Network rallies are not competitive in any way and are all about having fun with friends while also providing an opportunity for meeting fellow enthusiasts. Early June is (usually!) a great month for exercising almost 90-year-old machinery on roads that ideally suit our cars. To find out more visit our 2018 rally page here.
Arie Roest from the Netherlands is preparing his 1930 Wolseley Hornet Jarvis Special for the three-day Planai Classic Rally in January 2018. The car’s cockpit boasts some interesting items of equipment including a Tripmaster and an old alarm clock. (Note the similarity between this dashboard layout and that of the contemporary Morris Minor – excluding the recent add-on’s.)
The news of the 31-34 S.V. Minor’s inclusion on the VSCC’s PVT list may have come too late for an example to take part at last weekend’s Winter Driving Test event at the Bicester Heritage Centre, but surely early enough for a member to enter with a SV car for the forthcoming Brooklands event on 28th January? Who is going to write this small piece of motoring history?
This 1931 Minor Two-seater BR 8606 has been a familiar sight at VSCC sporting events for many decades, this courtesy of an OHC Minor engine under the bonnet where an original SV unit should nestle. Thanks to a recent ruling by the VSCC other 1931-1934 SV Minors will now be able to compete alongside Sue Woodward and her £100’er.
After many years of lobbying, the Vintage Sports Car Club (VSCC) has finally agreed to add the 1931-1934 Side Valve Morris Minor to its list of Post Vintage Thoroughbred (PVT) cars. This means that the S.V. Minor can now compete in VSCC events alongside its thirties adversary, the Austin Seven. There are further important ramifications for the model to be considered by owners which will no doubt be discussed on this website’s forum.
It is possible to get lost on a rally. The majority of rallyists have done so at one time or another. In the resulting confusion drivers tend to blame navigators and vice versa, all of which invariably leads to a heightening of blood pressures and sharp words. A map isn’t a cure-all but it will get you home. Ordnance Survey can now provide Custom-made maps, tailored to cover precisely the area you need.
Arie Roest makes good use of his 1930 Jarvis Hornet special, taking part in a number of long distance ‘classic’ rallies while also using his car for his summer holiday transport. This photo of Arie and canine passenger was taken on the Col du Galibier in the French Alps at a height of 9324 feet earlier this year. Arie and his wife along with their Hornet are entered for the Planai Classic Rally in Austria on January 18th of which more here.
The former 1929 Minor Fabric Saloon MM 9326, which later in life adopted a Tourer body, has now acquired a polystyrene tub which is due to act as a template for a new aluminium sporting body to be constructed by current owner, Geof Wilson. The coffee cup to be seen on the bonnet is not part of the intended design which shares some characteristics with the White Minor Skinner Special and is all the better for that.
Mike Summers from Walsham-le-Willows, Suffolk first bought 1932 Minor Two-seater OJ 1865 back in the mid-sixties, keeping the car for fifteen years. He then sold it at the end of the seventies and forgot about it until 2012. After deciding that he wanted a back-up to his 1931 SV Minor Saloon he tracked down OJ 1865 in Scotland and managed to persuade the owner to sell it to him. The car has been subject to a long-term re-commissioning program in preparation for a debut (hopefully) at the 2018 PWMN Rally at Thorpe Abbotts. It’s seen here just prior to delivery to a local paint shop where it’s due to receive several coats of fresh paint.
The world’s largest airship has suffered a further mishap while moored at its Cardington, Bedfordshire base. Trevor Wilkinson spotted the crumpled gas bag while out for a ‘run’ in his 1934 Minor Two-seater. The craft, colloquially know as ‘The flying bum’ was involved in two earlier incidents in 2013 and 2016.
Here is a tantalising glimpse of 1932 Minor Tourer SV 14881. The car is located ‘…somewhere on the island of Sri-Lanka‘, the jewel that nestles in the Indian Ocean just below the tip of the sub-continent. Parked alongside the Minor is a 125 cc BSA Bantam carrying a 1940’s Gateshead registration. Intriguingly, nothing more is known about either vehicle.
Kevin Walsh is an accomplished transport artist and illustrator, his work appearing on Christmas cards, jigsaw puzzles and metal signs. Among his hundreds of transport themed scenes the Minor features at least once as can be seen in this thirties tableau of the Flying Scotsman and a hybrid GPO van. A further two of his paintings feature MG ‘M’ Type Midgets. Thanks to John and Jo Nagle for spotting this.
This most recent image of Tony Gamble’s 1930 Minor Arrow ‘special’ looks, on-the-face of-it, as if this project has gone into reverse. A previous update showed the car with its Garry Waiting built Arrow body in place. However, that temporary fitting was simply a test to establish clearances etc. Since then genuine progress has been made with the sourcing of a bronze SU carburetter and the fabrication of a one-gallon sump. Therefore, the engine is now very close to running once again after an interval of four years.
With winter just around the corner, this Arthur Bell shot of his 1933 Minor Saloon JJ 9069 provides a reminder of the summer recently past by perfectly capturing an August dawn. The composition skill of the photographer and his use of the early morning light combine to produce a surreal impressionist painting effect.
The Swan Inn, Hoxne will host both the Friday and Sunday evening pub-meets at the Network’s rally, next June. The recently renovated 15th century coaching inn has a 40 seat restaurant and a large car park. The Network last visited The Swan in 2010 where three Austin Sevens, two Minors and an Aston Martin ‘Le Mans’ can be seen in this photo taken at the time.
It’s time to begin thinking about your entry for the 2017 PWMN Photograph of the year competition. Start combing your computer’s photo folders for an image of your car that catches the eye or just take to the road and find a suitable backdrop to show off your car’s best features! Competition entries will be accepted from 1st December onward. This memorable photo was taken by Ken Martin on the 2013 ‘White Horse’ Rally and features the 1933 Minor Two-seater OJ 4733, currently owned by David Hockley in Cambs.
