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IOTW

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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A Minor a day 7 …

By | IOTW

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VJ 1756 1929 Minor Tourer

Brian Maeers was something of a giant in the pre-war Minor world. His infectious enthusiasm for the model knew no bounds and this certainly rubbed off on those with whom he came into contact. He used his four Minors at every possible opportunity, running regular pub meets in his home village of Peatling Magna, Leics, setting up impromptu tours around his holiday home in Holme-next-the-sea plus attending both PWMN and VMR rallies. Today his 1929 Tourer, VJ 1756, is featured here. Known as ‘Prudence’, Brian used this car competitively, often being accompanied by his friend Dennis Johnson. Following Brian’s death in December 2013, VJ passed into the very capable hands of his daughter, Janie, who continues to campaign the car in a very similar manner to that of her father.

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A Minor a day 6 …

By | IOTW

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KJ 3553 1931 (32 season) Minor Two-seater

KJ 3553 is a beautifully well-preserved example of the 1932 season Two-seater, many believing that this model is the best looking Minor of all. With a chassis number  of SV8558 it was constructed in October 1931 and was registered soon afterwards in the county of Kent. The car first came to the Network’s attention in September 2011 when it appeared on eBay with a Manchester address. The following year it was clear that the car had been repatriated to Kent as an image of the car and its new owner was found on a Faversham newspaper website. In 2013 Tim and Avril Ovenden attended the Network’s White Horse Rally in Wiltshire and have been a permanent fixture at all of the subsequent events. It should also be said that Avril and Tim are regular attendees at the annual Morris Register Rally and also participated in the ‘Around the Edge’ charity run.

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A Minor a day 5 …

By | IOTW

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WV 4924 1934 Minor Two-seater

This 1934 Minor has been known to the Morris Register since the sixties. The car was first registered in Wiltshire in the spring of 1934 with a chassis number of 34/MS/41071. The earliest (colour) photo here was taken in 1974 when the car may have been in the ownership of Les Leach. By the time Ken Martin took the second (b&w) photo at the Morris Register National Rally at Stamford Hall in 1979 Les was confirmed as the car’s then custodian. Its history over the next thirty years is not recorded in the Network’s archive, the car next surfacing for sale at Malcolm Elder‘s emporium in Oxfordshire in late 2009. The car remained on the market for a number of months until acquired by Clive Hall of Sisland, Norfolk in March 2010. The car has remained in Clive’s ownership ever since, taking part in two Network rallies and the circumnavigation of the East Anglian coastline in May 2011.

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A Minor a day 4 …

By | IOTW

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OW 4224 1934 Minor Two-seater

Yet another Minor with an interesting history inexorably  interwoven with the life of its present owner. John Nagle first purchased OW 4224 in 1959 and owned it for four happy student years until the arrival of a company car in 1963 forced its sale. Fast forward 45 years and the car entered John’s life once again, not before also passing through the hands of  another Minor enthusiast and member here, Paul Harris. Paul saved the car from the scrap man back in the late fifties before coming across it once again in 1973 when he used OW as his main form of transport for a number of years, eventually selling it in 1979.  After passing through a series of hands John N. eventually rediscovered and purchased the car from Derek Powell in 2008, restoring it to its present pristine condition and completing a cycle that had started almost 50 years previously.

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A Minor a day 3 …

By | IOTW

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1929 Minor Tourer MT 3286

Like the Sears Minor featured here yesterday, this is also a well-known car within Minor circles remaining in the same family for many years. Roy Hogg bought the car well over 50 years ago and campaigned it extensively.  Roy and the car were famously involved in the recreation of the MCC London-Exeter boxing night trips from the Slough Trading Estate to the West Country in the sixties. Roy’s Morris Register colleagues described his driving style as ‘enthusiastic’, MT being notoriously quick in his hands. After Roy’s death his son Ronald  inherited the car and continues to attend events. MT was last seen out and about at the Network’s rally in June 2016. The four images to be seen here feature both father and son using the car while just a few years ago MT was almost the star attraction at a wedding.

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A Minor a day 2 …

By | IOTW

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1932 Minor Two-seater PJ 5155

To many of us, this is a very familiar car indeed. It has has been in current owner Toby Sears family for many years (forty plus?) and has travelled up and down the country attending the Network’s rallies as well as covering several hundred miles in the 2015 Around the Edge Challenge. His car was once the resting place of choice for Toby and Linda’s dog Riz, as can be seen in one of the four images here

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A Minor a day…

By | IOTW

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WD 1430 1930 Minor Coachbuilt Saloon

Stuart Clark from Bromsgrove, Worcs owns this lovely Coachbuilt Saloon and has used it extensively, particularly while attending the Network’s rallies. The car has been known and ‘on the scene’ for at least three decades and was regularly seen out and about when in the custodianship of the late John Seddon. Following an accident in 2016 the car underwent repairs to its rear which entailed the body shell being repainted.

This is the first of a daily series of short profiles of our cars. if you have an unpublished photo of your car please forward it to info@prewarminor.com and it will be included here in the run-up to Christmas.

