Minor Memories

An Early 1000 Reboot – Andrew Elwood

Whilst already having two 1965 Minor 1000’s a 2-door and a 4-door, I have for a few years been very tempted about buying an early Minor 1000.The car in question would have to be a black, four door built between 1957 and 1961. The main reason for this was by late Grandfathers Minor WZ 2044, which unfortunately I never got to see. 

I have over the past couple of years been scouring through the usual marketplaces like eBay and car websites, a few had caught my eye but I never took the plunge to go across the water to view them. A couple of cars came up for sale in Northern Ireland, a 62 black door in Newtownabbey and a 58 black four door in Ballymoney, both myself and Club member David went to view them. But both not taking my fancy at all.

An Early 1000 Reboot – Andrew Elwood - Morris Minor Owners Club Northern Ireland MM001
An Early 1000 Reboot – Andrew Elwood - Morris Minor Owners Club Northern Ireland MM002

I had sort of put the idea on the back burner for a while. Until out of the blue in November 2014, I heard through the grapevine about a 1961 Black four door for sale in Broughshane. Upon further investigation it turned out to be a one family owned car from new, with a County Antrim registration number. I thought that it was too good to be true. 

So I arranged to view the car the following day a Saturday with my father, but on the way I was trying to hold back my excitement and not get my hopes up to much. Once we arrived we were faced with a garage door and a paddock which seemed an age to get unlocked. Once I saw the car had a good look around, underneath and inside it, I knew I was bringing it home.

The car being a 1961, black four door, registration number 4463 DZ. It was being sold by the son of the original owner, who had been the custodian of the car since the early 1990’s. In the early 1990’s the son had the taken off the road and because his father had oiled the car every year underneath, it was very original and required very little work underneath.

With the sills only needing replaced, along with 4 new genuine wings and an exterior respray, with a red painted on coachline. I knew the car would need a bit of work, as it had not been MOT’d since 2003 and it had only done 200 miles since then. The chrome in places and the bumper valances were quite poor. So I struck a deal and arranged to recover the car home the following Wednesday.

An Early 1000 Reboot – Andrew Elwood - Morris Minor Owners Club Northern Ireland MM004
An Early 1000 Reboot – Andrew Elwood - Morris Minor Owners Club Northern Ireland MM003
An Early 1000 Reboot – Andrew Elwood - Morris Minor Owners Club Northern Ireland MM004

Once I got the car home the work started, complete front end, both bumpers, radiator removed. Front panel, grille, new bumper valances all sent to a local paint shop to be repainted. The parts shopping list had started, which included new bumper chromes, hockey sticks, over riders, full service kit, hoses and all the usual bits and pieces. 

While the paintshop was busy painting my items, I then removed the complete interior and set about cleaning and softening the leather seats and door trims. They all proved to clean up like a treat, but before refitting everything I checked and painted the interior floor then waxed the inside of the door and chassis legs. The doors, floor pans and chassis legs are totally original and have never had any repair sections welded in and have very little rust spots. 

Next on the list was to have the underside checked, cleaned and have two coats of Waxoyl applied. The front suspension was then checked and greased with no wear found at all. The rear suspension springs were then removed, axle checked, axle oil changed and reconditioned springs fitted with new bushes. The brakes again needed very little work, except for a couple of new brake pipes, new brake fluid and readjusted.  

Once I collected my freshly painted items, they were all refitted in turn with a few new chrome items. This all along with compounding the rest of the car made it look far better.  As the MOT date was looming, all needing done was to get the engine, which I had previously heard running going a more reliably. 

Once some ignition parts were replaced, the carburetor thoroughly cleaned, the engine and gearbox fully serviced the car was ready for MOT. So after about two months of work, it passed it’s MOT first time on Saturday 14th of February 2015 and now hopefully it will be at a few classic car shows this year.

Andrew Elwood, Morris Minor Owners Club Northern Ireland

Minor Memories Road Sign

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