• Austin 6cwt/8cwt (re-badged Morris Minor)

The Minor was a passenger car produced by Morris 1928-1934 and 1948-1971. Given that Morris was part of the BMC, the model has been the subject of badge engineering, and was also produced under the name Austin 6cwt. The Minor was the first British car to reach one million units produced.

The first series of the Minor, produced from 1928 to 1934, was available in two versions. From 1928 to 1932, the model had in fact installed a four-cylinder in-line 847 cm3 with a single camshaft. Following the Minor was provided with a similar engine, but OHV. The first type were assembled 39,087 copies, while the second 47 231. In total, in this series, 86 318 copies were produced. This first generation Minor was marketed to respond to the success of the Austin 7, and placed it in the market share of small cars, which was created by the model mentioned Austin. Although Morris had the production site located in Cowley, near Oxford, chassis and powertrain were made by a subsidiary company, the EG Wrigley Birmingham. Production ended in 1934, and this first series of the model was replaced by Morris Eight.

The Minor was reintroduced in 1948. This new series was introduced to the public at the Motor Show in London on 20 September of the year quoted. Designed by Alec Issigonis, this renewed Minor were produced three series: MM (1948), Series II (1952) and 1000 (1956). In total, these three generations, 1,368,291 units were produced, which were assembled in England and Australia. This new generation belonged to the category of car compact, and replaced the Morris Eight. This model of Issigonis combined a relative luxury, with the reliability of a car that was placed on the market at an affordable price. Also possessed excellent driveability, even when cornering. The prototype was called Issigonis Morris Minor Mosquito. This series of Minor was the first British model to reach the one million units sold, and was exported all over the world in many variations. BMC’s internal policies, that is the group he belonged to the Morris brand, led to a limited circulation of the model in North America. The production began in England in Cowley, and was later transferred to Birmingham.

This series of Minor was defined as one of ‘"Englishness" (which, in Italian, can be translated into "the representative of the quintessential English") and British icon.

The model, with front engine and rear wheel drive, finally went out of production in 1971 and was replaced in 1100 by Morris and Morris Marina. The last Morris Minor, a commercial version, was assembled in Nelson, New Zealand, in 1974.

The first Minor was introduced in 1928. The engine was based on similar Wolseley engines. It was almost completely redesigned, and it was much smaller than any other engine on the market at the time Wolseley. He had a single SU carburettor, overhead valve and ignition coil. The engine produced 20hp at 4,000 revolutions per minute. The vehicle’s maximum speed was 55km/h. The electrical system was 6 V.

The frame was made of steel and the suspension was leaf on all four wheels, with a rigid axle at the front that is at the rear. The brakes, agents also on all four wheels, operated through a cable. Initially, the only bodies were available and torpedo sedan. At the launch at the London Motor Show in 1928, the sedan costing 135 pounds, while the torpedo 125 pounds. The steel bodies were introduced in 1930.

The engine suffered from seepage of oil into the generator, and then in 1931 was revised. Now the valves were lateral, and the power was about the same, ie 19hp at 4,000 rpm. Initially, both versions of the engines were sold at the same time; until 1932, in fact, the overhead valve engines were still mounted on four-door models. In the same year, were introduced hydraulic brakes, which distinguished the Minor dall’Austin 7, which instead had installed the cable actuated brakes. The low cost of the engine allowed the marketing of a two-door version.

In 1932, the model was subjected to a redesign that involved the line of the body, which became more rounded. On this occasion, the fuel tank was moved from the area near the windshield (under the bonnet) to the rear of the car. Was installed an electric pump. In 1933, a four-speed gearbox replaced the previous three-speed transmission, at least on the more expensive models. In 1934 they were available reports synchronized to the highest gear.

This first series of the Minor was replaced by Morris Eight in 1934. In 1948, a new Minor was introduced, this time designed by Alec Issigonis.

The second series of the Minor, called Minor MM was in production from 1948 to 1953 and was produced in Oxford. It was offered in four-seater, two-door sedan with body (since 1950) and four-door and two-door convertible. The torsion bar front suspension and a monocoque construction were shared with the larger Morris Oxford. Although the engine compartment of the Minor MM had been designed to accommodate a horizontally opposed engine, at the end, during a stage of development of the car, it was decided to equip the vehicle with an engine in-line four-cylinder 918 cm3 and side valves. This engine produced 27.5hp of power and 53 N • m of torque, allowing the model to reach 103km/h. The average fuel consumption was 7.1 L/100km. The brakes were drums on four wheels.

The first specimens possessed a painted section in the center of the bumper to differentiate the production car from the prototypes. The export in the United States began in 1949 thanks to the movement of the headlights from the grille to the upper part of the fenders. This was due to allow the model to comply with local safety laws. In 1950 appeared a four-door version, initially aimed for exports, which owned the headlights positioned as mentioned above. This arrangement of the headlights became common on all Minor MM since 1951. From the beginning, the Minor MM had the direction indicator rod instead of light, and this feature persisted until 1961.