Pictured here entering the car park of The Noel Inn, Whitwell are Charles Crisp and Rachel Miles in the Crisp owned 1934 Minor Two-seater (AXV 51). The photo was taken during the the course of the Network’s 2017 Rally in Rutland. The clubs 2018 rally will be based on the Norfolk/Suffolk border and will take place over the weekend of 8th-10th June. A rally entry form will be published shortly.
Located in the Sydney suburb of Cronulla this 1934 lwb Minor Tourer is a rare survivor of its type. Imported by York Motors in Sydney in 1934 and bodied by Holden this is only the second of its kind recorded by this website. The car was originally painted blue and was owned by a proprietor of an ESSO service station in Sydney for 32 years from 1936 until 1968. More about this car here.
While the Austin Motor Company developed their Seven for racing and other competitive work, William Morris refrained from sporting sponsorship of Morris cars, leaving that to a business he personally owned, The MG Car Company. However, there were Morris products that were used in competition, the Minor in particular winning many awards when entered by their owners. In this image Alistair Bond rounds ‘Pardon’ in his 1930 Minor Semi-Sports (IA 9142) at the Bugatti Owner’s Club Prescott hill-climb venue, the photo redolent of that period when privateer Minor owners tested their cars and themselves in competition.
It’s easy to forget that access remains available to the old website and all that it contains, including many of the front page stories dating back to 2008. The site operates on an Adobe Flash platform and requires users to download Flash Player to view the website properly. The site continues to accept new members despite its archive status. Find it here or through the link further down this page.
Thanks to the British Film Institute archive, moving images of Morris Minor production at Cowley from 1929 can still be viewed. A 21 minute silent film shows many of the steps in the production process and features the 1929 season Minor Fabric Saloon model. This still image from the film shows a body in the process of being covered in wadding followed by the car’s fabric outer skin. The complete film can be viewed here.
After an absence of eight years the PWMN Rally is set to return to its first ever venue – The 100th Bomb Group Museum at Thorpe Abbotts, South Norfolk. The museum’s management team and the landowner have kindly agreed to our request to use the venue as our rally HQ over the weekend of 8th-10th June 2018. Further details will be published here in October. (This photo was taken from the roof of the watch/control tower over a July weekend in 2008)
RT 8431 a 1932 Minor Sports Coupe has been in the custodianship of the Miles family of Mendlesham, Suffolk for almost three decades, having been restored by Andrew Miles seven years ago. The car was recently the star of a photoshoot for Timeline Events, one such image being seen above. (Image copyright: Timeline Events)
Just a few days ago this website was bemoaning the potential loss of another Minor to obscurity following the sale at auction of AGP 288 last March. Fortunately the car’s whereabouts is now known thanks to Brittany resident and Minor special owner Philippe Prigent who confirms that the 1932 Two-seater is now in the hands of his friend, Roger Appere, who also lives locally to him. Roger has now joined this website’s forum, where hopefully the cars progress back to eventual road worthiness can now be followed.
Surviving Minor Tourers are few in number and are usually snapped up by prospective buyers whenever they (infrequently) appear for sale, which makes the simultaneous availability of two such cars a very unusual and opportune occurence for those in the market for a Minor Tourer model. To find out more about the two cars shown above, visit this website’s forum here.
Arthur Bell from Wymondham, Norfolk had a Belleville washer that was required by fellow Minor enthusiast Peter Brock, a resident of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. In order to save on postage Arthur decided to deliver the item in person and drove to Newcastle in his 1933 Minor Saloon JJ 9059. Not content with that, he then drove on to the Scottish border for a photo opportunity, prior to returning to Wymondham, thirty hours after his departure, while covering 600 miles in the process. (Photos Peter Brock & Arthur Bell)
This great photo of Arie Roest’s 1930 Jarvis Hornet special (AM-62-91) is a precursor to the launch of a new page celebrating the amazing variety of Hornet specials that were built from the summer of 1930 to the end of the 12 HP engine era. The page contains over 100 Hornet special images, many of them recently unearthed from a photographic archive.
Old Warden airfield in Bedfordshire was the venue for the DeHavilland Moth Club’s ‘Gathering of Moths’ on Sunday 30th July. Four Minors attended, those of messrs Wilkinson, Ovenden, Harris and Gregory, the bonnet of the latter’s car being visible in this photo, with a DH87b Hornet Moth G-AELO in the background. (Image Martin Gregory)
In 2008 this 1931 Minor Saloon (VG 3260) was rescued by a former Network member. Today the car is being offered for sale on the Car and Classic website as a CMS Minor Special replica. Further detials can be found on the website’s Discussion Forum. (To view either image in its entirety just drag the ‘pointers’.)
In the early nineties Colin Lambert found and re-built, over a four-year period, one of only five known surviving Double Twelve 8/45 MG Midgets. Over the next ten years he competed extensively in GG 3340 until he hung up his driving gloves and sold the car to Henri de Jong in the Netherlands. Pre-war Prescott was the venue for a happy and unexpected reunion with the car, seen here being driven by Cathelijne Spoelstra, with the surprised ex-owner standing alongside.
Mike Taylor from Cambridge has owned his 1927 Austin Twelve for many years and has attended all but one of the Network’s rallies. His car is such a familiar sight at our gatherings that it has been bestowed with ‘Honorary Minor’ status, a huge accolade for a Longbridge product. Mike and his car will always be welcome whenever pre-war Minors gather. (The Nevill Inn car park 24th June – image Chris Lambert)
Thanks to the efforts of Tony Gamble this original Kent registered 1930 Minor Semi-Sports (KJ 607) has now joined the small band of road going OHC Two-seaters. Tony writes: I would like you to dedicate this image to the memory of the late Roy Hogg who initiated the project way back in the mists of time, ” I hope you like it Roy. Sorry it has taken so long !” Tony goes on to add: Many thanks to lots of people who have helped along the way , especially Garry Waiting.