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IOTW no.409

By | IOTW

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OU 961

This photograph first appeared in the 16th June 1939 edition of The Autocar and its brief caption tells us that the image was taken at Potters Bar in Hertfordshire, perhaps on the A1000. By then, the Minor (OU 961) was already a ten year old vehicle having first been registered in Hampshire during 1929. It’s difficult to determine the time-of-year although the haystack and ploughed field might indicate early autumn, while the heavily laden lorry could be carrying sacks of grain. (LAT Photo-scan)

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IOTW no.408

By | IOTW

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A recent eBay find, this snapshot reveals very little. The Minor is a 1929 Tourer model, that much is deduced from the presence of a ‘Morris’ script on the radiator, an item the Minor wore for just that first season. The design of  the tax disc on the car’s windscreen indicates that the photo was taken prior to 1961 (velologists may know more) while almost nothing can be determined from the driver’s attire. It seems most likely that the photo was taken in the thirties as the car’s paintwork appears to be in excellent condition and the Dunlop triple stud tyres look almost new. Is that a horn on the scuttle or something else?

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I(s)OTW no.407

By | IOTW

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This 1930 Gordon England Two-seater Minor special was first registered in Bradford, Yorks in mid-1930. Fred Dobson owned KW 8071 throughout the 1940’s while living in Weymouth, Dorset during which time the car was used extensively. It’s known that both of these photographs were taken while Fred and his wife were on holiday in Northwich, Cheshire, some 240 miles distant from Weymouth.  The Minor looks to be in reasonable condition and up to the task of transporting the couple around the Cheshire countryside. Period photographic evidence suggests that Gordon England produced more than just a few G.E. Two-seater Minor specials although none are known to have survived into the 21st century.  (Images courtesy of the Harry Edwards archive)

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I(s)OTW no.406

By | IOTW

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1930 Jarvis Minor Coupe

First seen in late 1929, the Jarvis Coupe was a luxurious version of the Minor. In order to justify its £187-10s-0d, it was equipped with  Mosely ‘float-on-air’ seat cushions, a burr walnut dashboard and door cappings, a wind-up/down passenger door window and fitted carpets. Although Jarvis later sub-contracted the building of their special bodies to other coachbuilders these Minor coupe bodies were almost certainly built in-house. The images featured here originated from Temple Press, publishers of both the Light Car and The Motor magazines. The individual standing alongside the coupe is Harold Hastings, the Light Car journalist. (Images courtesy the LAT Archive.)

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IOTW no.405

By | IOTW

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EX 135

The original incarnation of EX 135 was built for George Eyston who used it for both road and circuit racing as well as a Class G record attempt vehicle. Built in 1934 on a K3 Magnette chassis it was acquired by Goldie Gardner in 1937 where it was fitted with the Railton designed body as seen in this Autocar cutaway drawing by Max Millar. This beautifully streamlined bodyshell enabled the MG to reach a speed of 186 mph over the ‘flying mile’. EX 135 was taken to Dessau in Germany during 1939 where it raised the Class G record to 203.5 mph on a new section of German autobahn. (LAT photoscan)

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IOTW no.404

By | IOTW

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Hornets and ladies

There are a number of thirties cars that were advertised to directly attract the attention of potential female customers. One such car was the MG Midget Sportsman’s  Coupe (perhaps it should have been named the Sportsladies Coupe?) while another was the Wolseley Hornet. This photo and caption of actress Miss Jane Welch and her 1930 Hornet Saloon MY 4875 first appeared in a January 1930 edition of The Autocar and was among a series of what can only be described as publicity photos of Hornets and attractive females. A recent Hornet Specials image (no.21) from the same period was another case in point while further examples reside in the website’s archive. The first of the two images featured here show the original artwork for the photo feature, while the second is a cutting of the item itself.

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IOTW no.403

By | IOTW

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UD 2483

UD 2483, a 1928 Oxford registered Morris Minor Fabric Saloon was one of a series of development cars  that were extensively used by the company for publicity purposes from late 1928 and into 1929. This particular car is known to have undertaken two tours, the first of which was to East Anglia, the second during the summer of 1929 saw the car touring Scotland. It was while on the second of these trips that this photo was taken, the image appearing in an August 1930 edition of The Autocar. (LAT Images Photoscan)

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IOTW no.402

By | IOTW

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The Semi-Sports Two-seater filled a gaping hole in the Minor line-up when it was first announced in July 1930. At that time the range consisted of just three models, the 1928 launch models of  Fabric Saloon and Tourer which had been belatedly supplemented by a steel-panelled Coachbuilt Saloon, added in the late summer of 1929. The saloons were of course the big sellers for Morris Motors but the coachbuilding trade had spotted the lack of a two-seater model and were successfully selling a wide range of models to those prepared to pay a little more for the individuality these cars offered. One such coachbuilding concern in Wembley (Gordon England) were consulted on the design of the new Morris two-seater, the resultant development car (JO 132) pictured alongside. Produced for just one season, the company built a total of 744 cars over the course of the 1931 model year. (LATplate Red 8648 & Motor 549-3)

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IOTW no.401

By | IOTW

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Devon 1933

Charles Wynn wrote a weekly column for The Autocar throughout the early thirties period entitled Touring Topics. His column was invariablyy headed-up by an appropriate image and occasionally this would be a Minor. His column for 19th May 1933 edition of the magazine featured this 1933 Minor Two-seater parked on the road overlooking Thatcher’s Rock in Devon, the car being notable for the bumpers fitted front and rear. (LAT photoscan) 

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IOTW no.400

By | IOTW

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Airborne Magnette

This photograph features in a December 1935 edition of The Autocar and shows N.K. Crawford’s airborne MG Magnette (JW 5703) rapidly ascending Nailsworth Ladder in the Cotswolds. This excellent image was taken by an unknown photographer during the course of the MCC’s London-Gloucester trial. Author of the book ‘Wheelspin’, C.A.N May was driving an identical Magnette (No. 53) and this very photo appears in his book while a sketch of the scene adorns its front cover – see the second image. (LATplate C7773)

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IOTW no.399

By | IOTW

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Pre Health & Safety!

