Lot 150 - 1948 Morris Minor MM Lowlight Split Screen
|Sold - £25,200
- The seventh Morris Minor built and believed to be the oldest car in private ownership
- Exceptional condition throughout
- Quite possibly the most collectable example available
Sir Alec Issigonis' concept was to combine the luxury and convenience of a good motor car at a price affordable by the working classes. The Minor was a roomy vehicle with superior cornering and handling characteristics. The Minor prototype had been known as the Morris Mosquito. More than 1.3 million of the lightweight, rear-wheel drive cars were eventually produced, mainly in Cowley, Oxfordshire, becoming Britain's first car to sell a million units and was exported around the world. Production continued in Birmingham until 1972 with the last Morris Minor (commercial) assembled at Stoke, Nelson, New Zealand in 1974. The front torsion bar suspension was shared with the larger Morris Oxford as was the almost-unibody construction. Although the Minor was originally designed to accept a flat four engine with four distinctive gaps in the engine bay to accommodate it, late in the development stage it was replaced by a 918cc side-valve inline-four engine, pretty much unchanged from the outgoing Morris 8 and producing 27.5hp and 39lbf ft of torque. This little engine pushed the Minor to just 64mph but delivered 40 miles per imperial gallon.
This example is one of the very earliest cars in existence, being just the seventh car to roll off the production line in 1948. It is understood to be the oldest example in private ownership, with chassis number 501 belonging to the National Motor Museum. The car was purchased by our vendor’s late uncle in 1965, being in the family ever since. The car is presented in exceptional condition throughout, the Platinum Grey paintwork gleams and would proudly sit next to far more expensive cars at any show. The car has some very rare features, such as the single round rear lights, a part which is said to have taken twenty years to source during the ground up restoration process, when a new old stock pair were found at an autojumble. The car also has side semaphore indicators and chrome door tops, opposed the stainless steel tops found on later cars.
This example really does need to be seen to be fully appreciated, it is understood to be the oldest running useable example; there are no records of chassis numbers 502-506, so this car is likely to be the oldest surviving example which is publicly available. It’s very unlikely that the National Motor Museum will sell chassis 501 anytime soon. This car would be a fantastic addition to any collection and is an opportunity which should not be missed.
Interested parties should satisfy themselves as to the description and condition of each Lot prior to the sale. Accordingly, buyers are on notice that each vehicle is offered ‘as is/as seen’ subject to the Terms and Conditions for the auction. All registration numbers, engine and chassis details are sourced from registration documents provided to Historics by the client or representative or HPI checks and buyers are to satisfy themselves as to the accuracy of these details. Buyers are advised to inspect the vehicle in person or use a professional to carry out this service. Historics will not entertain disputes over descriptions.