Rally host (or should that be hostess?) Janie Maeers acknowledges the photographer while driver Geof Wilson uses the rear view mirror of 1929 Minor Tourer VJ 1756 (Prudence) to keep an eye on procedings. This photograph was taken on the Saturday leg of last weekend’s PWMN Rutland Rally by Kate Martin.
A gallery containing images contributed by various rally attendees is now available to view here. This shot was taken on Saturday morning, prior to the start of the long tour and shows the 1929 Minor Tourer owned by John Paternoster tangling with Trevor Wilkinson’s 1934 Minor Two-seater on the B664 outside The Nevill Arms at Medbourne. (Image Chris Lambert)
A “youthful” Trevor Wilkinson (All things are relative!) proffers a few words of advice to those with their heads buried under the bonnet of Colin Lee’s 1930 Minor Coachbuilt Saloon. Their muttered responses are not recorded. This scene was captured in a pub car park at the 2008 VMR Rally which was based at the 100th Bomb Group Museum Thorpe Abbotts in Norfolk.
The Sammy Miller Motorcycle Museum in the New Forest was the venue for the third PWMN Rally in 2012. This Kate Martin image was taken on the morning of Sunday 17th June just prior to the start of the ‘short’ tour and shows a section of the line-up of Minors in a reserved part of the museum’s car park.
Although our annual Photograph of the Year competition doesn’t take place until December there is no better time than now to take some eligible images. With long summer days and good light, your Minor as subject matter and a digital camera, all the necessary ingredients for some excellent shots are in place. Get shooting! (Image Arthur Bell)
The Network’s Home Counties pub meet has been an all-male preserve to date, although that is no longer the case as evidenced by this hurriedly taken image snapped at the Eight Bells in Bolney on 5th June. It transpires that the pub temporarily lost a member of its bar staff thanks to the lure of John Emmett’s 1933 J1 Midget which resulted in a stand-off. “A spin around the village or no beer?” It was of course difficult to say no, while Kenneth Allen looks on disapprovingly! (Photo Malcolm Eades)
Tim & Avril Ovenden are rally regulars, transporting their 1932 season Minor Two-seater KJ 3553 to the respective rally HQ’s in a horse box! Captured here through the lens of Kate Martin’s Nikon, they can be seen about to descend one of Dorsets notoriously steep hills while on the Saturday morning leg of the 2016 Jurassic Rally. Note the celebrity pose from the canine passenger.
…the process of adapting to the ways of the MG Midget. With the Rutland Rally just three weeks distant the editorial 1930 Midget GH 6758 was put through its paces by Spencer Lambert, its driver for that weekend. This photo was taken on the former 388th Bomb Group airfield at Knettishall Heath, where the MG’s freshly adjusted brakes were thoroughly tested.
The first Network rally was held in June 2010 based around the former USAAF 100th Bomb Group base at Thorpe Abbotts, Norfolk. The weekend kicked-off with a pub meet at The Swan in Hoxne but the twilight journey back to base was not without incident. Here the Roger Lucke owned CMS Minor Super Sport special is seen parked up and awaiting rescue on an unlit roadside, a broken rear spring being the cause. Clive Hall in his hi-viz vest directed traffic.
The Network’s 2017 rally is now less than a month away with the prospect of a full weekend’s worth of vintage motoring to anticipate. Twenty three cars and their crews are taking part and just two entries remain available. Entries close on 16th June, so don’t miss out on the fun and download an entry form here.
Geoff Lane from Halstead in Essex has recently purchased GU 1342, the ex David Roscoe, Semi-Sports replica. The car originally left Cowley at the end of March 1929 as a Tourer but was rebuilt as a Semi-Sports model by Dorset restorer David Cooksey in the early part of the last decade. (Photo Geoff Lane)
Trevor Wilkinson along with his 1934 Minor Two-seater (UN 6979) visited Cardington airfield recently and witnessed, in flight, Airlander 10 the U.K.’s largest aircraft. It has been calculated that 432 Minors could fit into the interior ‘envelope’ of this enormous craft. (N.B. That calculation was carried out on the reverse of the same envelope.)
This long wheel base 1932 OHC Cunard Calshot Minor Special MU 5674 is now ‘available to view’ at Mike Rolls MG Car Sales emporium in Gillingham, Dorset. Just three such cars are known to survive and one of these is subject to a long-term restoration. Therefore this car’s availability represents a rare opportunity for someone to purchase an important piece of Minor history. More images and further details are available on this website’s forum. www.prewarminorforum.com
Neil Elder’s Minor special features regularly on this page. Neil lives in the Christchurch area of New Zealand and is seen here recently competing (rather enthusiastically) in the Hadstock Driving Tests event. Local PWMN member John McDonald reports that although greatly outnumbered by Austin Sevens the Minor performed magnificently. The event results are yet to be published.
The West Region of the Morris Register have been holding their annual motoring break, this year in and around the city of Hereford. Four Minors took part including those owned by Toby Sears and Ken Martin, both of whom are seen here just prior to departing on their separate journies homeward. (Photo Kate Martin)
Clive & Bren Hall have owned 1931 Minor Saloon NG 850 for almost half a century, during which time a chicken shed collapsed on the car during a storm resulting in the car’s bodywork being completely wrecked. Since then the car has been stripped to its bare chassis frame pending a rebuild, which after a false start or two has now commenced, the chassis ‘rolling’ for the first time in 45 years just prior to this photo being taken.