This Getty image from the Hulton collection shows a 1932 Minor Saloon crossing the River Adur at Shoreham via a steel girder bridge which carried the A259. It was first erected in 1922 and replaced by the current concrete bridge in 1987. The photograph above shows a gang of 12 painters  plying their trade on a structure that remained open to traffic, with no  warning signs in place and the only visible protection on view being their dungarees – these being worn to protect their clothing! A far cry from today’s safety standards.

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IOTW no.398

By | IOTW

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Dutch Rally September 2009

Halbe Tjepkema hosted a Minor centric rally adjacent to The Hague in September 2009. Six of us attended from the U.K. and had a tremendous time over the long weekend. We stayed on Kaag Island and in order to reach our destination it was necessary to negotiate a stretch of Dutch motorway which has a minimum speed limit of 50 mph. On the flat this wasn’t a problem and as much of this part of the Nederlands is very flat indeed and so most of the time we kept within the law. However our fully laden Minors did not like any inclines at all and this brought the wrath of the truckers upon us, but thankfully not that of the police. (This photo wwas taken by Roger Lucke on 12th September 2009)

Chris Lambert

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IOTW no.397

By | IOTW

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This Getty Images shot of Piccadilly Circus was taken in May 1932 and features a Minor Fabric Saloon in the middle foreground and a Wolseley Hornet Saloon at circa three o’clock. There are other Morris cars to be seen along with a Green Line coach that plied its trade between Chesham and Croydon, crossing the centre of London to do so.

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I(s)OTW no.396

By | IOTW

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KJ 5909

The 1935 MCC London-Exeter Trial took place on the 27th & 28th December 1935, competitors starting from Virginia Water in Surrey. Cars commenced leaving from 11:27 PM on Thursday evening onwards, travelling through the night to the breakfast control point in Exeter. Minor owner J Lyle was a regular competitor at these national trials in his 1932 Two-seater (KJ 5909). The two images shown here were both taken on Simms Hill in Devon where the Minor clearly needed assistance in order to scale the summit. Had the climb been unaided Lyle would have qualified for a ‘Simms Hill’ Trophy to go along with his Silver Award presented by the Motor Cycle Club. (Images: LATplate C7803 & Morris Owner clipping from February 1936 edition)

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IOTW no.395

By | IOTW

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Autocar Trophies

Throughout the thirties, The Autocar magazine donated trophies for many of the national motoring events of the day including both the RAC and Scottish rallies. Unlike conventional trophies of either a plate or a cup The Autocar preferred small art deco figurines. The two statuettes featured here were awarded to competitors who took part in the Scottish Rally in 1935 and 1937 respectively.

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IOTW(s)no.394

By | IOTW

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Finchingfield, Essex

The beautiful village of Finchingfield in North West Essex is set in a shallow valley through which flows the Finchingfield Brook. Its village green provides a focal point and its around this central feature that the village grew and expanded. The Network’s 2014 rally passed through the village during the course of its Saturday tour and many rallyists stopped to take photographs. Philip Butland was one such photographer and he captured the green and its surrounds immediately after a thunderstorm. The second b&w image here was taken in early March 1937 and apart from a distinct lack of traffic it seems that little has changed in the intervening 77 years. (B&W image courtesy of LAT Images – An Autocar photo scan)

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IOTW no.393

By | IOTW

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An unusual view

TJ 1876 was a 1933 McEvoy Minor Special, which during the course of WWII was owned by an RAF Wireless Operator/Air Gunner. This image from the late Bev Hicks collection is one of seven depicting the car during this period and is unashamedly of the car itself, with no individuals featured. Photos of our cars taken from above only ever appear infrequently and there are fewer still of Minor specials. From this angle it’s clear that the area behind the McEvoy’s rear seats was destined to be primarily used for luggage storage and not for the conveyance of passengers. The nearside wartime headlamp shroud also helps date the photograph.

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IOTW no.392

By | IOTW

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The Minor’s nemesis!

In February 1932 the Ford Motor Company launched their new ‘Eight’ model in the U.K. Designed in Dearborn, Michigan, the first prototypes began arriving at Ford’s new production facility in Dagenham, Essex during October 1931 with full scale production beginning at the new plant early in the new year. Within a matter of months the new Ford was outselling all other 8HP competitors, including the Minor which was having its most successful sales year to date, following the launch of the long wheel base models in the autumn of 1931. Less than two and a half years later the Minor was history with Morris launching a new Ford Eight inspired range, their own ‘Eight’, the car going on to become the company’s most successful pre-war model. This image of the 1932 Ford Eight, taken at its launch is a scan from the LAT Images archive (LATplate E2152)

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IOTW no.391

By | IOTW

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While images of Minors, Midgets and Hornets taken in action at sporting events, along with those issued for publicity purposes by the manufacturers, provide vital information for enthusiasts and restorers, so also do those taken as family snapshots. While the photographer has dated this image, the Minor and nearside front quarter of the MG Midget on view would have provided significant clues to an historian or researcher had that not been the case. The indistinct image of a Minor Coachbuilt Saloon in the background is either a a 1930 or 1931 OHC model (rectangular chromed radiator surround, low headlights and front opening doors) while the hooded guards and original wheel centres on the Midget indicate a 1931 season model, the later strengthened wheels centres being introduced by Morris for the Minor in October 1930 and presumably for the Midget at the same time. Other clues as to the date of the photograph could well be established via a knowledge of women’s fashion of the period, something beyond the scope of the writer.

N.B. The saloon could also be an early (1930/31) Wolseley Hornet, the two models sharing the same body and very similar radiators.

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IOTW no.390

By | IOTW

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A holiday snap?

Yet another eBay sourced snapshot – this being one of a series of three. It’s not clear if this is a pre, or post-war image, either from the attire of the  subjects, or from the appearance of the car itself. The 1933 Minor Saloon (OJ 3933) was first registered in Birmingham in the latter half of that year but had subsequently seen non-standard headlamps and sidelights fitted. The two front tyres are almost devoid of tread while an interesting vent has been fitted to the side of the n/s bonnet – perhaps to aid cooling? The shingle base upon which the accommodation has been constructed  indicates that the property is a ‘seaside-let’ and that this is yet another family holiday photo.

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IOTW no.389

By | IOTW

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Very little is known about this re-touched image which first appeared in an October 1937 edition of The Autocar. The derelict £100 Minor IH 30?? is just six years old and was registered in mid 1931 in County Donegal and must have led a hard life, perhaps as a hire car as suggested by the cryptic and crooked sign. The range of hills or mountains in the background may provide a clue as to the location of these derelict vehicles. (LAT photo scan)

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IOTW no.388

By | IOTW

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KP 5624 is a 1929 Minor Fabric Saloon that was at one time owned by Capt. Ian McLeod from Broxbourne in Hertfordshire. It has some notoriety in the Minor world as a well known and rare example of  a saloon being fitted with a supercharged engine. This photograph illustrates some of the changes that Capt. McLeod incorporated when he replaced the original engine with the supercharged unit. Most notably the fuel tank has been moved to the rear of the car – the fuel filler being visible on its flank. The triangular firewall brakets have been removed, although the reason why is not apparent, while the cast aluminium rocker cover is from an M Type Midget. The supercharger is also clearly visible thanks to the raised bonnet. The photo was definitely taken post 1960 as a blue MOT badge can be seen attached towards the top of the windscreen to the nearside. The snow on the ground might indicate the winter of 1962 but that is just conjecture.

NB Ken Martin has subsequently pointed out that the engine installed in KP 5624 looks to be from an MG PB, which with a three bearing crank is longer than the standard Minor unit, hence the re-positioned firewall and lack of triangular fire wall brackets.

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IOTW no.387

By | IOTW

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1930 Gordon England Minor Two-seater special

Gordon England had an aeronautical engineering background and used these skills to good effect during the twenties when his lightweight bodied Austin Seven ‘Gordon England Cup’ models achieved much competition success at Brooklands. In 1929 he launched two Morris Minor special models, a Stadium Saloon and this pretty open two-seater. The Morris factory did not have such a model in their range and it is reported that Morris Motors approached the Gordon England concern with a view to G.E. designing a version that could be produced in volume at Cowley. The resultant model was named the Semi-Sports and 744 were eventually produced upto July 1931.

VO 4346 was a 1930 Nottingham registered car and had been fitted with polished wheel discs, a popular accessory at that time.

 

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IOTW no.386

By | IOTW

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Just a prop!

This is not the first IOTW that has featured this Blackpool photographer’s Minor ‘prop’. The eBay sourced photo shows either a family or group of friends seated in the shell of an OHC Minor Tourer while a second image in the archive shows the same Minor and backdrop with two teenage girls onboard. A third image, taken later, once again displays the same backdrop but in this one the Minor has been replaced with a 1935-37 Ford Model C 10hp tourer. (Thanks to Mike Costigan for this information) Clearly, street photography was a lucrative trade in Blackpool in that early post-war period.

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IOTW no.385

By | IOTW

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1929 Schneider Trophy

The 1929 Schneider Trophy speed trial was held over a triangular 350 kilometre course around the Solent off the south coast of England. These bi-annual events attracted huge crowds along the shoreline and these images show a coastal car park at Gosport, Hants. One of Britain’s entries in 1929 was the Supermarine S6 (forerunner of the 1931 trophy winning S6B), the float-plane winning the trophy by achieving an average speed of 328.64 mph.  The second of the two images here is an enlargement of part of the frame of the first shot. It depicts a young couple using the roof of their 1929 Minor Fabric Saloon as a vantage point to view the competing aircraft. How many other Minors were parked here that day?

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IOTW no.384

By | IOTW

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An unnessary demise

Christchurch, N.Z. based John McDonald sent this early fifties newspaper clipping telling of the theft of a Minor and the extreme lengths to which the thieves went to disguise its origins. The car was  stolen in Aukland but was found 175 miles further south at Taumarunui.  Although the Minor was already 20 years old at this time its butchery almost certainly meant that it didn’t survive for too much longer.

