.539

By IOTW

GY 8404

IOTW no.538 (see archive) also shows an image of this 1932 Morris Minor Saloon taken in the early post war years. This second glass plate scan was taken around the same period and shows the car alongside a 1934 Minor Saloon variant (BNO 505) and the family’s beautiful Lagonda sports saloon. Sadly, BNO 505 is not currently recorded on the DVLA database although GY 8404 is mentioned there, albeit nothing is known post 1990. Ken Martin does have a photo of GY 8404 (reproduced here with thanks) which was taken in 1987 at the Morris Register’s Stanford Hall rally. It seems likely therefore that the car has survived as it looked well cared for just three years prior to its last recorded DVLA mention. Is the current whereabouts of this Minor known by anyone?

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IOTW no.538

By IOTW

GY 8404

This image was scanned from one of two glass plates recently purchased via eBay. The 1932 Morris Minor Two-door Saloon (GY 8404) was first registered in London in June of that year. The photograph was almost certainly taken in the late forties or early fifties, as the toy Jeep is emblazoned with the motif ‘GB 1946’ on its bonnet. The car heading-up this unusual four vehicle queue is an elegant mid to late thirties Lagonda sports saloon while the last mode of transport in the line-up is a self-propelled, arm powered, foot steered go-cart. The Minor survived at least until August 1990 according to the DVLA.  More on this car in the next IOTW edition.

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IOTW no.537

By IOTW

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Bound for Spain

Dick Weekes (aka Kemble on this website’s forum) took his 1933 Morris Minor Saloon (UN 6573) to Spain in 1960. After travelling through France, this scenic photograph was taken as he approached the Spanish boarder.

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IOTW no.536

By IOTW

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This charming image of a 1929-31 OHC Morris Minor Tourer was a recent eBay purchase. The photo had been carefully mounted and framed, thus ensuring that the print was maintained in good condition. A close examination of the photo reveals that the car has been well-kept and is fitted with the early wheel centres as used on 1929 and 1930 season models, although no other form of  vehicle identification is visible. The mature lady behind the wheel is presumably the young boys aunt or grandmother?

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IOTW no.535

By IOTW

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N.Z. homebuilt

Yet another interesting photograph from ‘Networker’ John McDonald in Christchurch, New Zealand. This one depict a 1929 OHC Minor that has seen far better days! The shot was probably taken in the late fifties or early sixties when these cars became affordable to students and others on an extremely limited budget. The homemade body and Magna wheels can’t disguise the car’s origins as the radiator, front wings and OHC Minor engine can all clearly be seen.

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IOTW no.534

By IOTW

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Minehead NCP Car Park mid-thirties

This postcard image of part of the Minehead, Somerset shoreline looks likely to have been taken on a busy weekend during the holiday season. The Morris Minor Two-seater approaching the NCP car park (Parking Fee 6d) is UN 6109 a late 1932 Denbigh registered vehicle. Other car registrations indicate that tourists have travelled from as far afield as Berkshire, Birmingham and the Black Country to visit the Somerset resort. Just out of shot is the terminus to the railway serving the town which at this time was operated by the GWR. The line closed under the Beeching cuts in 1971, re-opening for tourist traffic in 1976 as the West Somerset Railway.

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IOTW no.533

By IOTW

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South London – late thirties

This photo was first published in the 10th March 1939 edition of The Autocar, appearing in an article  related to driving instruction and the taking of the driving test. Here a learner driver under tuition is seen on a busy South London high road passing a parked 1932 Morris Minor 5 cwt van (HN 8545), sign written as being owned by a Norbury, SW16 electrical contractor, A.E. Cox Radio. The photo looks to have been taken in high summer, possibly in 1938, making the Minor van six years old at the time this photo is likely to have been taken. The photo begs a couple of questions – How did a Darlington registered vehicle end up in South London and did the van survive the forthcoming conflict? (Autocar photoscan courtesy of Motorsport Images)

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IOTW no.532

By IOTW

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MY 7336

It would be wrong to suggest that this thirties snapshot of a 1930 Morris Minor Saloon is in any way exceptional.  It isn’t, in that like so many photos of family cars of the period, it was taken at the roadside where a picnic is under way.  The car has an occupant, although the individuals gender is not clear. The Minor (it could be either a Fabric or Coachbuilt saloon) was first registered in Middlesex. This image came via Hugh Barnes (Orstin) with thanks.

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IOTW no.531

By IOTW

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Workhorse

John McDonald submitted this evocative late fifties or early sixties image of a 1932 Morris Minor Saloon. The photo was taken in the Te Urewera region of North Island, New Zealand, the Minor being refuelled outside the local general store.  The car was approaching 30 years old at this time and was showing signs of its age. It had clearly been worked hard of late as the fully laden trailor and flattened rear springs illustrate.

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IOTW no.530

By IOTW

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OV 4995

This 1931 Birmingham registered Morris Minor Two-seater could be some distance from home. The photo is captioned ‘St. Bartholomew’s  Church, Leigh litch gate’, Leigh being in the county of Surrey some 140 miles south east of England’s second city. The assortment of wheels and general appearance of the vehicle might also be indicative of when the photo was taken – perhaps as late as the fifties.

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IOTW no.529

By IOTW

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A Manxed ‘M’

Many pre-war ‘open’ cars were the recipients of new homebuilt bodies in the austere post war years of the late forties and fifties. By now most of these cars were approaching 25 years old and their original timber framed bodies had seen far better days. This Surrey registered 1931 MG Midget PL 5390 had acquired such a body, styled with sharply cut-away doors, a flat windscreen and a docked tail, thus imitating the J and P type Midgets that followed the M Type’, although losing its louvered front valance somewhere along the way.

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IOTW no.528

By IOTW

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JO 764 December 1930

One of the pre-launch photo-shoots for the new (for 1931) S.V. Morris Minor Two-seater (JO 764) was conducted in awful weather conditions somewhere in the Oxfordshire countryside. Here the car is stopped at a road junction during what looks to have been a downpour, the vacuum wiper clearly (or should that be unclearly!) not doing its job. The LAT archive holds a sequence of images taken that day which must have been a miserable one for the photographer. (LATplate Red 9060 courtesy of Motorsport Images)

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IOTW no.527

By IOTW

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PO 4843

This is one of a sequence of six images of PO 4843 purchased as a single lot on eBay in December 2012. Three have featured here previously but not this shot of the car and its owner’s wife or girlfriend. ‘Jerry’ is a 1932 Morris Minor Two-seater, first registered in West Sussex in late 1931. As none of the six prints are captioned we can only speculate as to how it was so named and just when these photographs were taken. What can’t be denied is that like this particular image, they all possess a certain period charm.

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IOTW no.526

By IOTW

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UP 4835

This lovely image featuring a 1930 Durham registered MG Midget (UP 4835) was purchased on eBay recently. The photo was taken at Stybarrow Crag, Ullswater and bears the stamp on its reverse of Fox Photos Ltd., of Tudor Street, London EC4, the firm’s premises being located within a stones throw of Fleet Street. Unfortunately, there is no indication as to which publication the image was eventually destined to appear. The good news is that this car survives and according to the DVLA was last taxed in 2007. The Triple M Register are investigating.

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I(s)OTW no.525

By IOTW

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AXV 98

Mike Tebbett forwarded the upper images of 1934 Morris Minor Saloon (AXV 98) along with the following comment “AXV 98, taken by me circa 1971…. Appalling quality, sorry…..This was at a Monmouthsire farm where I bought a vintage Minor in pieces that had been a van. The latter was soon sold on to Rosemary Burke and her husband as I was still student and had no money! AXV seems to still exist, do you know of it? “ Fortunately, the archive holds a series of images of the now re-bodied vehicle, which at that time was located in Scotland and was auctioned on eBay in July 2016. Where it resides now is anyone’s guess?

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I(s)OTW no.524

By IOTW

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GX 6859

These two images (submitted by David Saunders) show a March 1932 London registered Morris Minor Two-seater special (GX 6859). The photos, which were believed to have been taken in the late sixties or early seventies, are of a vehicle that survives to this day. The car has been the subject of  some speculation in recent years as to its origins. David describes it as a Jarvis bodied Minor special and the body tub has a rounded rump and door shape which are similar in design to that seen on the 1930-31 Jarvis bodied Mg Midget.

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IOTW no.523

By IOTW

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This official looking Morris photograph of a Minor Four-door Saloon was found in glass plate format within the LAT archive. It depicts an early production or pre-production 1934 model, the non-sloping radiator guard providing the visual clue along with the plate’s reference number, which places it in August or September of 1933. Just 2075 long-wheel-base Minor Saloons found customers in the 1934  season, almost exactly half the quantity built in the model’s first  year (1932) when 4029 were constructed. The lwb saloon fared significantly better than the lwb Special Coupe which recorded sales of just 47 units during the 1934 season. (LATplate E3763 courtesy of Motorsport Images)

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IOTW no.522

By IOTW

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Morris Minor Two-seater JO 764

This is an unusual photo snippet of the £100 Minor development car (JO 764)  in that the hood is folded away in its bag while the side-screens remain in position. Despite the publicity surrounding the launch of the model and the huge public interest that followed, the 1931 S.V. Two-seater found just 1455 customers over the seven months it remained in production.

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IOTW no.521

By IOTW

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1932 Cunard Calshot

This is a pre-restoration shot of 1932 Cunard Calshot MU 6066. The Calshot was built by the Cunard Coachworks in Acton, West London and was based upon a 1932 long-wheel-base Minor chassis, which at that time was powered by the OHC engine. The Cunard busines was a wholly owned subsidiary of London Morris main dealers, Stewart & Ardern who exclusively marketed the model.  The image seen here was taken when the car was in the ownership of David Saunders.  Hopefully, a photo shoot involving all three survivors can be arranged when the ongoing restoration of MU 6066 is completed.

PS The MG TA in the background (DON 523) was first registered by Birmingham CBC in November 1937.

