Morris Minor History

The history of the Morris Minor from Series MM to Morris 1000 has been well documented in many books and websites. This page is intended to cover the basic history of the marque.

Major dates and changes

The production Morris Minor was released in 1948 as the Series MM in Lowlight form at Earls Court with 918cc Side Valve engine. Variants available were 2-door Saloon and Tourer.

This is the first production Minor chassis number SMM 501

Gold coloured dashboard with instruments behind steering wheel. Curved gear stick for side valve gear box.

Side valve engine 918cc. Note air silencer on this home market MM and larger header tank for radiator (no water pump on early cars).

Early MMs had a body coloured filet in the bumpers due to the famous late widening of the body by 4 inches before production, but after the bumpers had started production.

On MM versions the strenghening piece between the two shock absorbers is straight (as can be seen) on later models this is curved to accomodate the different gearbox housing, so fitting a different engine and gearbox to an MM involves cutting and modifying the bulkhead.

Tourer variant with removable side screens

All MM and Series II models had high arch rear wings and flat bonnet emblem

1950, September – Highlight model introduced due to USA lighting regulations. 4-door model introduced as high light only.

Morris Minor Highlight

1951 – last Lowlight produced

1952 – start of Series 2 (803cc OHV engine)

1954 Morris Minor

Early Series II with cheesegrater grille

The main external difference is the use of the bonnet flash

MMs and Series II had small rear windows

Dash badge on passenger side now plastic. Straight gear stick for 803cc gearbox

Continuation of high arch rear wings to allow use of jacking points (jacking points change for 1000)

803cc engine with export oil bath air filter

1953 – Series MM ended (Traveller, Pick-up and Van variants introduced as Series 2)

1954 – Series 2 facelift (end of cheesegrater grill)

Repositioned speedo to the centre of the dash with open glove boxes either side

Continued use of Trafficators (used from 1948 to 1961)

All models until 1956 had split front window screen

Later type grille with sidelights now on wings

1956 – Morris Minor 1000 introduced; 948cc (end of split screen and 803cc engine)

  • Boot badge now MINOR 1000
  • Shorter remote gearstick
  • Shorter hand brake
  • Larger rear window
  • Split window screen replaced by larger single piece
  • Glove box lids

1960, November – Morris Minor Million produced (350 special editions created)

Morris Minor Million

Chassis numbers 1000000 to 1000349 were allocated ahead of the normal sequence (numbers skipped in 1962)

Millionth Minor and the 349 Minor Million replicas built in December 1960 (chassis number 1000000); rest built between 13 – 22 December 1960. All had Lilac paint with ivory interior with black piping. 1000000 badges on bonnet and boot lid and wheel embellishers.

Lilac colour with 1000000 badges on the boot and wheel embellishers

948cc engine

1000000 badges on bonnet sides

All Million chassis numbers are numbered 1000000 to 1000349 (M Morris, A A Series, S2 2 door Saloon, 3 Series 3 with 948cc

Ivory uphostery with black piping

Glovebox lids now had silver finishers since early 1959

1961 – Glove box lids discontinued, trafficators replaced with flashing side lights.

1963 model year – 1098cc introduced Minor 1000

1964 model year – exterior lighting changes, larger combined brake lights, reflectors and indicators at rear. Larger side lights and indicators at front

1965 model year– Interior changes late model type

Last changes to model

1965 – last phase dashboard

1964 – exterior lights changed, larger combined indicator and sidelights

1098cc engine with latest air filter

1969 – Convertible production end.

1970 – Saloon production end.

1971 – Traveller, pickup and chassis cab production end.

1971, December to early 1972 – Van production ends (last records destroyed); approximately 1,619,958 Morris Minors of all variants were produced and sent to markets around the world.

Morris Minor History Road Sign

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *