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Lot 406: Morris Minor Panel Delivery

Quail Lodge Sale, Bonhams (16 August 2012)

* 948cc OHV four-cylinder * 4-speed manual transmission * Restored to 'Jaguar Competition Department' livery * Eye-catching promotional vehicle The postwar Morris Minor, one of Alec Issigonis's first masterpieces, became nearly as iconic during its 23 years of production as its ostensible successor and sister icon, the Mini. Released in 1948, it used unitary construction and torsion bar front suspension, although some other novel features, like a flat four engine, never reached production. Exports to the United States began in 1949, which required raising the headlamps from their position in the grille in order to meet local codes. This change was soon adopted across the board. Initially the line included both two- and four-door saloons, and a jaunty little tourer which commanded about a third of the market. After Morris merged with Austin to form the British Motor Corporation, a Series II Minor was introduced with the 803 cc overhead-valve Austin A-series engine from the A30. A Traveler estate car, a van and a pickup were introduced at this time, built on a separate chassis frame and heavy-duty suspension to cope with heavier loads, with telescopic rear dampers, stiffer rear leaf springs and lower-ratio differentials. The Traveler had an external structural frame of varnished ash while the panel van was of all steel construction. When the engine was enlarged to 948 cc in 1956, the name "Morris 1000" was adopted, along with a one-piece windshield replacing the split screen of earlier cars. Despite strong sales in the US generally, with as many as 25,000 exported by BMC, the commercial variants including the panel van, pickup and -ton never sold very strongly and just 1,200 were thought to have been officially imported between 1959 and 1961. In the current ownership for the past six years, this charming little Morris Minor Panel Van has been a regular sight on the roads around the Monterey Peninsula. Previously restored to a high standard, the van is finished in grey with the interior upholstered in brown vinyl and still presents very well today. A particular feature of this car is the sign writing, beautifully done in the livery of the Jaguar Competition Department as a tribute to the service vehicles that attended the D-types at Le Mans and elsewhere. The Morris is great fun to drive, never failing to attract a crowd and yet is utterly practical. Perfect as an eye-catching support vehicle at historic race meetings, the Minor is as much an attention grabber at Monterey than a parking lot of C and D types, not to mention a potential entry at various car shows and Concours d'Elegance events.

Lot Details
Auction Quail Lodge Sale
Bonhams, Carmel, California, USA
Lot Number406
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price$22000
Hammer Price (inc premium)$25300
Condition rating1
Registration number
Chassis numberDEB496590
Engine number
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors2