IOTW no.378

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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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