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IOTW no.520

By IOTW

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YD 4198

Side valve chassis SV 13467 left Cowley at the end of February 1932 and was shipped to the Jensen Brother’s coachworks in West Bromwich.  It was then fitted with one of their new 2+2 McEvoy special bodies and registered by Somerset County Council as YD 4198 shortly afterward. This photo was taken in 1971 when the car was in the ownership of James Peacop in Cheshire, remaining in his custodianship until 2017 when it was sold at a Brightwell’s auction, achieving a record sale price for a pre-war Minor. Sitting behind the McEvoy is 1930 Minor Tourer EC 6065, which at that time was extensively campaigned by Jim in VSCC trials events. This photo appears here courtesy of Mike Adams who owns the Jensen/McEvoy section of the Harry Edwards archive.

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IOTW no.519

By IOTW

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Light Car cover images

The Light Car magazine (The Light Car & Cyclecar until the autumn of 1933)  was a hugely successful publication throughout the thirties, but particularly in the years 1930-1934, the period prior to the launch of the Practical Motorist magazine. It’s full page cover photographs regularly featured cars loaned by manufacturers for road tests and launch articles, the black & white imagery contrasting with the magazines colour title-banner, selected from a range of red, orange, green, blue & yellow. The differing colours may have had some significance not apparent to the writer. Here a 1932 Swallow bodied Wolseley Hornet Two-seater has been photographed at the roadside, a short distance from the Cherhill White Horse in a beautiful Wiltshire setting.

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IOTW no.518

By IOTW

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UN 1579

Although the quality of this image leaves much to be desired it does portray a very early Morris Minor Tourer. UN 1579 was first registered in Denbigh in the autumn of 1928 very soon after the first Minors started leaving the Cowley plant. The reverse of the image has (another) one word caption, “Cardiff”.  The K2 phoneboxes in the background don’t help to date the photograph as they were first introduced in 1924, while the cobbled roadways may indicate that the timing was earlier rather than later in the Thirties decade.

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IOTW no.517

By IOTW

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WL 9243

This eBay postcard shows Oxford registered 1931 Minor Coachbuilt Saloon (WL 9243) parked outside of the Hotel Abington. The internet reveals that there are two Abingtons’ in the U.K., one located in South Lanarkshire, Scotland the other in Northamptonshire, England. With the car’s registration the only visual clue, it’s likely that this photo was taken in Abington, Northants. (South Cambridgeshire has two Abingtons, although they are prefixed by the words ‘Great’ and ‘Little’ respectively.

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IOTW no.516

By IOTW

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Worthing Minor

Featuring here this week are two family snapshops of a pre 31 season OHC Minor Coachbuilt Saloon. Just a single word caption appears on the reverse of both photos – ‘Worthing’. Very little else of substance can be gleaned from either image, other than it’s clear that the husband is a better photographer than his wife, or at least has a far steadier hand!

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IOTW no.515

By IOTW

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VX 7908

This 1931 season Minor Coachbuilt Saloon was first registered in Chelmsford, Essex towards the tail-end of 1930. The revised bumper brackets were new for that season as were the strengthened wheel centres, although that type is not evident in this snapshot. The Minor is definitely showing signs of its age, indicating perhaps that the photo may well have been taken in the post-war years. Thanks to Mike Tebbett for forwarding this charming image and also to Bruce Dowell for permitting its use.

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IOTW no.514

By IOTW

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1933 Hornet Coupe

Yet another eBay find, this time an April 1933 London registered Wolseley Hornet Coupe (AGT 574). It’s likely that the proud owner of what looks to be a newish car is operating the camera shutter on this shot, his family firmly ensconced in the comfortable cabin. These coupe models were extremely well equipped and sold for £245, a full £47 more than the standard saloon model.

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I(s)OTW no.513

By IOTW

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The White Minor (again!)

Thanks to the Harry Edwards Archive, yet more information is now available concerning the post-war history of the White Minor Skinner Special. After it was sold by John Bolster it changed hands on at least six occasions during the late fifties and early sixties. One such owner was a W.G.A. Davies who lived in Shooters Hill in South East London and it’s him we must thank for these interesting photos taken in either 1961 or 1962. At this time the car was fitted with an 1172 cc Ford E93A S.V. engine. As can be seen, the car’s dash panel differs significantly from its pre-war racing days with a motley array of instruments, some from the early thirties and others of later origin. The original Hartford shock absorbers have also gone to be replaced by post war telescopic units. It’s hoped that a future article in the Minor Musings series can fully detail the chronology of the car’s ownership in the post war years.

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IOTW no.512

By IOTW

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1934 season Minor 5 cwt van advertisement – Fish Trades Gazette

The Network’s archive contains very few advertisements, or promotional material of any stype, for the Minor 5 cwt van, something of a failing, as the 5 cwt van was the second only to the Minor Saloon in the sales stakes.  This recently sourced advertisement for a 1934 season model (with eddy free front!) goes a little way towards correcting that anomoly. It’s interesting to see that Morris Motors trawled the business journals (an awful pun – apologies) to find suitable periodicals in which to advertise their Light Vans.

