Classic Van Auction Talk

Wednesday 18 February 2015

1961 MORRIS MINOR 1000 "The One Millionth Car" - HISTORICS @ BROOKLANDS

  The next auction from Historics will be held at Brooklands Museum on Saturday 7th March.
You will recognize our Classic of the Day as a British icon, but this is a little bit special as it is the actual millionth Morris Minor built.
1961 MORRIS MINOR 1000 
"The One Millionth Car"
The Morris Minor debuted at the Earls Court Motor Show in London on 20th September 1948 and was manufactured until 1971. In 1952, the Morris Minor was updated with an Austin-designed 803cc overhead valve, A-Series engine replacing the original side-valve unit. The engine had been designed for the Minor's main competitor, the Austin A30, but became available when Austin and Morris were merged into the British Motor Corporation. Cosmetically the front wings and grill were replaced and the head lights moved from the grill to the front wings. To commemorate manufacturing a million cars (the first time a UK British manufacture had ever built such an amount), BMC produced 349 'millionth' cars. Of these, 31 were sold to North America and Europe and the remaining 318 were distributed equally through the UK BMC dealer network resulting in one car per dealer. All of the 'millionth' cars were two-door examples and finished in Lilac with white leather trim.
This Morris Minor came off the production line at Cowley on 22nd December 1960.  It passed from the Nuffield Group publicity department to the National Union of Journalists on the 20th April 1961 for use in a national fund raising campaign in aid of the British Red Cross and was subsequently raffled on national television. The lucky winner was a Miss Susan George from Wales who, unfortunately being too young to drive at the time, sold the car on to a local postman. The Millionth Minor came to the attention of the current owner in 1970 when visiting his holiday home in Dyfed Wales - still going strong; although now painted red. In 1971, the car was involved in an accident when it slid into a ditch. The vendor purchased the car soon after the accident and trailered it back to his Birmingham home. Two further house moves and two decades passed before it finally received a full restoration by Derek Smith, a senior lecturer in Motor Vehicle Studies at Northbrook College in Worthing. There is a vast history file (not viewed at time of writing) with the car including five document wallets containing receipts totalling approximately £15,000 for the restoration, various magazine and newspaper articles relating to the car, photographs of the rebuild, a Heritage Certificate and old MOT's. It has been dry stored in recent years due to pressure of work and has only covered a nominal mileage since the restoration.
Designed by Alec Issigonis and presented in excellent condition, this Morris Minor is still registered on the original number plate of 1 MHU (one million in engineering terms) and has recently passed an MoT test. An iconic vehicle by any standards and complete with the additional 1,000,000 either side of the bonnet and to the boot lid (instead of the more conventional 1000), the Morris Minor is well supported by an Owners' Club; there is even a 'Minor Million Register'.  Of the 1,368,291 examples manufactured; only one can genuinely be the millionth car off the production - this is THE one.

Brooklands Museum Trust Ltd
Brooklands Road
KT13 0QN
Please contact Edward Bridger-Stille, John Tomlin, Stewart Banks, Mark Perkins, John Williams in the South West or Gerry Pettit for Automobilia.
UK Freephone: 0800 988 3838 FREE
Non-UK: +44 (0) 1753 639170
Facsimile: +44 (0) 1522 262177

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