An innovation of the late fifties it was the water pump, which replaced the gravity system. This allowed Morris to offer, including the options, the heating system to heat.

One specimen was tested by The Motor magazine in 1950. During the test was recorded a maximum speed of 94.5km/h and acceleration from 0 to 80km/h in 29.2 seconds. The fuel consumption was 6.7 L/100km.

In 1952, Minor was updated and was equipped with a new engine. The latter, designed dall’Austin, was in-line four-cylinder engine and had a displacement of 803 cm3. The power and torque delivered were, respectively, 30hp at 4,800 rpm and 54 N • but 2,400 rpm.

Unlike the engine of the previous series, which was a side-valve, this new engine was OHV. This engine was designed for the Austin A30, but became available for the brand Morris after the two automakers were merged into BMC.

In addition to the bodywork available for the previous series, a family version was introduced, known as the Traveller. In addition to this, versions were offered small van and pick-up. The Traveller possessed an external structure in ash, and two side-hinged rear doors. This piece of wood was not painted, but glazed.

The grille was modified in October 1954. Occasion was installed a new dashboard with a central speedometer.

An exemplary four-door sedan was tested by The Motor magazine in 1952. During the test was recorded a top speed of 100km/h and acceleration from 0 to 80km/h in 28.6 seconds. The fuel consumption was of 7.19 L/100km. The model used in the test cost 631 pounds.

This series of Minor was assembled in Oxford and Birmingham.

The model was updated again in 1956. Occasion, the engine displacement was increased to 948 cm3. Also this engine was in-line four-cylinder engine. The windshield, which previously consisted of two pieces, now he was bent and was formed from a single piece. The rear window was enlarged. In 1961, the direction indicators rod were replaced by more traditional flashing lights. These were red at the rear (used a filament brake lights) and white at the front (these instead benefitting from a filament of the headlights). This was legal in the UK and in many other markets, such as in New Zealand. A higher level version, arising from Minor, was marketed as Riley One-Point-Five and Wolseley 1500′s. A version of the latter was instead produced by BMC Australia as the Morris Major and Austin Lancer.

In 1962, the model was updated. Although the name Minor 1000 had been maintained, the changes were such that led to the implementation of a new internal name (ADO 59). The engine was updated, and now had a displacement of 1,098 cm3 by increasing the stroke and the bore. The fuel consumption increased, but the maximum speed was also increased, which now touched 124km/h. It was also updated the dashboard, instrument panel and the system heating.

This series of Minor was assembled in Oxford and Birmingham.

On the basis of the Minor 1000 convertible are convertible sports Kilo Sports Tourer, built under license from the parent company in a few specialized workshops authorized in Cornwall. It was a numbered edition of only 14 copies on order with different optional choice (from the windows, the hood, the interior, the instruments). The engine came from the sister mini cooper 1275cc or 1350cc Marina. The dry weight was 560kg with a power of just below to 100cv. The two-seater drew the lines and ’30s due to its low stance appeared to handle and with good acceleration. The original single-level prototype known resides in the museum of Boadmin in Cornwall.

In February 1961 the Morris Minor became the first British model to sell more than 1,000,000 copies. To commemorate the milestone, they were given a special series of 350 individuals at two ports (one for each dealer British Morris), which were characterized by having the word "Minor 1,000,000" positioned laterally on the hood, replacing the standard word "Minor 1000 ". The millionth Minor was donated to the nation Union of Journalists British, with the aim of putting it up for auction. The proceeds went to a fund for widows and orphans.

During the period in which the model was produced, sales dropped steadily. The last convertible was produced August 18, 1969, while the last sedan was assembled the following year. The production of the familiar and the commercial versions stopped in 1971, at least in the UK, although specimens of all models were available in dealers while stocks last. However, the last Morris Minor, a commercial version, was assembled in Nelson, New Zealand, in 1974.

The Minor was officially replaced by the Morris Marina, which was developed as an answer to the Ford Escort. In practice, however, the model was succeeded by the BMC Ado 16, as it stood in the same market segment of the Minor.

Although from 1948 to 1971 there were four major restyling, the Minor has owned, for safety, a few tricks and a limited number of devices.

The seat belts were introduced in the early sixties. The monocoque structure was rather rigid, and therefore did not absorb much energy resulted from shocks. For a brief period in 1968, the plate thickness of the bonnet and doors was reduced from 1.2 mm to 1 mm. This was done to create a zone that would be deformed in case of impact, which would have absorbed part of the energy of the collision.

In Canada, the model was weighted to meet local laws. Moreover, in the aforementioned country, the models had installed the headlights higher and brighter, for increased visibility in fog and during the dark Canadian winters.

In Australia, instead of the models had safety glass in accordance with local regulations.

From 1953 to the end of production, were assembled versions of the pick-up. Commercial vehicles were intended for small businessmen. However, many were purchased by large companies. They were also made of the small van versions, which were popular at the General Post Office.

Both versions pickup furgonetta those who did not have a monocoque construction as sedans and family, but a separate chassis. In addition to this, there were also differences in the mechanics.

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