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The Minor project


Here it is as purchased.  A few minutes after this, the radiator peed rusty water all over the concrete!

Here it is with the doors stripped but the bumpers back on ready for the trip to the paint shop.  

The second coat - Tectrosyl Spray putty.  This is very nice to use and helps to fix some of the problems caused by the first coat, which is Tectrosyl Paint Isolator.  This is designed so that you can use Lacquer over Enamels.  It is generally used on older cars where a strip to bare metal is not warranted, but the existing paint type is not known.  It is very difficult to use, mine came out like the old black "crackle" finish my old A40 Farina's dash had.  Very disheartening.  You are not supposed to get it wet (and therefore can't sand it), but I sanded it anyway.  I would like to talk to anyone else who has had experience with this.

I was  amazed how much work there is even in a small car.  Painting in the boot and doors added a lot of work, but really made a difference.  
Morris Minor

All Done!  Apart from carpets, that front bumper, the radiator...

Here's a couple of before and after shots, this is obviously the boot area

February 1998
New carpets have been made and fitted by Hornby Car Upholstery.  They had done a great job for a reasonable price, it certainly makes a difference to the car.

Some straightening work has been done on the front bumper (in terms of the mounts, rather than the bumper).  Things are gradually improving...

7th March 1998
Glove box liners and lids, a new(ish) radiator, replacement windscreen wiper mechanism, and new Wiper arms.   Best of all, it's going in for a new windscreen soon.  I'll be able to see where I'm going on those wet, wintery nights! 

18th March
Well, the new Windscreen has turned up - a wonderful shiny new English Triplex laminated job, instead of the local Zone toughened versions.  Plans have changed slightly...  after a trip to the local wreckers this morning, I'm converting it from the old "clap hands" kind of Windscreen wipers to the later parallel sort.  While the 'screen's out, I'll get the new wiper holes cut and the old ones filled properly. 
Other purchases were:

  •  a "Natra" heater (which I think are the New Zealand made ones fitted at the factory) and fittings.
  • Windscreen washer, complete original unit
  • An original driver's seat in the same trim colour as mine (a rare creamy light brown) in excellent, unripped condition.   Couldn't believe my luck, at the rest of the trim in the donor car was absolutely worn out.  Will get this one re-sprung before fitting it.
Quite a little haul, for the princely sum of NZ$85.  It'll take me a while to fit this lot!
27th June 1998
Well, the new windscreen is great, the heater has been recored and works, just.  Never mind, better than nothing!  The later action wipers work fine, although it was a bit of work getting them in. I will work on the driver's seat next, I think. 
Today I bought two almost rust free passenger side doors for $50.  I don't really need the rear door, but the front one will be really useful, as my bodged filler job that I did just before painting the car is rusting through again.  Luckily I still have enough paint left.

January 1999 Update 
It looks as though the Morris will have to be sold to support the TR7 .  Ah well... 

June 1999 Update
As mentioned previously I have now sold the Morris, mainly to help with the TR7 project.  It took a long time to come to the decision to really sell it, I think that it was my little stress reliever when we were going through some bad times with Sophie and work.    I guess that you could call it emotional baggage on four wheels.  In the end I couldn't bear to see it out in the frost any more.  It was having an effect on the paint work, I reduced the price considerably because of some blisters that had appeared on the paint.  Re-reading the page above I think that it might have been moisture absorbed by the isolator expanding in the frost, very sad.  It amazed me how the problem surfaced after two and a half years, if my theory is right.

I hope that it has a good trip to Japan, it's only the second time it's been overseas... two times more than me!

October 2000 Update

AO9783 wasn't my first Morris Minor, however.  This honour belonged to this cute wee metal-flake blue 1957 model.  It had a Datsun 1200 motor and gearbox, and was quite an interesting car to drive.  The clutch was like a button ("on" and "off"!) and it was reasonably easy to spin the wheels slightly.  Seemed to drink the juice, though.
I traded it in on the green Minor after having been advised that it was pretty well rusted out underneath.  As at a few months ago (mid 2000) it was still on the road.  I should have kept it.

I found this ad in one of my brother's photographic archives - aint it neat?  New Zealand was the last place in the world to stop building Minors, doesn't that show good taste?  :-)

March 2001 Update - saw my green Morris bowling around a corner off Brougham Street in Christchurch, at a great rate of knows. I guess that it didn't get to Japan!

(c) Copyright Brian Greenwood 2008