Four Minors and their crews have been taking part in a Morris Register (West Region) tour of Wales and the borders. The Minors are examples owned by messrs. Martin, Nelson, Nagle & Sears and the Ken Martin owned 1930 Coachbuilt Saloon VX 4590 is seen here at the Hereford Water Works leading a procession of pre-war Morris cars. (Photo Kate Martin)
The airship located in the background of this Trevor Wilkinson shot is the Airlander 10, Britain’s largest aircraft. However the star of this show is UN 6979, Trevor’s 1934 Minor Two-seater, a car he has owned for almost two decades. Unfortunately the aircraft has locally acquired the nickname of ‘the flying backside’ or at least a variation of that expression.
This photograph was taken in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India in 2012 and shows 1934 Minor Two-seater owner Parth Mehd and his wife leaving the Army Club “…after a quiet breakfast”. This photo has lain dormant in the forum’s archives after an upload failure five years ago but definitely deserves an airing.
Although we are well into spring this winter image demands publication. It was taken by either Kate or Ken Martin on an early morning run to Hackpen Hill, Wiltshire in VX 4590 and was among a batch of unsuccessfully posted items to the forum, all of which have since been deleted, freeing-up storage space in the forum’s attachment archive.
Peter Field lives in the Nelson Region of South Island, New Zealand and like many here in the U.K. celebrated Drive-it-day by taking his 1931 Minor Two-seater (AT 6795) for an early autumn airing. Here his Minor (with wife Steph in the passenger seat) is seen parked adjacent to Waimea Church, a wooden structure first opened in 1867, that is now a Category One listed building.
Sunday 23rd April is the date for the 2017 Drive-it-Day celebration. Established by the FBHVC, this annual event provides a timely excuse (if one were needed) to use our Minors, Midgets or Hornets as they were intended, as well as for showing the wider world just how much fun owning and using historic vehicles can be. There are events being held the length and breadth of the U.K. including Network supported ‘meets’ in Hampshire (Royal Oak, North Gorley) and Suffolk (Black Swan, Homersfield). If you use your car on Sunday please don’t forget to take your camera. (Further details of the two Network meets can be found on the forum.)
After 40 years in storage this car has today (12th April) found a new home. 1930 Minor Fabric Saloon UX 6403 is a particularly rare find and is one of just four Fabric Saloons to have surfaced within the last 10 years. The car has a Gittin’s of Oswestry suppliers plate attached to its dash board. (Image Gareth Jerman)
The home counties ‘chapter’ held their Spring Pub Meet at the Eight Bells, Bolney, West Sussex on 10th April welcoming newcomer Paul Brigden from Amersham, Bucks to their membership. Although without a roadworthy car Paul did bring along a steering wheel from his Midget project to confirm his bona fides. John Emmett’s superb replica Le Man’s Midget also made its debut as can be seen in this photo of a very merry throng. (Image Malcolm Eades)
The ex Mouldsworth Museum/Jim Peacop owned 1932 McEvoy Minor has sold at auction for £23,000 + premiums. This is almost certainly a new record price for a pre-war Morris Minor. Brightwells chose the Bicester Heritage Centre as the venue for their latest auction which was held on April 6th. (Image – Brightwells)
Three Minor Two-seaters are all very close to becoming roadworthy after lengthy lay-offs. The first of these is a 1931 Minor Two-seater (MU 3272) which was discovered in a Norfolk orchard in the latter part of the last decade, which along with an original 1930 Semi-Sports (EC 9889) have been rebuilt by Les Beardmore in Lytham-St-Annes, Lancs. The third such car is a 1930 CMS Super Sports replica (VG 3260) built by Brian Arnall in Lincolnshire using a Llinares frame. VG 3260 started life as a Norfolk registered saloon.
An early Sunday morning scene from the car park of The Metropole Hotel in Llandrindod Wells with Steve Kent posing alongside his 1929 Minor Tourer MM 9385 just prior to the commencement of the day’s trial. Ali Bond’s 1930 Minor Semi-Sports is parked immediately behind with the driver just out of shot. (Image courtesy of Mike Tebbett)
It’s late March, there remains a nip in the air despite the sun being substantially higher in the sky than it was just a week or so ago. In this part of the northern hemisphere high pressure is dominant, there are blue skies aplenty and more of us out and about in our cars. If you do take your car for a spin please don’t forget your camera, smart phone or tablet and remember to take some images for the website…
Sue Woodward pilots her 1931 hybrid OHC Minor BR 8606 along a Welsh bye-way during the course of the 2014 LC&ES Welsh weekend. (Photo courtesy of Peter McFadyen) This weekend eight Minors are taking part in the 2017 running of the event with PWWN members Ali Bond, Jo Langford-Yates, Clive Hamilton-Gould and Steve Kent prominent among them. The weather is set fair, so lets hope a good time is had by all.
Just three months to go before over twenty Minors assemble in Leicestershire for our 2017 rally. Now that the routes have been finalised, the rally page has been fully updated and can be found here. If you are considering joining us for what promises to be a great weekend of Minor motoring and socialising then download the entry form as just three rally places remain. The scene above was captured By Norma Lambert in the village of Holme, Norfolk during the course of 2015 rally.
Imagine your Minor in the foreground, add some summer foliage and this could be a scene from the Network’s annual rally which is scheduled to take place over the weekend of 23rd-25th June. Rallyists will encounter this view just a few miles into Saturday’s tour. It is still not too late to enter – simply download the rally entry form to be found a little further down this page
Morris Motors did manufacture a steel bodied Coupe on the long-wheel-base Minor chassis and even had the audacity to include the word ‘Sports’ in its title for the model’s first year of production, subsequently changing its name to a more truthful ‘Special Coupe’ for the 1933 & 1934 seasons. However not all Minor Coupes were heavyweights and this ‘special’ offering from Hanwell, London coachbuilder A.P. Compton was a ply and fabric skinned car (1931 Minor Arrow Coupe) which invariably provokes a ‘Marmite’ response to its looks from present day afficianados. The car was lavishly equiped and sold for a very reasonable £159. (N.B. The editor likes both Marmite and this car!)
Over the weekend of 25th, 26th March literally scores of light cars will participate in the LC&ES annual Welsh Weekend. The whole weekend is a grand celebration of pre-1931 motoring with a long Saturday tour followed by a Sunday trial over difficult terrain in central Wales. Here Clive Hamilton-Gould’s 1930 Minor Tourer DG 325 pulls away from the photographer after negotiating a difficult bend during the course of the 2014 event. (Image Peter McFadyen)
There is still a place or two available on our summer rally which this year is being held on the Rutland-Leicestershire borders over the weekend of 23rd-25th June. With well over twenty Minors and crews already confirmed you could be part of a record breaking gathering. Accomodation remains available, so why not join us – having fun in small cars is therapeautic!
These two sketches were found on the artandcars website and were drawn by ‘Emily’. The Minor depicted belongs to member Martin Gregory, while the other car shown is a 1932/33 Swallow Hornet. Just £15 to have your car sketched in this style. Emily’s contact details are firstname.lastname@example.org
Eddie Wrigley was a true Minor enthusiast. Apart from successfully running a Minor spares business for twenty years after the end of WWII he also took part in a number of competitive VSCC events throughout this period. He is seen here (middle of photo) competing in his 1930 Minor Semi-Sports RP 9566 at Silverstone in the early fifties. Eddie had no particular allegiance to the OHC version of the car and drove a battered 1933 SV version in the immediate post-war years. An enlightening article about his car can now be found in the ‘From the vault’ feature which can be accessed via the link on the right.
Although the successors to the original builders of M Type bodies (Carbodies of Coventry) remain in business to this day it is not that concern which is currently undertaking the construction of two such examples. This task is being undertaken by Garry Waiting in Kemble, Cumbria where he is using timbers from an original Carbodies constructed frame as templates for all the new formers and struts in the two bodies concerned.
On February 8th 1932 George Eyston set a new flying-mile Class H record of 118.39 mph in his ‘Magic Midget‘ on Pendine Sands, South Wales. The electronic timing gear had failed to function earlier that day when EX 127 was hand timed at an even quicker 122 mph. His wind-tunnel tested, streamlined MG was powered by a 750 cc OHC engine, a development of that used in the MG C Types of 1931 which in turn were originally developed from the 1928 Minor power unit and subsequently fitted to the first MG Midget. The March 1932 edition of Motor Sport described the record attempt as “A very wonderful achievement”. (Autocar photoscan courtesy of LAT Images)
While the U.K. remains in the grip of winter with snow falling and daytime temperatures hovering around zero, a timely reminder that it ‘won’t always be so’ is called for. This image was taken on Sunday 5th June 2016 at about 10-30 AM in Shaftesbury, Dorset. The PWMN summer rally was in full swing and over 20 Minors and crews were enjoying a beautiful late spring morning. Bring it on!
Due to an unforeseen change of circumstance there will be a number of amendments to the published rally itinerary. The main changes being that the Blaston showground will no longer feature as a venue while the Rutland Belle optional trip has been moved to Sunday. The Nevill Arms remains as our main venue. A fully revised itinerary will be published here shortly and the rally page will be updated accordingly. A fully detailed ‘options’ booking form will be emailed to all crews by 28th February. Please accept our apologies for the necessity to make these changes.
Not a Minor or train in sight but the magnificent Seaton Viaduct (pictured here) will feature in one of our two tours. (Image: Martin Gregory)
The White Minor Skinner Special made its first appearance in the spring of 1934 and over the next three years took part in a number of high profile hill-climb and speed trial events events at Shelsley Walsh, Lewes and Dancer’s End, Berkhampsted. Throughout this period it was driven by Barbara Skinner who won two Shelsley Ladies Cup awards, achieved a class win at the 1934 Lewes Speed Trials while adding a fastest time of the day at the Dancer’s End hill-climb in May 1937. Perhaps her greatest achievement was made on her debut at Shelsley Walsh in June 1934 when this driver/car combination broke the ladies record outright. Following a long and painstaking restoration by current custodian David Baldock the car is now very close to its original racing condition. To celebrate this achievement a new page has been added to the Member’s Area of the site and can be found via the drop-down menu under the ‘Members’ tab at the top of this page.
Our 2017 rally is just five months distant at which time England’s smallest county will be invaded by 20+ very small Morris cars. This was the scene last June in the village of Marnhull, Dorset just prior to the commencement of the Saturday tour. The venue was the car park of The Crown Inn where the crews can be seen discussing the day’s program and making final adjustments to their cars prior to departure. It’s not too late to sign-up for our Rutland Rally – see the panel ad and downloadable form below. (Image Kate Martin)
Winter has finally arrived with a vengeance here in the south eastern corner of the U.K. With freshly fallen snow on the ground and the majority of Minors tucked away in garages a timely reminder of warm summer days may help to lift the gloom. Here Ken Martin‘s 1930 Minor Coachbuilt Saloon VX 4590 takes avoiding action in order to miss a prone photographer near the Dorset village of Ashmore during the course of the 2016 PWMN Rally.
In the immediate aftermath of WWII Ken Wharton successfully drove a hill-climb special which was built around a shortened lwb Minor chassis M36384. The car (GV 963) had been first registered in West Suffolk in 1932 as a Saloon.The KJW Special as it was known, was the forerunner of a number of highly successful British Hill Climb Championship winning cars that during the period 1950-1953 ensured that Ken impressively took the championship title in successive years. Ken then became a Grand Prix racing driver with a number of creditable finishes to his name before sustaining fatal injuries in a racing accident in his native New Zealand in 1957. (Image The Harry Edwards Collection)
Kate Martin submitted the winning entry to this year’s Photograph of the Year competition entitled ‘Wonderful Wells’. The image was in fact taken by her husband Ken while they were passing through the City of Wells (Somerset) in their 1930 Coachbuilt Morris Minor. Hearty congratulations goes to both entrant and photographer! The names of the other winning entries can be found on the Discussion Forum.
