Daily Features

MSCC JANUARY 11 FEATURE FRIDAY BATTLE OF THE TERMINALLY CUTE: THE MORRIS MINOR VS THE VOLKSWAGEN BEETLE

By on January 10, 2019

 

      

 

Every now and then I gain access to old automotive magazines that cover a variety of topics.

 

One of them featured a story about a car guy who owns a VW Beetle and a Morris Minor. The two cars represent a page of automotive history that showcased small European cars that served a practical transportation purpose for owners on both sides of the pond.

 

Both cars are afflicted with terminal cuteness; a condition that made them a big hit with kids over the generations.

 

 

In fact, the VW Beetle morphed into a movie star with Disney Studios because of the success generated by Herbie the Love Bug in many kid movies.

 

 

The only chilling part of the Volkswagen Beetle’s history occurred when Adolph Hitler decided Germany needed an affordable “People’s Car” (“Volkswagen” in German) and ordered the Beetle campaign for the pre-World War Two German automotive market.

 

 

Hitler later turned his ambition toward the invasion of Europe during his ill-advised campaign for world domination-and failed on a grand scale. He should have stuck with the Beetle because the little German sub-compact did achieve its own form of world domination based upon sales.

 

 

The British answer to Hitler’s military plans was stiff resistance to squelch his brutal ambitions as a despot . The eventual defeat of Germany by the Allied Forces meant a new direction for Hitler-free Germans. However, the Beetle survived Hitler’s madness and was matched against all automotive rivals, including Britain’s second version of the Morris Minor built from 1948 to 1972.

 

 

As mentioned, both vehicles are off the charts in the terminally cute department and were manufactured for many years before they drove off into the sunset at a modest speed. However, there are differences between the two vehicles that go well beyond the writer’s assertion that his cars bear a physical resemblance to each other.

 

 

The notion these cars share a similar style is puzzling to me because they aren’t exactly identical twins in that department. They are more like second cousins once removed in my opinion.

 

For example, the Morris Minor had a front grille because it had a water-cooled engine that needed access to outside air via the grille vents to its radiator. The Beetle had no grille because it had a rear air-cooled engine that drew outside air from the vents on the Bug’s trunk.

 

 

Neither car delivered neck-snapping acceleration from their modest horsepower engines, but they were able to do laps around their North American competition in terms of MPG. The chipmunk engines in the two cars were most likely accompanied by a four-speed manual transmission so their drivers could achieve maximum velocity as soon as possible.

 

 

Taller drivers were more comfortable behind the wheel of the Beetle because it had adjustable front seats and more generous head and leg room. The tradeoff occurred when the four-door Morris Minor models allowed better access to the rear seats compared to the two-door-only Beetles.

 

 

The Morris Minor also offered a faint hope for cabin heat in the frigid areas of North America, although neither vehicle was meant to be driven under real winter conditions when it came to passenger comfort. An exception to this rule would have been any Beetle with a gas heater that delivered better heat, poorer gas mileage, and the potential for an unwanted bonfire in the process.

 

 

These days neither vehicle is likely to face brutal winter conditions, although both cars were famous for their ability to start in frigid weather.

 

The two cars enjoy a loyal legion of fans who may have even experienced the cars during their heydays on the road. The Morris Minors and VW Beetles played important roles as second cars that were built for North American customers who used them on urban streets-and not freeways.

 

 

Hollywood never turned the Morris Minor into a movie star, but it won my family’s hearts as a second car for a while during the 1960s. Some members of my family even temporarily owned Beetles for use as accidental stunt cars because they were easy to flip under the wrong conditions. To be fair, the Beetles did have sturdy roofs.

 

 

However, my vote goes to the Morris Minor because these cars were never plentiful here in North America, played a minor role in my family’s automotive history, and make a great conversation piece at shows. Plus I never rolled one when I was 15-unlike the Beetle.    

 

BY: Jim Sutherland

 

Jim Sutherland is a veteran automotive writer whose work has been published by many major print and online publications. The list includes Calgary Herald, The Truth About Cars, Red Deer Advocate, RPM Magazine, Edmonton Journal, Montreal Gazette, Windsor Star, Vancouver Province, and Post Media Wheels Section. 

 

print
31114 Total Views 3 Views Today

About admin

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Facebook

Featured Ads

Rear View Mirror

mar13-rockimgp6713-002

MARCH 12, 2013: THE ROCKFORD FILES BROKEN-NOSE FLEET-LARGE 1970S CARS FULL OF BAD GUYS ARE NEARLY EXTINCT

  I was looking at a big car collection recently and I noticed that it included a fair number of large 1970s sedans.   The nickname for these big...

March 12, 2013 View more...

MARCH 14, 2011-A 1955 CHEVROLET PICKUP TRUCK MAKES A DREAM COME TRUE FOR ITS OWNER

  The old car and truck hobby is typically the stuff of dreams for car guys.   We all have our dream rides, but real life intrudes into the...

March 14, 2011 View more...
march 2010 imgp2017

MARCH 1, 2010-1927 MODEL T-EVERY TRUE-BLUE FORD GUY SHOULD OWN ONE

    Boyd is a true-blue blooded, blue oval Ford guy.   He firmly believes that the Model T is the   sole reason for the company’s success since...

March 1, 2010 View more...

DECEMBER 14, 2017: FIVE THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CAR AUCTIONS

  Car auctions have become a TV hit thanks to extensive coverage over the last twenty years so auctions have been turned into show business.   They are run...

December 14, 2009 View more...

