In a world of modified, improved, changed, or adapted cars, this is a particularly interesting one. Let me explain.
A standard Minor, the way this car left the factory back in 1958, was a state of the art economy car for its era. With rack and pinion steering, torsion bar front suspension, monocoque (aka 'unibody') body/chassis, and with its lively (for the era) 948cc BMC engine (a detuned version of the Bug Eye Sprite engine) and a 4 speed transmission, not a bad little four seat sedan. And now, in 2021, an attractive and desirable classic with wonderful 1950's style.
So, this car?????????? The loving project of a now deceased owner who obviously possessed a wide range of skills. Look at what he did:
Underneath, rust free floors, a secondary square tube chassis added for improved strength. For the 'donor car,'' a 1300cc Suzuki Samurai four cylinder engine coupled to a 5 speed transmission, a higher geared back axle, Suzuki front control arms and suspension (pardon if any of this representation has any minor errors.....builder is gone, we have a detailed nine page project survey filled with technical details, and am adding my own observations and driving experience), tube shocks all around, wider/stronger 15" wheels with 185 radials, Suzuki steering column with modern controls (for lights, horn, etc. on the stalks), Suzuki seats (including a power driver's seat....that works properly), modern stereo/CD, modern electrical system, new three point belts (we welded attachment points on the B pillars), large alloy radiator with thermostatically controlled electric cooling fans, modern disc brakes with a dual master cylinder (for safety) and power assist, and...........
Exterior is absolutely stock, excellent body and paint, chrome is stock and in very good condition, new headliner, one would NEVER know what is ticking inside. But it starts instantly, runs flawlessly, has a full set of instruments under the dash (including a new working fuel gauge, tachometer, oil pressure, and water temperature gauge), and whether around town OR cruising at 70 or 80 (or more) mph on the highway, its a very nice little classic car. With double the power of a stock Minor, high gearing, all synchromesh, and the fabulous power brakes. Great ride characteristics, quiet, and comfortable. FAR BETTER than a stock Minor. I mean, one could even consider using this car....(can it be?)....every day.
Okay, okay, it is far from 'stock,' in the way a NASCAR stock car has next to nothing 'stock' about it. But from the perspective of safety,, performance, ease to service, reliability, superior cooling and electrical systems, still seats four, has modern safety belts, and even ('tho not fully connected at the moment) has air conditioning!
We get a lot of different people wandering through our showrooms, some 'purists' and some just car enthusiasts. And I still laugh about the guy who visited and when I told him a beautiful restored MG TC had just had an oil and filter change, he was aghast as the car (in his words) 'wasn't original!' But who cares? I still love my 1953 Morgan, even though I 'upgraded' it with a dual master cylinder, disc brakes, more modern 15" wheels, and a more powerful TR4A engine coupled to a modern 5 speed transmission. Okay, not stock and not exactly the way the factory built it. BUT if they had access to these components, back in 1953, I feel certain they would have built it a bit differently. But, ya know, a modern Morgan DOES have disc brakes, a 5 speed trans, dual master cylinder, and a more powerful engine. (so I feel completely vindicated in my 'Frankenmorgan').
Its a wonderful car, fun to take to car shows and dazzle the purists (remember them?) In stock form, 34hp, single circuit drum brakes, no shoulder harnesses, skinny 14" tires, wide ratio 4 speed non synchromesh transmission.....not for everyone but, then again, there is only one of these cars. And it can be your's.Click for legal info