Not quite a lesser car…

The Morris Minor, or Moggie as it was affectionately known, was a popular, inexpensive, compact family car. Easy to maintain, purely functional and fairly easy on the eyes is was manufactured between 1948 and 1971 seeing over 1.3 million produced. The blighty VW Beetle or Citroen deux chevaux. Its wholesome lines came from the mind of Alec Issigonis (the chief designer of The Mini). Like some matronly nurse it took to the British roads like the proverbial duck to water.

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It saw many versions including the gnatty soft-top convertible seen above as well as the classic wood framed estate Traveler and delivery van. Both below. That battleship grey colour is pure blighty mid-fifties and a holiday to Llandudno.

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Diminutive power was conjured up from compact sub litre power units derived from the predecessor Morris Eight, however early engine bay layout is wide enough for an envisioned flat four (like a Beetle) but the sidevalve inline four is utilized. Here is a very early MM looking lively in its original green.

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The Lucas battery is bigger than the 27 bhp engine. Probably heavier too! Here’s another pristine engine bay, everything is obvious and with room for any home mechanic to keep his transport on the road. This is the A Series overhead valve inline four which went on, with ongoing evolution, to see half a century’s production in The Mini. Sir Alec spun it 90° to ensure that compact cars place in history.

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This ‘motor’ was developed by famed engine designer Harry Weslake who would go on to design the powerplants of Jaguars (later this week) and had indeed been involved in the Rolls Royce Merlin engine – arguable one if the Best sounding engines ever – especially at speed from a Supermarine Spitfire.

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Look at this… Lines like the platinum tress’d Diana Dors, who’d not get a smile whilst adjusting your tweed cap and donning your string back drivers gloves… 
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And besides it’s the car used by Keith and Candice Marie on their rural trip in the much loved Mike Leigh drama Nuts in May.

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CANDICE MARIE

Keith?

KEITH

Mmm.

CANDICE MARIE

You know you always tell me to chew everything 72 times?

KEITH

Mmm.

CANDICE MARIE

Well I don’t think that can be right, because, um for instance you’re chewing nuts now, and they have to be chewed 72 times because they’re very hard. But earlier on I was eating mushroom, and I only got to 31 and it slipped down my throat quite naturally. So it doesn’t always have to be 72 times does it?

KEITH

[long pause while chewing] I think the important thing is to uh, use your discretion.

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