During the 1933 outbreak of reindeer flu which affected herds both large and small across the northern hemisphere a number of suitably equipped Morris Minors were hurriedly prepared by Santa’s National Elf Service in order to ensure that presents arrived on time across the globe. One was recently taken out of retirement and spotted in a quiet Surrey suburb.
Tony Gamble has acquired a Minor Tourer body from Geof Wilson who is building a Minor racing special on the retained running gear. Garry Waiting carried out the movement of the body tub making a 400 mile round trip involving the towns of Kendal, Nuneaton and Selby. Although much work remains to be done, the transformation shown above took all of 24 hours!
Ronald Trumpi is selling his 1934 Minor Two-seater. This is a particularly fine example of the ultimate stage of Minor development, the model being replaced by the Eight in the late summer of 1934. Details of this car and other Minors currently for sale can be found by accessing this website’s Discussion forum here. (Photo taken at Pre-war Prescott earlier this year by Philip Butland)
With fewer Minorists venturing out onto Britain’s roads as winter takes a grip the supply of topical images from members has all but ceased. However this website (in common with at least one other vintage motoring site) will run a monthly caption competition to help fill this spot throughout the winter months. The December image is displayed above – suitable captions can be sent via email to email@example.com or via our forum.
In February 2016 this smart (despite its unfinished hood) 1933 Minor Two-seater HV 3884 went under the hammer at a ‘Historics at Brooklands‘ auction and just like many other Minors before it, promptly disappeared without a trace. Does anyone know of its current location or what plans the owner has for his/her recent acquisition?
In May 1930 a trade magazine entitled ‘Motor Body Building & Vehicle Construction‘ published a detailed article on the construction of a two-seater fixed-head Coupe body suitable for fitment to a Morris Minor chassis. Along with the article was an accompanying artists impression of the car which is reproduced here. A dimensional drawing of the 1930 Minor chassis was also included in the article and is the subject of IOTW no.361 to be found further down the page
This photograph was an entry in our 2015 POTY Competition submitted by Ann Ditchfield. Ann and her husband Dominic live in the foothills of The Alps and this scene was shot not far from their home. Although not a prize-winner, the image attracted a number of votes from the website’s forum members. If you have a photo of your Minor, Midget or Hornet that you particularly like why not enter it into this year’s competition. Entries don’t close until 14th December. Find the entries to this year’s competition here.
A 24 page book entitled ‘At Cowley‘, a December 1931 Morris Motors publication will shortly have a permanent home on this site as a PDF. This well illustrated booklet provides a fascinating insight into the workings of a factory that at the time occupied 82 acres, employed 4,000 people and had a weekly wage bill of £20,000.
The southern half of the U.K. was battered by Storm Angus last week with prolonged heavy rain causing flooding while the accompanying high winds removed the last vestiges of autumn leaves from many trees. Here regular photographic contributor Arthur Bell captures a tranquil pre-storm Norfolk scene while out on a jaunt in his 1933 Minor Saloon JJ 9069.
Kenneth Allen from Woking, Surrey is selling his 1934 Minor Saloon (WP 6718) known as ‘Mr. Whip’. The car as seen here recently with owner (standing on the right) is parked alongside a 1933 Wolseley Hornet Special after a chance meeting on the Surrey byways. Full sale details can be found on this website’s Discussion Forum here.
Ninety eight years after the end of ‘the war to end all wars’ people will gather at war memorials across the globe at 11:00 AM today to remember those who served and died, not just in that horrific conflict but from the many others that have followed. (This image of The Cenotaph in Whitehall appears in the November edition of Morris Monthly in a series entitled ‘Pictures from the past’ compiled by Ken Martin. Image courtesy of LAT Photographic)
This Minor based special has been constructed by Simon North in Wales and while still requiring completion is now up for sale at £11,250. The car has a 3.3 litre Ford Model A engine in place of its original 847 cc OHC Minor unit, which along with its lightweight body should ensure that it flies!
This 1930 OHC Minor Special is located in North Carolina, USA and is currently for sale on an auction website, with an opening bid of $7500 required. The car carries chassis number M24884 (originally an OHC Saloon) although it currently sports a fabric-skinned two-seater body. The 1932 season radiator and 1933 Bath registration plate have been acquired at some point throughout the car’s life.
The fourth annual running of the website’s ‘Photograph of the year competition’ (POTY) starts today 1st November. There are a number of small rule changes for 2016 all of which can be found here. If you have a photo of your pre-war Morris Minor, ‘M’ Type MG Midget or early Wolseley Hornet that you would like to share with your fellow enthusiasts then please email the image to the Network via this address. (Image Kate Martin)
Danish member Christian Brodersen has mailed the ‘Network’ a copy of the October 2016 edition of Veteran Posten, an old car and bike magazine. As can be seen above, 1932 built Minor Two-seater K14-015 features on the magazine’s cover. The car is owned by Thomas and Annetina Petersen from Sporring. A richly illustrated two-page spread is entitled ‘Oh – how cute!’ and is the magazine’s lead article. (Copyright Veteran Posten)
Back in 2012 former Network member Colin Tree posted an item on the club’s forum requesting further information about a 1930 Minor Saloon SV 9217 (formerly BR 8362). Unfortunately at that time nothing was known as to the car’s whereabouts. Four years later the car was seen and photographed in the village of Broadway in Worcestershire and the photographer (only known as ‘AKF’) tracked down the original forum thread via a Google search and posted this image. Unfortunately it’s now the turn of the previous owner to ‘go missing’, so if anyone knows of the current contact details for Colin Tree, then please contact us here.