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IOTW no.383

By | IOTW

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1934 WASA Trial

This photograph was taken on a cold March day in 1934 above a sunken lane in the Chiltern Hills, Buckinghamshire. The occasion was that year’s running of the WASA Trial, an all women affair. The queuing London registered 1933 Minor Two-seater is JJ 9444 which is located immediately ahead of the Morgan Super Sport, all the cars in view awaiting their turn to start the next observed section. The archive contains another shot of JJ 9444 being pushed up a steep gradient at this same event, although it’s very apparent that the person in the driving seat is a male. (The names of the entrant/crew are unknown) LATplate C2539

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IOTW no.382

By | IOTW

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PO 4843 1932 Minor Two-seater

There are six images of this late 1931 West Sussex registered car in the archive. All were purchased as a single lot on eBay some years ago and are uncaptioned on their reverse. Dating them is not an easy task, unless of course you are an historian of twentieth century female fashion. To the uneducated eye of the writer the photo could have been taken at any time between the late thirties and mid-fifties, with the word ‘Jerry’ painted on the bonnet perhaps indicating that it was toward the latter end of this period. Regardless of the date the sepia tones of this photo make for an appealing snapshot.

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IOTW no.381

By | IOTW

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Canvey Island 1953

This poignant snapshot of a marooned Austin Seven Saloon was recently found on eBay. It’s simple caption of ‘1953 floods’ masks the horror of the night of 31st January 1953 when a high spring tide combined with a storm surge in the North Sea resulted in devasting floods along the east coast  of the U.K. and along the west coast of northern Europe. There were 307 deaths in England, 19 in Scotland and a staggering 1836 lives were lost in the coastal regions of Holland. Belgium didn’t escape unscathed and 28 citizens lost their lives in West Flanders. Canvey Island in Essex was badly hit when the inadequate sea defences were breached by the surge, resulting in 59 deaths.

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IOTW no.380

By | IOTW

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Unmistakably a Kent location for this weeks IOTW offering.  The Oast House on Stocks Green Road, Hildenborough is famous for directing customers to the Old Barn Tea Rooms where “Oceans of cream” can be taken with their afternoon teas. This early thirties photo shows two models in which we have an interest, a 1931 Wolseley Hornet Saloon PL 2347 and a 1932 lwb Minor Sports Coupe KJ 7465. This saloon is without doubt the most photographed Hornet version with over 100 images of PL 2347 resting in the archive. The reason for this proliferation is that the car was owned by an Autocar staff photographer who included an image of his car in as many shots as he possibly could when on an assignment. The Sports Coupe is is one of just 450 produced in 1932 and these OHC versions are very few in number today. Note the petrol pump behind the chain fence. (LATplate E3543)

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IOTW no.379

By | IOTW

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What the ..?

This very unusual car was photographed in the the Iliffe (publisher’s of The Autocar) car park in central London during early 1933. Look closely and it’s apparent that it is not a three-wheeler as it first appears to be. Does anyone know anything about this vehicle? (LAT plate E6171)

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IOTW no.378

By | IOTW

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1934 Minor four-door Family Saloon

This eBay image provides few clues as to the photo’s origins. The lwb Minor Family Saloon has seen better days therefore the image is likely to be dated toward the latter part of that decade while the officer’s khaki drill uniform and the local architecture indicate that the photo was taken in warmer climes – but where?

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IOTW no.377

By | IOTW

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IOM Midget

MG Midget DG 2327 was first registered in Gloucestershire in mid-1931. It had a two-tone colour scheme with wings a lighter colour than that of the body. It looks to be a fabric skinned version which by mid-1931 remained the most popular body covering outselling the metal clad car by a ratio of 5-1. As can be seen this car carries its spare wheel on its tail no doubt to free-up boot space for the luggage carried by the pipe-smoking driver and photographer. This image was taken in the late summer of 1932 and is one of a sequence of 20+ all taken on the Isle of Man, mainly in and around Douglas at that time. The photos were presumably taken to illustrate an as yet undiscovered article for The Autocar. (LAT plate E3926)

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IOTW no.376

By | IOTW

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Arson?

This is one of a sequence of images found in an unexplored section of a photographic archive. They all depict the same fire which involves a number of cars that were originally built in the twenties. There are no clues as to why the cars are being deliberately incinerated or why they are then being consigned to the river or lake. (Photo courtesy of LAT Images Plate E4723)

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IOTW no.375

By | IOTW

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1932 Minor 5 cwt van

Vans undeservedly feature infrequentlyhere. After all, the 5cwt van was the second best selling pre-war Minor model, outselling the two-seater car versions with almost 10,000 of them fnding customers in their five year production life.

This 1932 model was operated by the Electricity Department of Salford City Council and was registered as RJ 419 in the early part of that year. It’s interesting to note that this particular local authority were in the electrical equipment rental business. Perhaps that was not unusual in the early part of the thirties decade? (LAT plate E2526)

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IOTW no.374

By | IOTW

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A 1934 holiday

This snapshot photo was purchased on eBay in 2012. The 1932 Nottingham City Borough Council registered Minor Saloon (TV 7488) had conveyed this family (or two couples) on a camping holiday to a location that is perhaps somewhere on the east coast of England. The lightweight caravan appears to be skinned in canvas although the Minor doesn’t appear to have a towbar in place and the long grass around the supporting block suggests that the caravan is a resident on the site. The caption on the rear of the photo simply reads ‘1934’.

