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Morris Minor

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Morris Minor Series II

The Morris Minor was launched at the 1948 Earls Court Motor Show where it was met with great enthusiasm from the general public and press alike. This Morris Minor was a completely new model that had been designed by Alec Issigonis, who of course later went on to design the Mini. The Minor was of a very modern appearance compared to many of the other cars at the motor show and was available as a 2-door saloon or tourer. On the road the Minor handled very well and had good roadholding with light and precise rack and pinion steering and independent front torsion bar suspension. The car was of unitary construction and felt very taut with none of the rattling that could occur with cars built on a separate chassis. The only criticism of the time was that the car could have benefited from a bit more power, which it did indeed get later on in its production.

These first Minors were powered by a side valve 918cc engine form the Morris eight. The very earliest of these cars featured headlamps that were set very low on the car alongside the radiator grill, but these had to be moved up onto the wing to comply with American lighting regulations - export sales of course were of great value. In 1950 a four door saloon joined the range, but in 1952, after the merger with Austin to form BMC, the Minor was fitted with a more powerful overhead valve engine from the Austin A30 - the now well known BMC A series engine. This car was known as the series II. 1953 saw the arrival of a Morris Minor Van, pick-up and most famously the Traveller estate car with its exterior wood framework.

The next update to the Minor range was in October 1954 when styling changes were made which included the moving of the sidelights to the front wing, a new front grill and a redesigned interior featuring a new dashboard with a centrally mounted speedometer. In 1956 The Morris Minor 1000 was launched and this was fitted with the larger 948cc A series engine, which along with a new gearbox immediately transformed the performance of the car. Styling changes were again made which were most notably the fitting of a one-piece front windscreen and a larger wrap around rear window. During the next few years production of the Minor soared, and the one Millionth edition of the Minor rolled off the production line in 1960 and 349 lilac 2 door saloons were produced to mark the occasion.

The last major change to the Minor came in 1962 when it was fitted with the 1098cc version of the A series engine, with only small changes being made to the car during its last few years of production. The last convertible Minor was produced in 1969 with saloons ending their production in 1970. The Minor traveller ceased production in 1971 after nearly 1.7 million Minors had been sold.


Specifications (saloon)



Series II

1000 (948cc)

1000 (1098cc)

Years Produced





Body Type

2 & 4 door saloon, 2-door convertible, 2-door "Traveller" estate, van & pick-up


12ft 4in

12ft 4in

12ft 4in

12ft 5.5in


5ft 1in

5ft 1in

5ft 1in

5ft 1in







4 cyl 918cc sv*

4 cyl 803cc ohv*

4 cyl 948cc ohv*

4 cyl 1098cc ohv*

Power (bhp / rpm)

29.5 @ 4400

30 @ 4800

37 @ 4750

48 @ 5100

Torque (lb ft / rpm)

39 @ 2400

40 @ 2400

48 @ 3000

60 @ 2500


4 speed manual with synchromesh on 2nd, 3rd and top

Driven Wheels






Drums all round

Drums all round

Drums all round

Drums all round

Front Suspension

Independent, torsion bar and wishbone

Rear Suspension

Live Axle, leaf springs

* sv = sidevalve, ohv = overhead valve





Series II

1000 (948cc)

1000 (1098cc)

Top Speed

62 mph

63 mph

75 mph

77 mph

0-60 mph


52.5 seconds

31.3 seconds

24.8 seconds

Fuel Consumption

36 mpg

36 mpg

39 mpg

38 mpg


Useful Links

Morris Minor Owners Club

Classic Austin & Morris

Morris Minor books at