Most Viewed

My Star Showcase

MSCC Products and Services Showcase

These are all great businesses and they support MyStarCollectorCar through their advertising  so we can continue to bring you our  insight into the old car hobby 365 days of...

January 13, 2019 View more...

CLASSIC VEHICLES FOR SALE

EG AUCTIONS 12th ANNUAL CALGARY PREMIERE AUCTION–JUNE 21-23   Call to consign 888 296 0528 toll free Or email consign@egauctions.com Also we have 100 pieces of no reserve automobilia...

January 12, 2019 View more...

MSCC MARKET REPORT 2019

  MSCC MARKET REPORT 2019   Welcome to the MyStarCollectorCar Market Report.   This will be a regional look at prices for collector vehicles based on actual sales so...

August 3, 2017 View more...

JUNE 2019 CAR SHOWS AND EVENTS

  JUNE 2019 CAR SHOWS AND EVENTS     MAY 31-JUNE 2: THREE HILLS, AB Cruise Weekend   JUNE TBD: WINFIELD, AB Wheels in Winfield Show & Shine  ...

September 20, 2015 View more...

More At My Star

F150 Wheel Offset Explained | The Haul How to Choose Wheel Offset for your Ford F150

  PAOLI, Pa. (June 18th, 2019) – Sunk, flush, rub, poke, backspacing—what does it all mean? In this episode of AmericanTrucks’ (AT) ‘The Haul’ YouTube video series, Justin Dugan talks about wheel offset and how to choose the right wheels for your Ford F150. What is offset? How will it affect wheel fitment? All this, See More

MSCC JUNE 19 “WHAT’S IT?” WEDNESDAY—ONE SIDE, TWO CLUES, ONE SOLUTION

  Most MSCC “What’s It?” Wednesday clues involve more than one side of the vehicle but today you get the same side—just a higher and lower angle.   This is the lower angle on the same side.     If these two angles don’t give you an answer, you can find a picture of the See More

YOUTUBE CAR SHOWS—THE REAL CAR GUYS ARE ONLINE

  We all know the players in mainstream car guy TV.   They come and go depending on how many years they’ve been on their shows, but most car guy TV stars are instantly recognizable to automotive-related viewers.   MyStarCollectorCar has looked at and assessed many conventional car guy TV shows over the years so See More

FATHER’S DAY WEEKEND WAS A CAR SHOW TRIPLE-HEADER HERE AT MYSTARCOLLECTORCAR

  There is nothing better than a car show here at MyStarCollectorCar-except for three car shows in two days.   The automotive trifecta began on Friday night in Red Deer, Alberta at the Michener Extendicare, then included Saturday shows at Cam Clark Ford in Airdrie, Alberta with the Alberta Mustang Association show, and concluded with See More

Editor’s Picks

HISTORY ROAD 2019: COLD WAR MOTORS, A DORIS DAY CONNECTION— WE LOVE THIS CAR SHOW

  One of MyStarCollectorCar’s favorite events is History Road held in June every year at the famous Reynolds-Alberta Museum in Wetaskiwin, Alberta.   The museum runs with the big...

June 8, 2019 View more...

FLEX-A-LITE’S COLE QUINNELL EXPLAINS HOW YOUR RIDE CAN BEAT THE HEAT THIS SUMMER

  One of the biggest challenges faced by car guys is summer heat and its effect upon their beloved vehicles. In fact, the summer car show season can turn...

April 24, 2019 View more...

NOVEMBER 23, 2018 FEATURE FIVE FOR FRIDAY: FIVE QUESTIONS WITH EG AUCTION’S TODD SCHWINDT

  EG Auctions has been a player in the western Canadian car hobby for years and they’ve grown to the point where they have expanded into the U.S. market....

November 22, 2018 View more...

EG AUCTIONS 2019 Calgary Collector Car Auction June 22, 2019

  EG Auctions Is Proud To Present: Our 12th Annual Calgary Premier Collector Car Auction at the Grey Eagle Casino! SATURDAY MAIN EVENT June 22ND – 2019 INDOORS!!!! CONVENTION...

May 31, 2018 View more...

Car Shows and Events

FIVE QUESTIONS ABOUT ST ALBERT’S ROCK’N AUGUST

  St. Albert Rock’n August is one of the premiere events of the summer car show in Canada.   This is a massive event and it takes place over...

March 12, 2019
JULY 27, 2019 20th ANNUAL MICHENER ALLEN CLASSIC AND COLLECTOR CAR AUCTION

MICHENER-ALLEN AUCTIONS FEATURE: 1968 FIREBIRD 400 AT THE 20th ANNUAL COLLECTOR CAR AUCTION JULY 27, 2019     The best way to celebrate the 51st birthday of a classic...

June 19, 2017
JUNE 22, 2019 EG AUCTIONS PRESENTS THE 12th ANNUAL PREMIERE COLLECTOR CAR AUCTION AT THE GREY EAGLE CASINO

  COLLECTOR CAR AUCTIONS – CLASSIC CAR AUCTIONS EG Auctions Is Proud To Present: Our 12th Annual Calgary Premier Collector Car Auction at the Grey Eagle Casino! SATURDAY MAIN...

April 21, 2017
JUNE 2019 CAR SHOWS AND EVENTS

  JUNE 2019 CAR SHOWS AND EVENTS     MAY 31-JUNE 2: THREE HILLS, AB Cruise Weekend   JUNE TBD: WINFIELD, AB Wheels in Winfield Show & Shine  ...

September 20, 2015

Ads

Ads responsive