1970 Morris Minor Reviews

1970 Morris Minor Series 5 1.1 from Austria

Model year1970
Year of manufacture1970
First year of ownership1983
Most recent year of ownership2008
Engine and transmission 1.1 Manual
Performance marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.5 / 10
Distance when acquired69000 miles
Most recent distance106000 miles

Summary:

Creates real joy every time you start it!

Faults:

Brake cylinders.

Suspension rubbers.

Fuel pump.

Speedo and cable.

Some more small items, but nothing big.

General Comments:

All-time classic. Never let me down, although I've owned the car since 1983 and it never had been restored, it looks quite nice.

Absolutely rock-solid and reliable, real fun to own and drive.

Brakes on the weak side, but I think this is a known issue.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th October, 2008

1970 Morris Minor Traveller 1.1 from UK and Ireland

Model year1970
Year of manufacture1970
First year of ownership1984
Most recent year of ownership2006
Engine and transmission 1.1 Manual
Performance marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 3 / 10
Dealer Service marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.8 / 10
Distance when acquired71000 miles
Most recent distance130000 miles
Previous carFiat 126

Summary:

An all-time classic, characterful British 'people's car'

Faults:

Original 1098cc engine got tired after 100,000 miles (noisy big end bearings) so I swapped it for a rebuilt 1275cc MG Midget one; car can now do around 100mph top speed!

The bigger engine eventually broke the original gearbox, and snapped a half-shaft. I'll be fitting a Midget gearbox to match the engine - it has stronger needle-roller bearings.

Have since also changed the gearbox and differential, also updated from dynamo to alternator, front drums to Ford Orion/Sierra ventilated discs (one of the best upgrades you can do to these), and original flimsy clutch linkage for a hydraulic conversion. Also changed from the rather ineffectual standard lever arm dampers to modern telescopic type.

Bodywork rusts (though pretty durable), but panels easily available and most bolt on. Woodwork is high maintenance!

General Comments:

Overall, a terrific little car that is fun to drive being very responsive, it is also practical, a good load-carrier and cheap to run and maintain. Maintain it correctly and it'll hold its value or appreciate. Looks sweet too!

However, it is relatively uncomfortable and noisy on the motorway - both wind noise and mechanical thrash. They do require a lot of maintenance compared to a modern car, so you really need to be dedicated to own one. There's a good owners club (Morris Minor Owners Club) and excellent parts availability so they're not difficult to keep going.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 12th November, 2006

1970 Morris Minor 1000 1.1 petrol from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1970
First year of ownership2003
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission 1.1 petrol Manual
Performance marks 4 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 4 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.8 / 10
Distance when acquired92000 miles
Most recent distance103000 miles

Summary:

Simple, effective design has stood the test of time and still makes a great car today!

Faults:

Battery went flat - but it was very old.

Old (inadequate) dynamo replaced with alternator. Dynamo didn't fail though.

Needed rusted rear brake pipe replacing for MOT.

Starter motor failed (used the starting handle for a few days!).

Water pump gave up.

Will need carburettor replacing and brakes bleeding in the near future.

Will probably need minor welding and a steering rack gaiter for next MOT.

General Comments:

These are really great little cars, and they're very easy to fall in love with. You HAVE to give yours a name, and wave to any other Minor drivers you see!

The beauty of them is that you can fix all the mechanicals yourself even with very little knowledge of car mechanics - they're that simple. They are the perfect car for people who don't mind doing the odd thing themselves, as they need servicing reasonably regularly. It really does cut down the already low cost of ownership.

For a 35 year old car it really is very good and quite reliable - I use mine every day as my only car and it has never let me down (well, I have never been unable to start it by some means or another). It's perfectly adequate as an around-town car, although it does tend to be a bit breathless on the open road. It will cruise at 50-60 quite happily, but it's quite noisy. Compared with modern cars, the brakes are a bit poor and you certainly need to keep them in good order. Strong legs are definitely a plus, because there's no brake servo! Apart from that, they're very easy to drive, with good handling - just watch it in the wet - the tyres are quite thin.

Inside, the seats are reasonably comfortable if you're not too tall (I'm 5'7" and they're fine), with reasonable legroom in the back for a car of it's size. The boot is a bit of an odd shape, but can still swallow quite a few bags. The heater is quite effective once it gets up to temperature which takes a maximum of three minutes even on a cold day.

If you're interested in car safety I'd suggest you look elsewhere - ones built after 1965 will have front seat belts, but you'll only get rear ones if they've been retro-fitted (which mine hasn't). No airbags, crumple zones or such like here!

As with all older cars they are much more prone to being eaten alive with rust than modern ones. Check the vital points and common rot-spots carefully on any potential purchase, as welding is expensive. Information on how to check is available from clubs and in magazines. If you have one, keep the car in a garage. It is more secure and will keep the body in better condition for longer. Apply plenty of waxoyl and remember to wash off mud and salt periodically.

Generally, I'd say they are great little cars that are well worth investigating if you want something a little bit different as a run-around. They're quite reliable cars and very tough. Just make sure the one you buy isn't too rusty. Mine is my first car, and I certainly haven't been disappointed. The running costs and insurance rates are also very low compared too many modern cars, and they hold their value well if kept in good nick.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th October, 2005

Average review marks: 6.7 / 10, based on 3 reviews