11 June 2017

More than an old car #18: Morris Minor

You don't really hear of cars having nicknames, unless they are really endearing/well-known to people. Such is the case with the Morris Minor, affectionately called the 'Moggy'/'Morrie'.

Morris Motors started out as WRM Motors Limited, founded by bicycle manufacturer William Morris in 1912. It later merged with Austin Motors to form the British Motor Corporation in 1952, which is now part of China car manufacturer SAIC after a series of mergers and acquisitions. The Morris brand name lasted until 1984 with the production of the Morris Ital.

The idea of the Morris Minor was conceived in 1941 by Alec Issigonis, a junior engineer at the company. He envisioned a car that the average man would want, which was also spacious and easy to drive. Interestingly, it was called the Mosquito during the planning stages but was later changed to Minor, in reference to the 1928 Morris Minor. Over its production run from 1948-1971, more than 1.3 million were made of varying types and it became a representation of 'Englishness'.

The first generation [Minor MM] was produced from 1948-1953 with more than 250,000 made, and was powered by a 918cc 4-cylinder engine. It could reach a top speed of 100km/h, but acceleration was very slow at 40.8 seconds. It was 3.76m long and weighed 762kg.
The Minor 1000, which was made between 1956-1971 had certain differences as seen in the pictures: the split windscreen had been replaced with a single one, the traffic indicators had changed orientation and the grille design was also different. It was powered by a 948cc BMC A-Series 4-cylinder engine, which allowed it to reach a top speed of 117km/h with an acceleration of 33.4 seconds [0-100km/h]. 847,491 were produced during its lifetime. Both models had a 4-speed manual transmission also; the 1st picture is a 1951 model while the 2nd picture is a 1959 model.

In Singapore, it was used as learner cars for driving lessons back in the 1970s--your parents might have passed their driving test in one! Although they may not be as common, they are still recognizable as quite a number of classic car owners still own them. Some of them still have normal plates, which shows the dedication of their owners to keep it on the roads. I am aware that this is also a popular choice for a wedding car-- hopefully you will appreciate the beauty of these gentlemen and allow it to be a part of your special day!

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