How to buy a Morris Minor Pt3

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The Minors electrical system is incredibly simple, so there’s little you have to worry about apart from previous owners attempts to splice in stereos or security systems. But age doesn’t help things and the wiring may well have cracked while some of the connections will probably be getting temperamental now. The primitive nature of the electrical system also doesn’t lend itself to modern driving conditions, so it’s worth converting to an alternator for £95 if you’re anticipating using the car every day, as well as fitting halogen headlamps (£40) and an electric screen washer system (£30). Even if the car needs a complete rewire a new loom is just under £100, and fitting it doesn’t take long because there are so few connections.

As long as the monocoque is sound, any Minor can be revived, because parts availability is so good. But there will be very few Minors that haven’t received attention to the bodywork. Your mission is to ensure that any work that has been done is up to scratch. But there are few classics that are seen in everyday use more frequently than the Minor, and that’s for a good reason. Not only are they reliable, durable and easy to use, but with a few sympathetic upgrades they make a perfect alternative to a modern car.

Rear spring hangers rust away all too readily, but they can be welded up again.

Kingpin on front suspension wears rapidly unless trunnions are greased frequently.

Floorpans rust away, but excellent new ones can be bought. At least they're simple.

Clutch mechanism is mechanical and gets choked up with debris thrown up from road.

Doors will split at the top if quarterlights rather than handles are used to close them.

Brake servo is a popular mod but not as good as a decent disc brake conversion.

The front lever arm dampers leak. They're retained even if telescopics are fitted.

Early engines are athsmatic, later units are okay. The 1275cc swap is worthwhile.

Rear lever arm dampers also leak badly. Telescopic conversions are the way to go.

Trim is available new or secondhand for all versions of the Minor. Seats are often worn.

WHAT ARE THEY LIKE TO DRIVE? Early cars are infuriatingly breathless, so the minimum you should look for is a 948cc car. Even better are the 1098cc versions although a 1275cc powerplant is surprisingly good fun to pilot. Brakes are okay as long as you dont expect too much and the cars light weight means a bouncy ride and light steering. A car for the track it aint, but a Minor is so charming you cant fail to have fun.

WILL I FIT BEHIND THE WHEEL? Whether youre looking at a tourer, saloon, or Traveller, the interiors are spacious and comfortable. The Traveller has masses of space for load carrying too – in fact the estate version of the Minor could well be the most practical classic car available.

Cover panels on underside of floorpan
Electrical nightmares from bad DIY
Converted two-door saloons being passed off as genuine tourers

WHAT SHOULD I PAY? The number of permutations of the Minor available is truly bewildering, so check out the price guide of the latest issue of the magazine.

Comprehensive cover for a £3000 1967 Morris Minor Traveller in Peterborough:
£341 for 25 years old, two years NCB, clean licence, 10,000 miles, only car, kept on driveway, club member
£83.43 for 42 years old, full NCB, clean licence, 3,000 miles, second car, garaged, club member.

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