Friday, July 3, 2015

1952 -1954 Morris Minor Series II

"The Morris Minor has road-proved its way to popularity in nearly every country of the world. Everything of first-rate importance in modern automobile design has been incorporated in this car. With family budgets under daily review it is small wonder that the Minor is so much sought after everywhere. There is room for the family and luggage in a Minor — the world's biggest small car buy!"

Don’t be fooled by the radiant red of this Morris Minor from Havana: this ain't a sports car. Who expected less than lethargic performance from this tiny car was in for a great disappointment. Zero to 62 miles (100 km/h) took about a minute. If you got there at all, that was, because the Morris could reach its 63 miles (101 km/h) top speed only in still air conditions. Even tinier cars could outrun the Morris. So, why bother buying one? Rather than speed, it was comfort that attracted many Morris customers.

Its tall roof made the Minor look a bit cartoonish, but all passengers could sit upright and comfortably. And compared to other English cars of the same vintage, it didn't look so bad, after all. Another strong point of the Minor was its cushiony ride. Cornering and road holding qualities were considered very good for a car of that era. Unsurprisingly so, as the Minor had an unconventional torsion-bar suspension, just like the Porsche and Volkswagen Beetle models. A rack-and-pinion steering made the handling pin-sharp. And the car had a monocoque body instead of the prevailing body-on-frame design. Responsible for all  this engineering extravaganza was Sir Alec Issigonis, who later should become famous as the father of the Mini. Issigonis always took great pride in the fact that the Minor's little "development team" — him and two draftsmen that interpreted his freehand sketches — could pull off such an innovative and successful design.

For postwar standards, the Minor was a well-constructed, spacious car that didn't cost too much — exactly what England's war-ridden middle class needed for their first steps into motoring. Presented in 1948, the little Morris should become a constant seller for two and a half decades, with almost 1,620,000 examples built. Across the Atlantic Ocean, though, the Morris Minor had rather minor success.

Split windshield and rectangular grille opening with parking lights that are confined within the grille frame suggest that this car was built between 1952 and October 1954. Later, the parking lights moved out into the front fenders while the grille opening got a softer shape.

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