Morris Minors were not the stuff of car guy dreams during their 1948-71 production run, but they were a passable choice as a second car because of their fuel economy.
The trade-off for great mileage was an under-powered little British car that had no place on a modern freeway unless it was being towed up to an acceptable highway speed.
The little Morris Minors were great suburban cars because they could easily drive at the much lower suburban speed limits that barely challenged a kid on a pedal bike.
My family owned a few Morris Minors as a second car choice behind our primary choices from Chrysler when I was a kid.
Our Morris Minors were hot and slow in the summer and cold and slow in the winter. The Morris Minors in our family were occasionally replaced by British rival Austin as our second family car choice and the legacy of underpowered British cars continued in our family during the 60s.
My older brother attempted to convince my Highway Patrol father to let him put a Buick big block in a Morris Minor when my brother was about 16, but that idea was greeted with a hearty round of laughter by my dad.
Eventually the Morris Minors blew up and eventually they were gone from my family car legacy in the 60s. But I always had a soft spot in my heart for the little Morris Minors and I seek them out at any car show on the very rare occasion when I see one.
I was at a recent car show when I spotted one in the parking area. The Morris was not entered into the show and I am no Morris Minor expert, so I was not able to determine the year of the car. It looked like a newer Morris Minor in my opinion, but Morris Minors pretty much look alike in a German Shepherd kind of way, so age is somewhat indeterminate for both car and dog.
The Morris had a British Columbia safety sticker from 1971 as well as a university parking pass and Federation of British Columbia Naturalists on its passenger windows. It was in great shape and it was clear that it had an owner (or series of owners) who cared about maintenance and the car’s best interests.
What it did not have was an actual owner anywhere near or around it who could explain how this little British car managed to survive all of these years in such great shape after it crossed the Big Pond.
The owner could even reveal the actual age of the car and its long journey in life from all of those decades ago to a 21st century car show at an Alberta lake resort. The fact that the car was parked in a lot with no indication of trailer queen status was also a point of interest for me.
I left a business card with a brief message about how I wanted to talk to the owner but I will not hold my breath if human nature and past history is any indication.
Maybe I will cross paths with the car and its owner at a future show so I can revisit this story and fill in the blanks on the Mystery of the Morris Minor.