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IOTW no.511

By IOTW

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PS 782

The PS (Zetland) sequence of registrations was of long duration, commencing in January 1904 and concluding in 1964 with PS 4080. This 1929 Minor Fabric Saloon (PS 782) was one of just 54 vehicles registered on Zetland that year and looks to be in excellent condition, so perhaps a recent arrival from the mainland. The two men featured (almost certainly brothers) are very smartly dressed for a forthcoming formal occasion or maybe just for the photograph. (A Shetland Museum photo)

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I(s)OTW no.510

By IOTW

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Archive gems

The LAT Collection contains a host of motoring treasures, many of which haven’t seen the light of day for decades. An early visit in 2012 to Haymarket’s Teddington, Middx base (at that point Haymarket were the custodian’s of the LAT Collection), unearthed these three photographs, all of which appeared in the Light Car & Cyclecar magazine in the autumn of 1928. They were discovered in a neglected folder and all had the Light Car & Cyclecar stamp on their reverse side. They show images of the very recently released Morris Minor Fabric Saloon which (almost certainly) was one of the early development cars, as these photos reveal a number of features that were absent from production models. (Light Car Photoscans courtesy of Motorsport Images)

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I(s)OTW no.509

By IOTW

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1929 Morris Minor Tourer RM 6065

This quartet of snapshots was a recent eBay purchase, all of which depict a Cumberland registered 1929 built Minor Tourer (RM 6065) with family members posing alongside. Three are captioned with the names of the individuals in shot and the portrait image mentions that it was “taken near Grasmere”.  The shot of the car with a male at the wheel enables the viewer to see the flat bottom to the bonnet side, along with the solid nickel radiator, both of which changed at chassis no. 14456, thus confirming its ‘early’ status.

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IOTW no.508

By IOTW

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1933 Wolseley Hornet Coupe

This scan of a heavily retouched Autocar column header from a February 1933 edition of the magazine shows one of the new Wolseley Hornet Coupe bodied cars, a style that was very much in vogue at that time. A plethora of British manufacturers, including Morris, Austin, Lanchester, Rover and Wolseley all produced examples of these highly stylised coupe bodied models, described by Morris as Sports/Special Coupes. Singer bucked the trend and produced an elegant two-door coupe for their Nine, choosing not to disfigure its shapely lines by the use of dummy pramhood irons. This posed shot was taken on an airfield where one of the DeHavilland DH 60 Gypsy Moth aircraft was parked alongside. (LAT photoscan courtesy of Motorsport Images)

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I(s)OTW no. 507

By IOTW

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Minor rumours and speculation

News of a new model from a major car manufacturer creates quite a stir today, particularly in the motoring press. Much speculation takes place and grainy ‘spy’ photos of heavily disguised cars are published with paint schemes aimed at breaking-up the car’s outline. The motoring magazines then put together their own ‘artist impressions’ taken from the spy photos and these are then analysed by their experts. In the twenties and thirties much the same took place, although without quite the razzmatazz seen today. Here are two images that illustrate that point. In the spring of 1928 rumours concerning the forthcoming baby car from Morris Motors were rife. Just prior to the first official photos being released in June, The Autocar released their own impression of what the car was likely to look like. Thankfully, they were way off beam as this awful mocked-up photo shows. Later, in February 1930 news was circulating among the motoring journals of a new small six-cylinder car from Morris. On this occasion, The Autocar‘s mock-up was almost spot-on in terms of appearance, except that the car they depicted was badged as a Morris. When the new ‘six’ did appear just two months later, it of course carried a Wolseley motif on its radiator.

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IOTW no.506

By IOTW

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GN 5195

This snapshot of an early 1931 London registered Minor Coachbuilt Saloon (GN 5195) is another recent eBay purchase. As this OHC Minor was leaving the end of the production line, the very first ‘utility’ SV Minors  were beginning to find customers.  The dilemma facing some prospective Minor customers (and perhaps this one as well) was not just about which engine type to select for powering their new acquisition, but what that final model choice may say about them and their aspirations? Of course model ‘price’ will have been a very significant factor but the prospect of driving a visibly utilatarian model versus a model with chrome ancillaries, bumpers and a (limited) colour choice will have swayed some to find the extra money and buy the OHC version, or perhaps to simply walk around the corner and see what was on offer at their nearest Austin Seven dealer! No heart or head choices to be made there.

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IOTW no.505

By IOTW

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PN 7459 1931 SV Minor

PN 7459 was the subject of a short feature by Harry Edwards in the summer 1981 edition of the Morris Register’s ‘Journal’ magazine. The photograph seen here was scanned for the archive from a box file loaned to me by Ken Martin following Harry’s death. The car’s story is an interesting one in that it was converted from a 1931 Minor van to a special in 1937 utilising some of the van’s bodywork in its construction. The original article and more photographs can be found by following this link.

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IOTW no.504

By IOTW

Blazing a trail with a Minor.

