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IOTW

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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IOTW no.460

By IOTW

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

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IOTW no.459

By IOTW

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RC 300 – 1931 registered McEvoy Minor

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

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IOTW no.458

By IOTW

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Ken the Horse, Hawick

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

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IOTW no.457

By IOTW

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Water baby?

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

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

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

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IOTW no. 456

By IOTW

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The latter days of an M Type?

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

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IOTW no. 455

By IOTW

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

IOTW no.455

By IOTW

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

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IOTW no.454

By IOTW

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Changing history

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

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I(s)OTW no.453

By IOTW

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Designed by Gordon England

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

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IOTW(s) no.452

By IOTW

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Identity crisis

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

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I(s)OTW no.451

By IOTW

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Fothergill Minor Special

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

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IOTW no.450

By IOTW

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1932 MCC London-Edinburgh Trial

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

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IOTW no.449

By IOTW

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Cowley – but when?

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

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IOTW no. 448

By IOTW

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1932 Brighton Speed Trials

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

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IOTW no.447

By IOTW

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

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IOTW NO.446

By IOTW

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

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IOTW no.445

By IOTW

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PL 2347 again!

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

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IOTW no.444

By IOTW

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1925-26 Nomad

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

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IOTW no.443

By IOTW

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1934 WASA Trial

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

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IOTW no.442

By IOTW

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German Minor

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

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IOTW no.441

By IOTW

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WL 6556 1929 MG Midget

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

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IOTW no.440

By IOTW

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Autumn 1934

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

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IOTW no.439

By IOTW

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MG Car Club Abingdon Trial 1939

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

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IOTW no.438

By IOTW

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

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IOTW no.437

By IOTW

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Brooklands – Mid-twenties

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

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IOTW no.436

By IOTW

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MW 4892 1929 Minor Fabric Saloon

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

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IOTW no.435

By IOTW

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1929 MCC London-Exeter Trial

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

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IOTW no.434

By IOTW

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

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IOTW no.433

By IOTW

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Morris model

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

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IOTW no.432

By IOTW

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PS 782

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

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IOTW no.431

By IOTW

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Henley’s Gymkhana

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

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IOTW no.430

By IOTW

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JG 785

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

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IOTW no.429

By IOTW

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Cowley – late 1933

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

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IOTW no.428

By IOTW

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Minor art

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

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IOTW no.427

By IOTW

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Wartime McEvoy

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

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IOTW no.426

By IOTW

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

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

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I(s)OTW no.425

By IOTW

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UD 2268

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

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IOTW no.424

By IOTW

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1931 Belgium 24 Hour Race, Spa-Francorchamps

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

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IOTW no.423

By IOTW

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Tickets please!

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

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IOTW no.422

By IOTW

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Ledbury – Market House

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

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IOTW no.421

By IOTW

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SW 4154 1933 Minor Family Eight

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

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IOTW no.420

By IOTW

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1930 Minor Semi-Sports GK 3661

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

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

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IOTW no.419

By IOTW

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A 1931 car radio

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

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IOTW no.418

By IOTW

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Bluebird or Blue Bird?

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

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IOTW no.417

By IOTW

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Freddie Kindell’s 1930 Le Mans Midget

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

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IOTW no.416

By IOTW

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A long story with a happy ending

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

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IOTW no.415

By IOTW

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What’s the occasion?

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

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I(s)OTW no.414

By IOTW

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

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I(s)OTW no.413

By IOTW

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2018 Planai Rally

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

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IOTW no.412

By IOTW

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An ‘opposition’ showroom

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

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IOTW no.411

By IOTW

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1930 Minor Fabric Saloon

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

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IOTW no.410

By IOTW

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PN 8736 – 1932 Minor homebuilt special

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

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A Minor a day 20 …

By IOTW

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1930 SV Minor Two-seater JO 764

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

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

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

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A Minor a day 19 …

By IOTW

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

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

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A Minor a day 18 …

By IOTW

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OU 6930 1930 Minor Coachbuilt Saloon

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

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A Minor a day 17 …

By IOTW

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LJ 4435 1930 Minor Semi-Sports

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

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A Minor a day 16 …

By IOTW

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FH 7622/YWG 771 1932 Minor Sliding-head Saloon

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

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A Minor a day 15 …

By IOTW

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WP 1085 1931 (32 season) Minor Two-seater

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

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

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A Minor a day 14 …

By IOTW

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LV 975 1933 Minor fixed-head Saloon

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

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A Minor a day 13 …

By IOTW

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RT 8431 1932 Morris Family Eight Sports Coupe

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

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A Minor a day 12 …

By IOTW

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UY 1196 Austin Twelve Clifton

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

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A Minor a day 11 …

By IOTW

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APC 484 1933 Minor Two-seater

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

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A Minor a day 10 …

By IOTW

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UN 6979 1934 Minor Two-seater

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

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A Minor a day 9 …

By IOTW

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SL 9739 1929 Minor Coachbuilt Saloon

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

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A Minor a day 8 …

By IOTW

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1930 Coachbuilt Saloon UX 6524

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

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