Mum’s Car

My mother once had one of these:

Owners of Morris Minors (boasting a top speed of just 63mph, and taking more than 30 seconds to get to 60mph) are among the most prolific drug and drink drivers, a new study suggests.

And it looked exactly like this one:

I think hers had a single windshield, not a split one, but I could be wrong.  She loved it dearly, and was distraught when my father secretly sold it, replacing it with one of these:

She kept the Austin-Healey for almost a year, then forced my father to get rid of it, “because the men keep looking at me and flirting” — which tells you all about my mother.  Its replacement?  An Austin 1100:

…which she kept for years until I wrecked it in 1971 (sorry, Ma).

Anyway, about that drunken Morris Minor driver thing:  I suspect that it’s because most Minor drivers today are old farts, who suffer from impaired reflexes and decaying driving skills as well as a tendency to drink lots of gin.

I want to drive a Morris Minor then, because I fit the profile perfectly.  But I want the Traveller model, complete with wood (which is real wood, by the way):

I bet I could pull the chicks* with that beauty, big time.

* of my own vintage, that is.


  1. My first car was a Morris Minor convertible. 803cc OHV engine. It was MUCH faster than my brother’s MM series Morris Minor with his flathead (side valve) engine. One had to get a good running start on any hill to be able to make it to the top at anything past trotting speed. Discovering how to speed shift the gearbox was a help as the throttle remained on the floor. Rebuilding the gearbox was not as much fun.
    My lord what a load of fun that car was. It was almost too slow to get into trouble with. (I did say almost didn’t I.) Aside from the gearbox, the darn thing was nigh on to indestructible by an 18 year old.

  2. My BIL has two of those Travellers. He’d probably sell you the one that needs all the work.
    He wouldn’t sell you the one that’s mint.

  3. I kind of laughed my ass off looking at the Morris Minor, in the early 1960’s my older brother’s wife had a Blue Morris Minor and she became upset when he gave her his Chevy Impala and bought an Austin Healy the same color as the one you pictured. That was his first wife and she was mad because he had too much fun driving the Healy. At the same time I was a high school kid with a Bug Eye Sprite that was just a little bit faster than the Morris Minor and lots of fun on corners.

    I have fond memories of old British metal, the looks, sounds and smells unlike any other cars that I am aware of. As the years went by, along with the Bug Eye, I had a TR3 and an XKE and the all tried to kill me at one time or another.

  4. That Austin looks like it wants to be put out of its misery, so you did it a service.

    The MM is a nice looking little car. Put a modern engine in it, especially the Woody, and it’d probably sell like hotcakes.

    1. Absolutely…..Put in a proper 1275 engine/trans/drivetrain (especially brakes), and have some fun.

  5. About 10 years ago I was on a narrow, windy, woody, scenic Brit road near a place called Thursley. A demented white haired old woman in an Austin 1100 tailgated me, for what seemed ages but was probably a few minutes. I kept trying to go faster to stay ahead but right hand drive and wrong road side terrified and defeated me.

    She passed me with a wrathful glare, wild white hair puffed out, cigarette hanging out her lips, at an astonishing speed on a blind climbing curve.

    No wonder they won the war. She drove that crappy ancient little Austin 1100 like a spitfire.

    I was in an Audi A4.

    1. Fred,
      You were lucky. If it had been Mrs. Free Market behind you, she’d have run you off the road.
      On her bicycle.

  6. First Porsche now Morris Minor – must be the week for “so ugly it’s purty”!
    Buddy in high school had a Bull Nose convertible. In some contrarian manner, it proved to be the equal to VW as a chick getter. Or was it that Junior sometimes had the keys to Dad’s just introduced Porsche 912?

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