These two images were scanned from a recently acquired August 1930 edition of the Morris Overseas Mail magazine. They immediately struck a chord as the Australian Minor Roadster and its journey into the Australian bush was familiar to me. Upon checking the archive I found two further references to this expedition. The first was a short article in a May 1930 edition of The Autocar, the second being a full length article from the August 1935 edition of The Morris Owner. As to why the magazine published the article a full year after the Minor ceased production and five years after it took place is mystifying. The article however bears witness to the ruggedness of the Minor’s running gear under what were atrocious conditions. The 1935 Morris Owner article can be read by following the link below. (Chris Lambert – November 2019)

MO Blazing a trail with a Minor August 1935

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IOTW no.503

By IOTW

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Calcutta – Spring 1930

This cutting is from the August 1930 edition of The Morris Overseas Mail magazine and shows the comparatively rare sight of a Minor Saloon on the sub-continent. The two brief paragraphs of text accompanying the image tells of Mr Whittacker’s satisfaction with the model and its achievements in Calcutta’s busy traffic. He claims that his Fabric Saloon has a top-speed of 53 mph and regularly achieves 47 mpg. Keeping a fabric skinned car in sub-tropical conditions must surely have taxed those charged with maintaining the integrity of the body. It’s known that in the tip of the North Island in New Zealand birds used the flock beneath the skin of imported Fabric Saloons as nest lining material. Similar issues may have also occurred in India.

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IOTW no.502

By IOTW

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Family lane-side picnic circa 1930

Period images featuring families sharing a summer afternoon’s picnic alongside their cars are anything but rare. An image search on Google or a trawl through eBay will reveal many of this genre. However, few are as well composed or photographed as this example. Here, the occupants of two cars, perhaps an extended family, have assembled by the roadside to consume their picnic on a beautiful summer day. In the large late twenties saloon (1928 Morris Cowley) sits the matriarch while her kith and kin are seated on the grass around her. The 1929 season Minor Fabric Saloon may be owned by the photographer who has captured this late twenties/early thirties middle-class idyll for posterity. (Image via Ken Martin)

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IOTW no.501

By IOTW

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Peter Skinner (again)

Following on from IOTW no.500, this image shows the elder of the Skinner siblings wrestling his car around the Lower ‘S’ at Shelsley Walsh in 1938. According to contemporary reports, the 4.2 litre Hudson engined special was exceedingly quick along the straights, while testing the driver’s abilities to the full on the corners. It’s interesting to note that in 1938 crash helmets were required to be worn under the regulations, while for most of the thirties this wasn’t the case. (LAT ‘Motor’ film courtesy of Motorsport Images)

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IOTW no.500

By IOTW

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Peter Skinner & the Red Skinner Special

This superb portrait of Peter Skinner was taken at Shelsley Walsh in September 1938. By this time his Red Minor Skinner Special had been radically altered by the installation of a Hudson Straight Eight power unit of 4168 cc developing 138 bhp. It’s not easy to ascertain just how much of the original Morris Minor was retained at this point but the likelihood is that it was very little. His sister Barbara, also competed in the same car at this event. (LAT Photo C15901 courtesy of Motorsport Images)

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IOTW no. 499

By IOTW

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HX 8980 1931 Morris Minor Semi-Sports

Although officially a 1931 season car, far greater numbers of the £125 Morris Minor Semi-Sports (two-seat) model were constructed and sold in the period late August to late December 1930 than in the following eight-months to August 1931. This was almost entirely due to the introduction of the S.V. £100 Minor Two-seater just before the Christmas holiday in December 1930, its £25 price advantage seriously denting sales of the Semi-Sports model.  This Middlesex registered car, however, carries a registration plate (HX 8980) of a sequence that was issued between 1933 and 1939, which suggests that it was re-registered at some point, post 1933. Thanks goes to Keith Durston for unearthing this photo of his friend Ginger Marshall and brother, which was probably taken in the late forties/early Fifties. The car survives and is currently in the custodianship of Daniel Redmond.

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IOTW no.498

By IOTW

Here is a snapshot of a late 1931 or early 1932 MG Midget which is identifiable by its sculptured wings and short boot lid. What is not clear from this image is if the car is fabric skinned or one of the ‘new’ metal panelled variants. Folklore has it that all short boot lid cars were of the metal panelled variety as MG were keen to clear old stocks of the fabric skinned version. Certainly, their pricing for the 1932 season reflected this with the fabric skinned car being listed at £165 while the new panelled body versions were priced at £185. Could it be possible that Carbodies were supplying MG with short boot lid versions of both the panelled and fabric skinned cars? Is there evidence to say that this is not the case? PS Stowing the spare wheel on the tail was not a standard feature offered by the company.

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IOTW no.499

By IOTW

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HX 8980 1931 Morris Minor Semi-Sports

Although officially a 1931 season car, far greater numbers of the £125 Morris Minor Semi-Sports models were constructed and sold in the period late August to late December 1930 than in the following eight month period. This was almost entirely due to the introduction of the S.V. £100 Minor Two-seater just before the Christmas holiday in December 1930.  This Middlesex registered car however, sports a registration plate (HX 8980) of a sequence that was issued in the period between 1933 and 1939, which suggests that it was re-registered at some point post 1933. Thanks goes to Keith Durston for unearthing this photo of his friend Ginge Marshall and brother, which was probably taken in the late forties/early Fifties. The car survives and is currently in the custodianship of Daniel Redmond.

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IOTW no.496

By IOTW

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A Midget in Scotland

This photo featured as a full page item in the 15th October 1934 edition of The Autocar. The two 1932 London registered cars are a BSA Three-wheeler GW 4646 and GX 803  an MG Midget. Clearly on a touring holiday, the two cars are parked-up alongside the beautiful Loch Tulla in Argyll almost 500 miles distant from their London base, with their crews dressed in full-length leather coats as protection against the weather, despite the season appearing to be late spring or summer. GX 803 appeared in a number of Autocar published photos between 1932 and 1934, including one in John o’Groats, perhaps taken while on this same trip. (LAT Autocar photoscan – courtesy of Motorsport Images)

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IOTW no.495

By IOTW

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Shifnal Postcard

Unusual though it may seem, it isn’t the first time that a cottage hospital has featured in an IOTW photo with a pre-war Minor parked outside. Here, JW 1624 a 1932 Wolverhampton registered Two-seater is parked-up adjacent to the Shifnal, Salop CH while posing for this recently purchased thirties Valentine’s postcard. The car’s driver is wearing a wide-brimmed hat, which in an open car,  is a particularly risky practice!

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IOTW no.494

By IOTW

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A late 1929 (’30 season) Morris Minor Fabric Saloon plays second fiddle in this eBay sourced photograph to the larger Lanchester or Diamler saloon around which this family are posing. The Minor (KD 7***) was first registered in Liverpool while the big saloon carries a 1932 Wallasey, Cheshire plate. The occasion looks like it was the start or the end of a family holiday, the suitcases on the luggage rack providing the clue, while the large three storey ‘Lindow House’ hints at the family’s status in the community.

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I(s)OTW no.493

By IOTW

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RV 4507 & KLM 932

Yet more eBay sourced snapshot images of a Minor. These shots of 1934 Minor Two-seater RV 4507 were taken post war, the styling  and 1949 London registration of the second car in shot providing the clues. The cars are parked-up outside a rural 1920’s built villa, perhaps in Surrey or Hampshire, the Minor carrying an early 1934 Portsmouth plate. The identity of the second car was something of a revelation, as it is a 1949 Invicta Black Prince KLM 932 of which just six of the DHC version (seen here) were made. The company had manufactured high performance cars in the pre-war years but had ceased trading in 1938.  The marque name was resurrected in 1946 at premises in Virginia Water, Surrey but a total of just 16 Black Prince cars found customers before the business was sold to AFN, builders of Frazer Nash cars and military equipment. Neither car registration is logged on the DVLA database.

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IOTW no.492

By IOTW

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1929 Morris Minor Fabric Saloon

Another recent eBay purchase, this unidentifiable 1929 Fabric Saloon snapshot gives away very few visual clues. That it is a 1929 season car can be deduced from the parallel bonnet-side bottom edge and the significantly smaller rear windows than those of the 1930 season cars. The wheels have been re-painted a lighter colour than the factory black, which may indicate that the car was photographed toward the middle of the thirties decade, while the daisies or buttercups suggests that the photo was taken beween the end of April and late June.

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I(s)OTW no. 491

By IOTW

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Portmadoc Postcards

These two postcards, both taken in the Thirties, depict what could be considered mundane views of the north western Welsh town of Portmadoc – now Porthmadog. One being taken in Station Road, the other in the town’s High Street. They are at least of some interest to those of us here in that both photos include a Minor. The 1932 Two-seater (FM 7086) parked at a jaunty angle in Station Road was first registered in Chester in late 1931, a town some 70 miles distant. The registration of the 1934 Minor Saloon is indistinct but with around 80,000 Minors on Britains roads at this time they would have been a very familiar site in every town across the country.

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IOTW no.490

By IOTW

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RX 6636

There is nothing at all exceptional about this postcard of a corner of Market Place in Wantage, Berks. A photograph taken today from the same spot would show how little the buildings have changed in the intervening 90 years, although there would be many more cars in shot than just this solitary 1930 Wolseley Hornet saloon, carrying a Berkshire registration RX 6636.  The six cylinder Hornet in all its guises was by far and away Wolseley’s most successful model in the decade running up to the the war and 6000 of these early (CF3) examples were sold in the 18 months they were available. This car may have been owned by the proprieter of Kent & Sons, the furniture and ironmongery store, which was also a place for motorists to fill-up with petroleum spirit.

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IOTW no.489

By IOTW

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Booked!

