Tracing its original concept back to the early 1940's, the Morris Minor, a car that remained in production for 24 years, was designed by Alex Issigonis and was launched to the world at the 1948 Earls Court Motor Show. Designed as a replacement for the Series E Morris, the original 1942/3 concept saw the replacement of the 'old fashioned' running-boards and separate wings and saw the introduction of a unitary body design, smaller wheels, giving the car bigger proportions and subsequently more space in the passenger compartment too.
Interestingly, just prior to production, but after a large run of chrome bumpers had already been manufactured, Issigonis decided to widen the vehicle by around 4 inches. The bumpers were therefore cut in half and a short painted spacer plate added and with this final change, the car had its name changed too from 'Mosquito' to Minor too!
The early Minors, Series MM, are amongst the rarest of the bred and are immediately identifiable by have the headlights position low down in the front wings, hence the cars often being referred to as 'low light', semaphore indicators and a split windscreen. The interior offered glamour / style with their beautiful dash design and leather interior with contrasting piping, all of which was paired down in later Series II and Minor 1000 models.
Offered as a 2 or 4 door saloon, the Series MM was a great move forward in car design, comfortably seating 4 adults with luggage too and with the introduction of the Tourer, a 2 door convertible with folding soft-top frame mechanism, the range offered 'the mortal man' a real touch of class that would otherwise be reserved for those in the upper echelons business.
Restored to an exacting standard by the highly regarded specialist Canterbury Convertibles, this 1951 Tourer was a bespoke built car for one of their customers and is period correct with her fixed rear 1/4 windows, stunning low-light body work finished in Maroon, shows the correct bumper spacer plates, distinctive 'cheese grater' front grill, functional semaphore indicators and the gorgeous chrome framed split windscreen.
A tour around this car and it simply oozes quality! The panel gaps are just right; the paint has a wonderfully deep shine and is free from all but the most minor of insignificant marks; the chrome is in great condition; the folding canvas / mohair soft-top is in first class order and fits perfectly ...... plus the lines look even sharper when its folded away and under the perfect tonneau; the wheels, detailed with a pin-stripe too, have new matched set of tyres too, she really is a beautiful example and one can't help but stand back and admire the crisp lines offered by these early 'low light' examples.
Opening the door and both driver and any lucky passengers are met with understated glamor. The dark cream / red piping seats are immaculate, matched with red carpets and black over mats. The Series MM dash, oozes charm and is so much nicer than those found in the later models and its great to see the car has been fitted with inertia seatbelts.
With the driver set for the journey ahead and with minimal choke, from cold start, the upgraded 1098cc engine fires immediately, not a hint of smoke, just a perfect quiet idle. She pulls cleanly through all the gears, the brakes are well balanced and with a firm bite (servo fitted), and out on the open road, the Tourer performs faultlessly, the little 'A' series singing its happy tune. On the day we photographed the car we took the opportunity to drive her with the soft-top down too, no buffeting, no scuttle shake, happy to cruise at 60 mph ..... she was an utter revelation!
Without doubt, question or hesitation, that this 1951 Series MM Tourer is one of the finest classics we've brought into our portfolio. Beautifully restored with a real attention to detail, fantastic to drive, a quintessential British classic that will have you grinning from ear to ear ..... you'll want to drive her every day!