The history of the Morris Minor from Series MM to Morris 1000 has been well documented in many books and websites. The intention of this page is to give only the basics of what to look for when buying a Morris Minor.
So, we all know that the Morris Minor is the best classic car out there, right? What are the pitfalls if you want to buy one?
A – The rear arches do rust where the wing beading and body meet. On the outside look out for rust bubbles starting. When you open the boot check on the inside where you can see the wing mounting bolts. On 4 door saloons open the rear doors and check the condition of the C post.
B – The rear wing bottoms can start to bubble along the bottoms where muck and dirt from the road wheels causes rusting.
C – Rear spring shackles – check for condition of rubber bushes and of the shackles themselves. Also check condition of inner wing here.
D – check condition of front spring hanger for rot. This area can also be checked by lifting the rear seat squab and looking for rust.
E – check condition of inner and outer sills. This area is most evident when kick plates and sill finishers are removed. Lots of waxoil applied here will help keep rust at bay.
F– Chassis legs. Check these carefully for rot around the front suspension mountings and back at the cross member. Also check the condition of the cross member of the car. On later cars check the jacking points here as well. These areas with the sills are the major structural areas of the car so be thorough.
G and H – These areas relate to the front wing. Front wings tend to rust at the front around the head light and at the rear at the A post/flitch area. Rot at the A post usual means some repair to the inner wing is needed. Also check condition of the inner wing and the bump stop mounting. Check in the engine bay for the condition of the mounting surfaces where the wing meets the body.
Variation On A Theme
As well as these areas depending on which variant you buy there are different areas to look for.
Check for discolouration or softness at the area where the different wooden sections join together especially along the waist rail and bottom of the back posts.
On vans check the condition of the guttering, rear arches and areas around the rear doors for damage.
All commercial vehicles are built on separate chassis. This should be examined closely.
Areas to look at on convertibles are the same as the saloons. Check the strengthening panels on the B post and either side of the dashboard.
Converted saloons should be nothing to put you off as along as the conversion has been done correctly. Check the cut of the panel of the top of the window screen. Genuine convertibles should have the above mentioned panels spot welded in place, they should also not have the holes for the courtesy lights. Later genuine convertibles should have a chassis number starting MAT…
From 1952, all Minors were fitted with the famous A-series engine. Parts for these are easy to get except some specific items for the 803cc engine. Listen for any bottom end rumbling on starting, blue smoke when pressing the throttle or any strange noises during running. Most problems should be fairly evident. The A series is a pretty tough unit it seldom goes wrong… Earlier cars were fitted with the 918cc side valve engine. Parts for these are harder to get but again the unit is pretty robust, but will be at least 56 years old.
Despite the idea that front wheels fall off, the front suspension is fine if kept greased. Check for signs of recent greasing and also check the condition of the rubber bushes.