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IOTW no.373

By | IOTW

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The 1938 MCC London-Lands End Trial was held over Good Friday & Easter Saturday 15th & 16th April. There were two sections for competitors to complete in the Blue Hills mine complex near St. Agnes, Cornwall on Saturday. As was usual throughout the 30s decade huge crowds assembled to watch the cars negotiate the famous test hills and the 1938 ‘Lands End’ was no exception. This retouched photograph appeared in the 22nd April edition of The Autocar and shows a section of the spectator car park at Blue Hills mine. How many different manufacturers products can you identify? (Photoscan courtesy of LAT Images)

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IOTW no.372

By | IOTW

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Throughout the thirties decade a 1930 Hornet Coachbuilt Saloon appeared in many Autocar photographs. There are a number of instances of the car in question appearing in the background of  photographs featuring other cars, while it also appeared as the feature vehicle itself on headings for the magazine’s correspondence section or on the banner for the regular ‘Touring Topics’ articles. The car appears even more frequently in The Autocar‘s photographic archive where the vast majority of images viewed have never been published. The car in question carries a 1930 Surrey registration (PL 2347) and is of the early (Morris Minor) body shape. It was almost certainly owned by an Autocar journalist or employee but to date the name of the individual concerned  has eluded the writer. Whoever owned the car kept it for a considerable time as it continued to appear in Autocar photographs until the latter part of 1938 and even then looked to be well cared for. In this photograph the glass plate wasn’t marked with the location of the shot, but was found among a series of images featuring Devon and Cornwall holiday locations.
PL 2347 has a photographic gallery of its own and this can be found on the archived website at the foot of the page in question here.

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IOTW no.371

By | IOTW

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The Global Minor

In the correspondence section (p756) of 6th May 1932 edition of The Autocar is a letter from a Japanese Minor owner, Isao Miyahara. Isao submitted an image of his 1930 Coachbuilt Saloon (16.339) parked-up alongside a dry river bed in the Hyogo prefecture of the Kansai Region, located on Japan’s main island of Honshu. While it’s not known if Morris Motors had an export arm located in Japan at that time the Minor’s reputation was sufficiently well established for at least one example to have found its way there. (This re-touched photoscan appears here courtesy of LAT Images)

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IOTW no.370

By | IOTW

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A second N.Z. special

Discovering a special bodied Minor is one thing, but discovering two such cars in the same photograph is quite another. The previous IOTW (no.369) captured a special bodied 1931 Coupe taking part in a local car club trial in hilly terrain near Christchurch on North island. Appearing further along that same line of cars was this SV Minor Special, almost certainly of similar 1931 vintage despite its partial disguise behind a chromed radiator surround. Sitting in-between an Austin Seven ‘Chummy’ and a Riley tourer only part of the car’s body is visible. The front portion of the car to the scuttle is instantly recognisable while the windscreen is mounted in the same fashion as that on a standard Minor Tourer model. However the windscreen is a single pane affair unlike the two-piece screen on the factory Tourer model. The low-cut shape of the offside of the body presumably aides ingress for the driver as no door is evident. Unfortunately the rear of the car is hidden and so we can only speculate as to its form. As mentioned in IOTW 369 this re-touched photo-scan first appeared in a February 1932 edition of The Autocar and appears here courtesy of LAT Images.

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IOTW no.369

By | IOTW

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1931 Minor Special

New Zealand was a significant market for the Minor with many cars being imported as rolling chassis prior to local coachbuilders constructing bodies that in the majority of cases echoed the shape of models available in the UK. However, a significant number didn’t follow this trend and locally designed, lightweight bodies began to appear. The example seen here is based upon a 1931 season car, its high headlamps and black radiator surround providing the clues. Unfortunately the rear of the car is obscured but enough of the well proportioned two-seater coupe body can be seen to assess its appearance. The image from which this extract was taken includes three Minors, all of which were taking part in a reliability trial in the Christchurch district of South Island during late 1931 or early 1932, the image appearing in a February 1932 edition of The Autocar. (Photoscan courtesy of LAT Images)

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IOTW no.368

By | IOTW

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1930 Minor Fabric Saloon

This snapshot image of a mid-1930 Manchester registered car (VR 8409) has little to commend it as it is typical of so many ‘car and their owner’ shots of the period. It was during the tail-end of the twenties decade and throughout the thirties that car ownership became far more widespread – while still bestowing a certain cachet upon the owner resulting in the plethora of similar images to be found today on eBay and elsewhere. In this photo the car may well have been owned by a company who provided it for their ‘commercial traveler’ or sales representative. The be-suited man leaning against the Fabric Saloon certainly has that appearance and even carries a pen and pencil in his waistcoat breast pocket.

