1954 Morris Minor Reviews

1954 Morris Minor 1.1 from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1954
First year of ownership1974
Most recent year of ownership1975
Engine and transmission 1.1 Manual
Performance marks 3 / 10
Reliability marks 2 / 10
Comfort marks 3 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 4 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
3.0 / 10
Distance when acquired78000 miles
Most recent distance82000 miles

Summary:

They don't make them like that any more - thank goodness!

Faults:

The gearbox failed soon after I bought the car, and the replacement didn't last long either; that was when I gave the car to a policeman outside Portsmouth dockyard, rather than pay to have it towed away.

Clutch pivot fell out due to worn engine mountings. Actually I got a good driving lesson from this, I was in Sevenoaks, Kent on my way back to my ship in Portsmouth. Because I couldn't release the clutch, I had to anticipate traffic and try to maintain a steady speed in top gear as best I could - it did wonders for the fuel economy!.

General Comments:

My first car, much recommended by my family and their friends. I wish I hadn't listened to them, it was a dreadful car, out of date when it was made in 1954, never mind 20 years later.

The previous owner had fitted a later 1100 engine in place of the original 803cc powerhouse. I doubt if it could have got out of its own way with the 803 engine; it was a slug even with the new engine.

Unfortunately the 1100 engine needed the matching gearbox, the first motion shaft is too short on both the 803 and 948cc 'boxes. I didn't know that at the time and it ate both gearboxes in about 2000 miles, (I'm guessing at the miles as the speedometer didn't work with the later gearbox either).

Any speed much over 50mph was horrendously noisy.

The tiny wipers on the divided windscreen made driving in rain a nightmare.

It was uncomfortable even for a 19 year old.

The boot was ridiculously tiny, although the rear seat back would fold down to make plenty of room at the cost of making it a 2 seater.

The brakes hardly matched its inadequate performance, nor did its roadholding.

The fuel consumption was poor for such a small slow car, around 30mpg.

I travelled in other Minors later than mine, and I didn't think much of them either. Why they are such a popular car at classic shows defeats me.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 20th November, 2011

1954 Morris Minor 803cc from Australia and New Zealand

Model year1954
Year of manufacture1954
First year of ownership1986
Most recent year of ownership1989
Engine and transmission 803cc Manual
Performance marks 3 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.8 / 10
Distance when acquired50000 miles
Most recent distance60000 miles

Summary:

Good fun shopping trolley

Faults:

Starter motor teeth came off.

Generator bushes needed replacing.

Crankshaft bearings gave up.

General Comments:

The Series II Minor is ridiculously slow for Australia. I could live with bad acceleration and going up hills slowly, but the cruising speed is just not practical. It is OK for driving on Sunday or as a curiosity, but forget going any great distance in it on an open road. I never went above 50mph, that was pushing it.

The 948cc later model is geared a bit faster, also a Morris Major diff can help things.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th April, 2005

Average review marks: 4.4 / 10, based on 2 reviews