From 1896 until September 1931 The Auto Motor Journal provided an alternative view of the motoring scene. Its writers were studious, its photography excellent but it singularly failed to win-over the readership of the newly established ‘motoring masses’, who flocked to read the other weekly motoring periodicals of the day. Thanks in the main to the efforts of Ken Martin many items related to the Minor, Midget & Hornet along with others of interest (like that shown above) can now be viewed on a new Member’s Area webpage, simply entitled Auto Motor Journal.
Although this shot was taken in rural England it could just have easily been taken anywhere else within the United Kingdom, but for how much longer? Red telephone boxes are rapidly vanishing from our landscape as very few people use pay-phones these days. If you know of a neglected red phone box near you, contact BT and request it be re-painted – you may be pleasantly surprised. (Image courtesy of Arthur Bell)
The Manor House at Wortham, Suffolk played host to the Network’s Far Eastern Pub Meet on Sunday 2nd October. Record numbers turned out for a very convivial couple of hours. A highlight of the meet was the bringing together of two pre-war Jensen Specials – Mike Adam’s Morris Eight version and Peter Hubbard’s AJS Nine, just one of which was built. See the forum for more information or scroll to the foot of this page for many more images.
Late last year a Dutch syndicate from The Hague purchased a 1931 scuttle tank S.V. Minor Coachbuilt Saloon (formerly UF 7502) Unfortunately a recent outing to the Zandvoort racing circuit in North Holland resulted in an engine failure and the need for a replacement S.V. block. If anyone can help please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
With autumn in the northern hemisphere just a few days old thoughts of some Minorists turn to the VSCC Trials calendar. The club’s Lakeland Trial is being held on 5th November in 2016 and it would be no surprise to find Daniel Redmond among the list of entries. His re-bodied Semi-Sports trials special (HX 9773) is seen here negotiating Honister Pass during the 2013 running of this event, the hill invariably turning out to be a stern test of both man and machine.
Christian Ehrbar from Zug, Switzerland has just acquired this lovely 1933 Minor Two-seater MMS8 29435 which has been for sale on the French/Swiss border for almost six years. Christian now has two Minors in his garage, his new car will now sit alongside 1932 Minor Two-seater SV 19350 (formerly GY 1482).
The question of vehicle identity is a hot topic in the old car world and is just one of the reasons why the mandarins at the DVLA are currently reviewing this controversial area. Here we have UD 2682 (a 1929 Oxford registration) which is not what it appears to be, this as a direct result of the DVLA allocating an historic registration to the builder of this replica Minor Fire Tender in the eighties. The fire tender was built upon a May 1930 Minor saloon chassis (24126) by Sheffield enthusiast Peter McCall who made no secret of the fact that his car was indeed a replica, and neither did another former ‘keeper’ Tony Gamble who sold it on some years ago. (Image Ken Martin)
Tony Gamble from Selby, North Yorks U.K. has been constructing a Tourer body on his extremely rare 1928 Minor chassis, of which under a dozen are known to have survived. When finished the car will be unusual in that the body is to be skinned in fabric, a variant of the Minor that Morris Motors did not list in the late twenties. The completed body frame saw the light of day for the first time earlier this month.
A series of website technical problems has prevented the publication of the 2017 Rally Page and entry form. Thankfully these issues have now been resolved and the page is due for launch on 9th September. Thank you for your patience. (Photo shows Ashmore village, Dorset over-run by Minors and an Eight during the course of the 2016 rally – image Kate Martin)
As part of their 40th wedding anniversary celebrations Ken and Kate Martin re-visited the Bath church in which they were betrothed. Their wedding carriage back in 1976 was UX 4950 Ken’s 1930 Minor Coachbuilt Saloon, a car that had been a part of his life for as long as he could remember. Congratulations to all three!
An ‘All British Day’ at Parramatta, Sydney Australia on 28th August brought to light two Minors, one of which has not been seen in public for forty years while the other was totally unknown. Network member Ewan Lambess attended the event and captured images of both cars one of which is seen above. This is the substantive remains of a 1934 lwb Minor Coupe with a body by Holden. Currently only one other lwb Minor Holden Coupe is known to survive. Further details on this and the other Minor ‘find’ via the website’s Discussion Forum. (www.prewarminorforum.com) Image courtesy of Ewan Lambess
Geof Wilson has recently returned to his Leamington, Warwickshire home following a trip to Lake Constance, Switzerland in his 1929 Minor Tourer MM 9326. The journey was not without incident as Geof recounts on the website’s forum. MM 9326 or ‘Miss May’ is seen here parked at the Menin Gate in Ypres, Belgium.
The nights are beginning to draw-in for those living in the northern hemisphere, so vintage motoring opportunities will diminish as the weeks pass. Fortunately there still remains time to make the most of what’s left of the summer weather and to use our cars as intended by their designers. (When you do take your car for a jaunt please take your smart phone or camera to record some images to share here with your fellow enthusiasts.)
The harvest in Western Europe has been a good one with warm dry weather predominating for the last few weeks, ideal for crop gathering. East Anglia is Britain’s bread basket and Arthur Bell has captured harvest-time in full swing with this great image of a combine harvester at work in a Norfolk field, while parked-up alongside is his 1933 Minor Saloon JJ 9069 – perhaps the most photographed Minor in the U.K.