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IOTW no.367

By | IOTW

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1928 Minor prototype UD 2268

Just how many Minor Fabric Saloon prototypes were built in the spring and early summer of 1928 is frequently debated. The earliest known image is the famous shot of UD 2071 with William Morris standing alongside. However there are a number of other images particularly of UD 2268 (as seen here) and UD 2270, this car being the subject of a publicity  photo-shoot in Bibery, Glos during the summer of that year. Additionally UD 2483 was photographed around the same time in Norfolk while other publicity photographs of the period show Minors with number plates deliberately removed. It has also been pointed out that the factory moved plates from one car to another with complete disregard to the law despite their ability to affix trade plates. While the answer to the question of how many Fabric Saloon prototypes or development cars were built is likely to remain unanswered, we do know that there were at least four evidenced by the images taken that summer, the big assumption being that number plates were not swapped around!

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IOTW no.366

By | IOTW

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1931 Swallow Hornet Tourer

When launched the four-seat Hornet tourer was priced at £225, just £5 more than its two-seat counterpart. By 1933 the prices of the (by now) very successful Swallow models had risen dramatically, with the two-seater selling through sole agents Henly’s at £255 while the price of the four-seater had reached £260. The Henly empire had grown significantly by 1933, with branches opening away from its London hub including a new outlet in Manchester. This undoubtedly aided sales of the all Swallow models including the Hornet variants. (The re-touched image is a scan of a piece of Autocar artwork and appears here courtesy of LAT Images)

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IOTW no.365

By | IOTW

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The Morris Eight

The Minor’s successor on the Cowley production lines was the Morris Eight. Surprisingly it wasn’t packed with new technology and even reverted to a three speed gearbox but it was a completely new car from the wheels up with a brand new three bearing crank, 918 cc engine. Its up to date styling mimicked that of the February 1932 launched Ford Eight Y Type Saloon and the outgoing Minor’s appearance looked dated alongside the thoroughly modern Eight. The car was a big hit with customers who seemed to far prefer the Morris version over competing models from Ford, Standard and Singer. The Morris Eight quickly became Morris Motors best-ever selling car with the Series E Eight continuing in production after WWII, with the last versions leaving Cowley in 1948. The car seen here is a 1936 Sliding-head two-door Saloon, this image first appearing in a June 1936 edition of The Autocar. (This is an Autocar photo-scan appearing here courtesy of LAT Images)

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IOTW no.364

By | IOTW

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Goggles

Head attire in an open car is an important consideration, particularly if the car is driven in all weathers and with the hood down. In the twenties and thirties drivers of competition vehicles were often subject to adverse weather conditions for many hours on end during the course of endurance races and trials. Many drivers used flying helmets in this period, long before the use of crash helmets and as a result fatalities at race meetings were a common occurrence. This elegant flying helmet was also adorned with wind driven wipers on the lenses of the goggles. Now this of course may have been an April fools stunt as the gearing required for the wiper blades to operate at anything other than at a frenetic speed would have been somewhat complex. It’s also interesting to note that the driver is wearing the latest ‘beat’ headphones built into her helmet while the leads are clearly attached to her iPad. Now this may have been a serious attempt at improving visibility for competition drivers but for those of us who know and use Rain X such a contraption is certainly not necessary today. This image can be found in the Getty/Hulton archive and is numbered 613501066.

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IOTW no.363

By | IOTW

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1932 Eastbourne Concours D’Elegance Competition

The ‘Eastbourne Concours’ was a famous motoring event which ran throughout the thirties decade.  This scene, taken in Devonshire Place, Eastbourne was photographed during the course of the events third running on 7th September 1932.  Three of the prize winning entries can be seen here. On the far left is an Arrow bodied Austin Seven while alongside it sits a similarly bodied Hornet – both cars being ‘Foursome’ models and entered by their constructor, Arrow Coachworks of Hanwell, London. On the right is a Eustace Watkins model built by Abbey Coachworks and entered by Miss C. Labouchere. This event attracted huge crowds, a small section of which can be seen in this LAT image – plate reference E1229.

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IOTW no.362

By | IOTW

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Pre-Brock & Bell…

Intrepid Minorist’s are not a new breed and back in January 1933 Alan Gilg and Walter Kay set out to travel from Liverpool to Capetown in a 1933 Minor Tourer HF 8547. Their adventures are recorded in a book first published by the RAC in 1981 entitled ‘Turn Left- The Riffs Have Risen’ (ISBN 0 86211 016 5). The book was authored by Gilg and has been long out of print but for those who have not read it as yet , copies can be found on Amazon and eBay. The image seen here was discovered on a South African stock image site without a caption and it looks as if the car is about to embark on a voyage – perhaps from Folkstone on the outward leg to France or in South Africa prior to shipment of the vehicle back to the UK. Kay is seen in the centre of this photo with Gilg to his left sporting a moustache.

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IOTW no.361

By | IOTW

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A Minor Coupe Special

The drawing seen here was scanned from a May 1930 coachbuilding trade magazine in which details were provided to construct an enclosed Coupe body adapted to fit a 1930 Minor chassis. This chassis drawing includes many of the important dimensions needed when restoring an early OHC Minor although it should be noted that in this case the steering wheel illustrated is the early dished type and using this as a reference point in conjunction with a later steering wheel will I’m sure cause some head scratching.

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IOTW no.360

By | IOTW

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1931 Minor 5 cwt van

Thanks goes to Kartik Lunia for submitting this interesting image which, according to its caption, was taken on 9th January 1937 in central London.

The stilt-walkers causing the delay to London’s traffic were from Landes in south-western France.  All were shepherds who tended their flocks on the poorly drained heathland soil of the region and who used their stilts to help pick their way through the boggy terrain. It appears that they were on their way to the Royal Albert Hall where they were to perform – we no not what!