This photo will be familiar to many as it often appears in Google searches for pre-war car images. The car featured is a 1930 Gloucestershire registered MG Midget (DG 4**) and the caption states that the photo was taken “…on the corner of Wardour Street’. If that was the case, was it taken at the Oxford Street or Shaftesbury Avenue junctions? The shot doesn’t look to be posed if the expression of gloom on the face of the passenger is anything to go by or that of weary acceptance by the driver. What was the misdemeanor? Speeding? Very unlikely in view of the traffic and proximity of the junction. Parking? perhaps, although would the officer have waited until the occupants returned to the car? As for the vehicle itself, it looks a little care-worn and has been fitted with non-standard side lights, perhaps pointers indicating that the photo was taken in the middle period of that eventful decade.

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I(s)OTW no.488

By IOTW

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JH 5601 1933 Morris Minor Saloon

These very recently acquired snapshot photos of a Hertfordshire registered 1933 Minor Saloon could have been taken either before, or in the ten years immediately after the end of the Second World War. ( Are there any mid-twentieth century fashion experts out there to help pinpoint the date?) The two individuals photographed may well be husband and wife or indeed Mother and son, although the walking stick she is holding rather indicates the latter. The car looks to be in good condition but the registration doesn’t appear on either register and is not recorded by the DVLA or the Harry Edward’s Minor listing, which may weigh the scales in favour of the photos being taken in the pre-war period.

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I(s)OTW no. 487

By IOTW

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KR 5670 1930 Minor Fabric Saloon

Thanks to Mike Tebbett for providing this interesting late Fifties or very early Sixties image. It shows what purports to be a 1930 Kent registered Minor Fabric Saloon fitted with a Wolseley Hornet two-tone fabric body. This was a car that in the late Sixties was owned by Olive Willats and driven to Italy and back in a VSCC event. KR 5670 then made a brief re-appearance almost 40 years later on the back of a trailer at the 2005 VMR Rally at Prescott (see 2nd image) where it was offered for sale. It was eventually purchased by Ian Grace in Seattle, USA in 2010 when it appeared on the Vintage Petrol Pump Company’s website. The car was shipped to the USA where it’s reported that a Maltby of Folkstone coachbuilder’s plate was discovered on the door threshold. This photo pre-dates its known history when not only was it the family transport, it was also at a time when petrol pump attendants would check their customer’s tyre pressures!

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IOTW no.486

By IOTW

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Another mystery Minor

Minor images continue to surface on eBay. This 35mm Kodachrome slide is one such recent example and depicts an unknown 1931 season Morris Minor Coachbuilt Saloon parked outside of an outboard motor service facility somewhere in the UK. The photo was processed in September 1971 according to the information printed onto the cardboard slide mount, it’s therefore likely that this Minor survives to this day. If anyone can identify the car from any visual clues to be seen, then please contact info@prewarminor.com

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IOTW no.485

By IOTW

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Another postcard Minor

Minors are well represented in thirties postcard street scenes. It is however quite unusual for such a card to feature a Minor 5 cwt van, as in this case. This 1934 example, CRF 833, (a local Staffordhire registration) is parked outside of the Barton-under-Needwood cottage hospital where it looks like a nun (or an apparition) is paying a visit.

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I(s)OTW no.484

By IOTW

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Eyston’s Thunderbolt

Thunderbolt was built in the former Bean Car plant in Tipton, Staffs during 1937 in order to attempt to wrest the World Land Speed Record of 301 mph away from Sir Malcolm Campbell and his Bluebird car. The contender was powered by two V12 Rolls Royce R aero engines each of 36.5 litres both of which could develop 2350 bhp. Capt. George Eyston took Thunderbolt to the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, USA where on the 19th November 1937 he took the record from Campbell by a margin of 11 mph. This achievement sparked a rivalry between Eyston and John Cobb and his Railton Special car who between them broke the LSR on a further five occasions before the outbreak of WWII. The photograph of Thunderbolt was taken in Beans Industries plant at Tipton while Max Millar‘s superb cut-away drawing appears here courtesy of Motorsport Images. (Drag the arrow in either direction to fully reveal each image)

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IOTW no.483

By IOTW

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Brooklands in Surrey was the cradle of both British motorsport and aviation. While an aircraft in a car showroom would be regarded as something of a surprise elsewhere in the U.K., in Weybridge that probably wasn’t the case. This May 1930 image was taken at a promotional event run by Weybridge Automobiles Ltd. and shows a De Havilland DH60G Gypsy Moth (G-AAWR) nestling alongside a number of family saloons including a Morris Minor, its nose visible bottom right. (LAT photoscan from The Autocar 9th May 1930 P.895 – Photo courtesy Motorsport Images)

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IOTW no.482

By IOTW

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Kiwi roadster

Yet another interesting Minor image from one of our New Zealand member’s and frequent contributor, John McDonald. This one depicts a 1932 Two-seater roadster, into which are squeezed three females. It’s not easy to fathom the reason for the obvious revelry but the bunting on the car and the canine mascot on the bonnet should provide clues, only they don’t! Suggestions on a postcard please.