Roger Burnett has owned his 1931 MG Midget Sportsman’s Coupe for 56 years buying it while still a student. Since then many miles have been covered some of the more recent being at the 2016 Pre-war Prescott event last month. Here GG 3349, with Roger at the wheel, can be seen at speed approaching the hairpin at Pardon having successfully negotiated Ettores on the extended loop. (Image: Martin Gregory)
Ken Martin’s 1930 Minor Coachbuilt Saloon (VX 4590) provided the official bridal carriage for the sixth such occasion earlier this week. With the front passenger seat removed the bride could sit comfortably in the rear for the nine mile journey to the church. Ken’s sister was the bride in question and can be seen here with her daughter upon safe arrival at the church. (Photo Kate Martin)
Pub ‘meets’ or ‘noggins’ are the lifeblood of small car clubs and the Network’s Home Counties meet has been particularly successful. The seven members seen here met at the appropriately named Seven Stars pub in Leigh, Surrey earlier this month. Attendees were (in no particular order) Kenneth Allen, Malcolm Bailey, Philip Butland, Malcolm Eades, John Emmet, Alister Reid & Keith Durston. Cheers! (Image Malcolm Bailey)
Beggar’s Roost in Devon, U.K. is a notorious test hill which featured in many of the national trials that took place over the course of the first half of the last century. Plenty of pre-war Minors successfully reached its summit while competing in these events and one 1930 MG Midget (RX 6795) famously ascended the ‘Roost’ 100 times without stopping. The ‘Beggar’s Roost’ sign pictured here is simply the name of a bungalow located approximately two metres above sea level and adjacent to a large fen deep in a very flat part of rural Suffolk.
Apart from the name of the next England soccer manager the second worst kept secret of the month has been the proposed location for the 2017 Pre-war Minor Network Rally. For those who hadn’t already guessed, it is to be located in and around the County of Rutland and will be hosted by Phil & Janie Shepherd. So please keep the dates of 23rd – 25th June 2017 clear in your diaries – further details will follow soon.
Pat Oliver’s wish to be re-united with a 1930 Minor Tourer was first fulfilled at the PWMN Rally last month thanks to the efforts of her daughter Jackie Hammond. However, when a further opportunity presented itself in the shape of a ride up the hill at Prescott in Clive Hamilton-Gould’s Tourer she jumped at the opportunity, as did her daughter. All three are seen here at Pre-war Prescott on Saturday 16th July. (Image Philip Butland)
Seen here is the 2016 Harry Edwards Trophy award winner Peter Brock from Newcastle-upon-Tyne, U.K. along with the trophy and his 1934 Minor Four-door Saloon. The trophy was awarded for Peter’s significant contribution to the successful ‘Around-the-Edge’ Challenge which took place in the spring and summer of 2015.
The 2016 PWMN Jurassic Rally took place over the weekend of 3rd-5th June. It was a superb weekend hosted by John and Jo Nagle. Despite the sun not obliging and failing to shine on Saturday (4th) it made no difference to the fun had by the 40 + participants, as this image of John Paternoster and Anna Thurston at the Thomas Hardy memorial clearly shows.
The Network’s Jurassic Rally weekend takes place from 3rd – 5th June. Cars and crews are gathering in the village of Marnhull, Dorset from across the U.K. This image was taken by Kate Martin at the 2014 rally and shows the late Andrew Batey accompanied by wife Sue leaving the village of Belchamp-St-Paul in their 1934 Minor Two-seater BPB 357.
With the 2016 PWMN Jurassic Rally just days away here is an image taken at the 2013 Marlborough event held not too many miles from Dorset and over similar terrain. The 1931 Minor Two-Seater (with 32 rad surround) is being driven by Avril Ovenden with husband Tim in the navigator’s seat. (Image Kate Martin)
Neale Elder regularly competes in the Hadstock Driving Tests, a vintage car event held annually about twenty minutes drive away from Christchurch, New Zealand deep in the Canterbury countryside. His Minor Special has a part completed body but this didn’t hinder Neale as John McDonald’s great photograph portrays.
Three Minors and crews are currently touring the Isle-of-Wight with the Western Region of the Morris Register. Twenty Morris cars are taking part including Tony Nelson’s 1932 Minor Tourer (VSU 309), Ken Martin’s 1930 Coachbuilt Saloon (VX 4590) and one of the Sears stable of cars – identity as yet unknown. (Photo Martin)
Vast stretches of rural U.K. countryside are now a bright yellow in colour as the oilseed rape plant blossoms prior to its harvesting later in the year. While the view through an aircraft cabin window of this panorama provides the best vantage point for this spectacle, a hilltop view runs it a close second for mere earthbound mortals. Here Bob Howden‘s red Midget JY 4480 provides the contrasting colour deep in the Berkshire downs.
Plenty of Minors were out and about on Sunday 24th April, which is designated as ‘Drive-it day’ here in the U.K. Peter Brock lives in England’s North East region and took this great shot, while out on such a run, (entitled ‘Community Notice Board‘) while his 1934 Four-door Minor Saloon was parked-up in an urban underpass.
Anthony Adlard along with his 1934 Minor ANN 884 emigrated to South Australia back in 1988. The Automobile magazine covered the story with a two-page article in their July edition that year. Anthony and his Minor are now residing once again in the UK and will be attending the Jurassic Rally in five weeks time having made their PWMN rally debut in Norfolk last year. Read the article here.
The Network’s 7th annual rally in glorious Dorset is now just two months distant. Tour routes are written, venues have been visited and briefed while two rally places remain available. If you have been contemplating entering then act fast to ensure you are part of what promises to be a great rally weekend. (This image was taken during the course of the 2015 rally and features Andy Brown’s 1931 Minor Tourer with Andy at the wheel and Thomas Eriksson navigating.)
The VSCC’s Light Car & Edwardian Section held their annual Welsh Weekend event over the 2nd & 3rd April based around the town of Llandrindod Wells. A number of Minors took part including those of Messrs, Rolfe, Hamilton-Gould and Woodward. Alistair Bond‘s Semi-Sports was spotted in the Metropole Hotel car park wearing a competition number but it’s not known if he took part in Sunday’s Trial. (Photography courtesy of Mike Tebbett.)
Russel Hertzog owns a 1929 Midget with the chassis number of 2M/586 which was built in Oxford in August of that year and now sports a Double Twelve replica body. Within 12 months of leaving MG’s Oxford factory it had two U.K. registrations, WX 1571 (Autumn 29 W.R. Yorkshire) and OF 6766 (Spring 1930 Birmingham). How could this happen – Russel is investigating?