The Minor van is interesting. It was first registered in London in the summer of 1931. It’s clearly a SV model as is seen by the upright headlamps and lack of side lights, although at that time both OHC and SV engined types were available to purchase. The ‘by appointment’ coat of arms attached to its roof would indicate that it was perhaps operated by one of the capitals great retailers such as Harrod’s or Fortnum & Mason’s. It’s in remarkably good condition for a commercial vehicle that was almost six years old at the time the photograph was taken.

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IOTW no.359

By | IOTW

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1932 Minor Family Eight

Morris Motors launched the last of their 847 cc OHC engined cars in August 1931. The two models concerned, a four door saloon the Family Eight and a two door 2+2 enclosed car, the Sports Coupe were both constructed on a lengthened Minor chassis. These new Minors were built alongside a four model range series of short wheel base cars which along with the 5 cwt van provided a comprehensive offering for customers on a limited budget. The Family Eight and Sports Coupe were the first models in the Minor range to be available with hydraulic brakes which proved to be a big improvement on the cable operated system present on the swb cars. The Family Eight was a well equipped, good looking car of the period as can be seen in this newly discovered LAT image (Plate ref: E2161). However it sold in modest numbers when compared with its swb sibling and only retained its OHC engine for its first season before adopting the S.V. unit (as already used in the rest of the Minor range) for the 1933 and 1934 seasons.

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IOTW no.358

By | IOTW

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VJ 3262 1930 Morris Minor Semi-Sports

Getty Images have recently acquired the rights to the photos taken by the 20’s & 30’s motoring photographer Bill Brunell. He was an accomplished artist with his camera and captured many iconic images from that period. This shot of a Herefordshire registered Minor Semi-Sports resonates with the writer as his own Semi-Sports is also Herefordshire registered with a registration plate just 106 earlier than that shown here. VJ 3262 is being driven by C. Clowes in the November 1931 running of the Inter Varsity Trial although the location is not known.

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IOTW no.356

By | IOTW

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This Autocar photoscan (courtesy of LAT Photographic) hardly requires a caption. The scottie dog and MG M Type are both unidentified and appeared in a spring 1936 edition of the magazine when the Midget was at least four years old. The photo has been heavily retouched making the legibility of the wording on the left-hand badge impossible to read.

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IOTW no.355

By | IOTW

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Colonial Minors

In the early thirties the colonies and dominions of the British Empire were a growing, although largely untapped market for both British car manufacturers in general and Morris Motors in particular. The rugged terrain associated with these developing countries favoured the more robust construction of American built vehicles, although in the cities some British vehicles found favour, particularly among the ex-pat population. This photograph of a convoy of Morris vehicles was taken on a Cape Town, South Africa road in January 1931. The cars, which includes the current range of OHC Minors with a Fire Tender at its head are on their way to the Cape Town Motor Show. Behind the Minors came the Cowleys while at the rear the front of an MG M Type Midget is visible. (Autocar Photo Scan – courtesy of LAT Photographic)

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IOTW no.354

By | IOTW

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Minor Two-seater KV 309

This image of a very late 1931 Coventry registered (32 season) Minor Two-seater was found  in a January 1936 Autocar editorial folder in the LAT archive. It’s unusual for a car no longer in production to appear in a current edition of that magazine but this shot was used to illustrate the effectiveness of the wing-bracing bar with which this car had been retro-fitted.

In just about every other respect (from what can be seen) this Minor was very much a run-of-the-mill four year old example of the model. It was running on almost treadless front tyres, which was not unusual in any way for the period and had a filthy underside. So very much an image of a Minor in regular daily use. (Image courtesy LAT Photographic)

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IOTW no.353

By | IOTW

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1932 Minor Saloon KJ 7249

There is nothing exceptional about this (late spring) 1932 Kent registered Minor Saloon parked up outside a Northfleet lock-up – that is unless you are Nick Baines. Nick of Rochester, Kent owned this car in the mid-fifties when it became his first-ever four wheeled vehicle. Nick wanted to know if the car had survived the intervening 60 years, but like so many others it doesn’t look as if it has. It appears that while the registration remains ‘current’ it is no longer attached to his old Morris.

(Nick met PWMN member John Paternoster at a Kent car show where they struck-up a conversation about John’s 1929 Minor Tourer, Nick then sending this photo to John who kindly passed it on to the Network.)

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IOTW no.352

By | IOTW

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A 5 CWT Van!

Images of Minor vans are comparatively rare and seldom appear on eBay. This anonymous van was an eBay purchase although there is little that can be said about the photo other than that it looks like it was owned by a small family business. What we do know is that the van is neither a 1932 or 1934 version as the spare wheel is attached to the nearside door – it wasn’t for these model years.

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IOTW no.351

By | IOTW

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Hertford Street, Coventry

These two images were taken less than seven years apart. The first shows a peaceful city centre scene with an early 1933 Coventry registered Minor Saloon KV 4341 parked at the kerbside outside a W.H. Smith’s store. A jeweller’s shop clock shows the time to be just a few minutes past 4:00PM on what is perhaps an early autumn afternoon. The second image depicts the same street on the night of 14th November 1940 taken during the course of an air raid that laid waste to great tracts of this once imposing Midland’s city.

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