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IOTW no.481

By IOTW

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1937 Morris Eight Ashley Cleave Special

This sporting special has featured both here and on the forum previously and while not a Minor it was perhaps inspired by the two Skinner specials, both of which were competing at the time of its construction. It was built in 1937 from the remains of a crashed Morris Eight Saloon and featured a Minor four-speed gearbox while its Eight engine was supercharged using a Centric blower. It was constructed and driven by W. A. (Ashley) Cleave who won many awards in the car at pre-war hillclimb venues such as Shelsley Walsh and Prescott before being stored for the duration. After the war Cleave rebuilt his car as seen above (Prescott May 1964) with a larger 1250 cc blown Morris engine which reputedly enabled the vehicle to cover the standing quarter mile in 15.2 seconds and could reach 115 mph. Cleave continued to compete into his seventies with the MAC recording the driver and car taking part at a Shelsley meeting in 1972. The car now has a new home and is currently under restoration. (Photo – PWMN collection Bibliographical info. – Tom Bourne Morris Register Historian.)

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IOTW no.480

By IOTW

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Image of the Week photos have been appearing here for over nine years and an archive of earlier photos featured can be found in the Member’s Area of the old website (Adobe Flash required to view). Many of these early shots were scanned directly from thirties postcards and displayed Minors as they were used at that time. This mid-thirties seaside vista is illustrative of that early IOTW period with an OHC Minor Coachbuilt Saloon at rest while its occupants enjoy the delights of Clacton-on-sea, along with what looks like the rest of the population of East Anglia.

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IOTW no.479

By IOTW

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Soap boxes at Brooklands!?

This interesting but undated image is captioned as being taken at Brooklands, although not at part of the circuit recognised by this website’s editor. Almost certainly taken during the thirties, could this be Donington Park?

Footnote: Thanks to Joe Raynor, the location has been identified as London’s Crystal Palace circuit which opened to motor racing in 1937.

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I(s)OTW no.478

By IOTW

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EE 8456

This Grimsby registered 1929 Minor Fabric Saloon is some 140 miles from its original Lincolnshire base and is seen here at Cradle End, Bury Green near Bishops Stortford, Herts in the depths of a harsh cold spell in January 1935. While many cars at that time were ‘laid-up’ over the winter months this Minor was required to remain in service despite the conditions. (Image sourced from the internet)

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IOTW no.477

By IOTW

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OJ 308 1932 Minor Saloon

Thankfully for IOTW, the family car was the focal point for so many thirties family snapshops, this one of Minor Saloon OJ 308 being no exception. The car was first registered in Birmingham and the background to this photo suggests a suburb of that city as the venue. The photographer, presumably the husband/father, has beautifully captured his son’s reflected image on the windscreen.

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IOTW no.476

By IOTW

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Oakham, Rutland

For those who attended the 2017 Rutland Rally this scene may be familiar. It shows the Old Buttercross in Oakham which is located adjacent to the local museum, a venue visited by a number of rallyists during the course of the weekend. This heavily retouched Autocar photoscan has a 1931 Rutland registered £100 car in shot. (FP 2439). The photo first appeared in the 15th July 1932 edition of the Autocar. (LAT Photoscan courtesy of Motorsport Images)

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IOTW no.475

By IOTW

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GPO hybrid Minor vans

This July 1970 image was taken at a Post Office Telephones open day held in Yeading, Middlesex. On display are two hybrid Morris Minor vans; on the left a Royal Mail delivery van, while on the right is a Post Office Telephones Linesman’s van. According to the image caption these particular cars were in use from 1939 and 1937 respectively. (Thanks goes to Ian Judd for spotting these on eBay)

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IOTW no.474

By IOTW

An unusual special

Peter Morrey from Aberdeenshire sent these two images of a very unusual Minor special which was his parent’s first car. The photos seen here were taken in Bilston, Staffs on his Dad’s box Brownie camera, circa 1935 or 36. They show JW 17(?)49,  a mid-1931 Wolverhampton registered Minor sporting a pointed-tail body and tail fin, perhaps in homage to Eyston’s Thunderbolt or Segrave’s Golden Arrow? The front of the car is less unusual, while the wings, louvered side-valances and cut-away door provide a more professional sporting appearance than the rather homemade look of the tail section. The full width screen is also set much lower than was usual at that time. It’s possible that the body started out as a conventional coachbuilt special before being modified later in life. If that was the case, are there any clues present that point to an established coachbuilding concern? (Photo courtesy Peter Morrey)

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IOTW no.473

By IOTW

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Bluebird

Here is a further image of Sir Malcolm Campbell‘s world land speed record breaking Bluebird taken at Brooklands over the Easter holiday period, 25th-28th March  1932 where it was gently exercised in front of a large bank holiday crowd. (LATplate Motor 737-2 courtesy of Motorsport Images)

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IOTW no.472

By IOTW

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The figurine trophies presented to the winners of the national trials and rallies throughout the twenties and thirties are today highly sought-after and valuable. These art deco artefacts were presented by event sponsors, in this case The Autocar magazine. It was won by J.S. Couldrey, who finished first overall in the 1932 Royal Scottish Automobile Club Rally which took place between 4th and 9th July that year. This image first appeared in the 24th June 1932 edition of The Autocar on page 1069. (LAT photoscan courtesy of Motorsport Images)

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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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