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Morris Minor, Fenchurch

Four wheels on my wagon

I've bought another car :)

It's a Morris Minor 1000 Traveller, somewhere in the region of 45 years old. The old chap who last owned it kept it in a garage for the past 15 years before he died recently. I'm not sure precisely how old it is because it's too old to have an age-related number plate (that means it's pre-1963), and we don't have the registration certificate (or at least we couldn't find it among the huge pile of car restoration magazine cuttings and things that were stored in it). There is a DVLA form to fill in for this eventuality; I had to do the same thing when I bought my Land Rover and didn't get a registration certificate with it.

On the plus side, both the metal and wood parts of the bodywork are solid apart from one small section on the bottom of the rear crossmember. The engine and gearbox seem OK - it started very easily and doesn't appear to be burning oil; we couldn't take it off the drive, but we ran it in every gear with one of the back wheels jacked up. It comes with loads of spare parts, including four spare wheels and a roof-rack.

On the minus side, it's going to need a lot of little bits and pieces sorting out before I can MOT it (door handles, wiring, possibly the clutch), and the brakes need rebuilding. Longer term, it could do with a respray to make it look pretty again. On the surface, it looks worse than it actually is. My old Morris Minor appeared to be in better condition than this one at first glance, but it turned out to have some serious under-body rot; hence we checked very carefully to make sure this one doesn't have the same problem.

I paid £600 for it, which from my research appears to be about the right amount for the model and condition (age doesn't really come into it).

Update: I've found out from the chassis number that it's got a 1098cc engine (that's the larger of the two it could have had), it was made in mid-1963, and it's a Deluxe. I'm not sure what wonderful extras you got on the Deluxe model, but I suspect it was something along the lines of an extra ash tray and a cabin light...


Re: I had a 62 in 1972

I've been talking to a friend who is a professional furniture restorer about what to do with the wood, and what I think I'm going to do is sand the old varnish off, bleach with Oxalic Acid to get rid of the stains and restore the colour, then coat it with Danish Oil rather than varnish. The advantage of a wood oil is that although it needs topping up regularly, it never cracks or flakes like varnish.

Stage 1 is to get it through the MOT test so I can legally drive it on the road. I have it booked in for the test this Thursday.

Stage 2 is to sort out the woodwork and paintwork to a sufficient standard that I can leave it outside in the rain without it rotting away. I'm also going to fit an unleaded cylinder head, upgrade the headlights to halogens, replace the door seals and back window channels, finish building my new heater, and probably a few other bits and pieces.

After Stage 2 I'll be able to start using the car to commute to work, and it turns into a "rolling restoration" project. I'll be fitting an alternator, changing to negative earth, fitting a stereo, replacing the corroded chrome parts, fitting a carpet, etc. when I have the time and money to do so.