1959 Morris Minor 1000

Illustration for article titled 1959 Morris Minor 1000


We can all respect the guy who drives a beater '73 Caprice Estate wagon, but how about a man who depends on a 1959 Morris Minor 1000 to carry him to work each day?

Illustration for article titled 1959 Morris Minor 1000
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Well, we'd have to say we're impressed. A 48-year-year old Morris?

Illustration for article titled 1959 Morris Minor 1000

It's safe to assume that this car requires a complete set Whitworth sockets. In the trunk at all times. Right next to the jumper cables and the five spare sets of ignition points.

Illustration for article titled 1959 Morris Minor 1000
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This is no show car of the tedious-British-car-fanatic sort; it drives from Alameda to Berkeley every day. Hmm.. that's the same commute as the guy with the daily-driver '66 Lancia Fulvia.

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Illustration for article titled 1959 Morris Minor 1000

The more I look at this car, the more I like it. It's small and full of character, but not cute character (like a certain air-cooled two-banger made on the other side of the Channel). More like the kind of car you build when your country gets the crap beat out of it winning a do-or-die war, loses its once-great empire and weathers 15 years of postwar economic malaise, yet retains its manufacturing pride.

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Illustration for article titled 1959 Morris Minor 1000

Though it was called the 1000, the engine in this car was actually a 948cc unit. That's actually less displacement than a single cylinder in a Ford 460!

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Illustration for article titled 1959 Morris Minor 1000

But that didn't stop Morris from slapping emblems claiming a (nominal) liter-o-rampaging-power on the bonnet.

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Illustration for article titled 1959 Morris Minor 1000

I spoke to the owner of this car, and he claims it's 100% dependable in everyday use. Maybe so... but I hope he carries every tool he owns with him.

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Illustration for article titled 1959 Morris Minor 1000

So what we'd like to know is your opinion on the Fulvia-versus-Minor question. Which madman gets the most respect? 48-year-old British car or 41-year-old Italian car?

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[As always, I'll be scouring the avenues of A-Town for more Down On The Street candidates. Submit your own DotS entries to tips@jalopnik.com.]

Related:
Get a Rotary Morris Minor, You Wankel! [internal]

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DISCUSSION

My first car!

The electricals aren't really that bad, just don't get them wet. It's the corrosion you need to worry about.

Check out the small hole in the center of the front bumper, if the battery fails you can use a crank to start it.

Mine was eventually written off by a careless driver who rear ended me at a red light. It survived countless teenage abuses, outlasted two engines and had a top speed of 67mph, downhill.

The single best thing about it was 2nd gear. No, not because this was the perfect gear for bald tyre / wet weather oversteer, but because it was located so far to the left and rear as to reach the forbidden part of a female passenger's thigh.

wes