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Buyers Guide to:

Morris Minor 1000 Traveller

Useful Info


1953 to 1971

Fuel Type


Engine Sizes

948cc, 1098cc

Engine Type


Drive Configuration


Morris Minor Owners Club

Morris Minor Owners

Just Kampers

01256 862288,


Code-named ‘Project Mosquito’ and designed by the man behind the Mini, Alec Issigonis, the Morris Minor was launched in 1948. By 1961 it had become the first British car to sell 1000,000 examples and the ‘Moggie’ has remained hugely popular amongst classic car enthusiasts ever since. The first major change was in 1956 when the original split front screen disappeared and the more powerful 1000 model was launched, first with a 948cc engine and from 1962 a 1098cc unit. The wood-framed Traveller had been launched in 1953 and stayed on sale until 1971, a year after saloon production had ended.

  1. Front wings around headlamps
  2. Rear of front wings and A-posts
  3. Front wheel arches
  4. Bonnet
  5. Sills
  6. Door bottoms
  7. Rear doors

The Checklist

  • Every inch of the bodywork, very carefully. Serious corrosion is common with the shell often rusting from the inside out. Abandoned or bodged restorations will be a nightmare
  • The chassis, concentrating on the main rails; front cross-member; spring hangers; jacking points; and inner wings front and rear. Don’t forget to examine the cabin and boot floor, too, along with the alloy panels between the wood sections
  • All of the woodwork, as it is structural and an MOT failure point if it’s rotten. Look for soft or blackened areas that signify imminent replacement; it’s a tricky job, and can cost upwards of £2500 depending on any rust that’s discovered. It should be re-varnished every two years, so if it’s peeling it points to neglect
  • The condition of the A-series engine, although it’s easy and cheap to re-build on a DIY basis. Key issues are oil leaks; low oil pressure (check the warning light extinguishes promptly); rumbling big ends; worn tappets; and a rattling timing chain. An unleaded cylinder head conversion is useful
  • What engine is fitted, as swapping to the larger 1275cc A-series unit or a Marina engine are common. It’s a good mod if done properly
  • That the gearbox doesn’t whine excessively in second or third, or jump out of gear. Bear in bear there’s no synchromesh on first, but overhauling or replacing the ‘box isn’t expensive. Changing it for a Ford Sierra 5-speed unit is a useful and accepted modification
  • For a rear axle that’s particularly noisy – although it rarely fails - and for clunks from worn prop and drive shaft UJs
  • That the steering isn’t stiff. The front trunnions/ kingpins need greasing every 3000 miles, and failure to do so will result in seizure and premature failure
  • The suspension for leaking dampers, sagging rear leaf springs, and corrosion around the torsion bar mountings. Some owners have replaced the lever-arm dampers with more effective telescopic items
  • The brakes pull the car up squarely. Drums all round, they are cheap and easy to overhaul, but some owners convert to front discs using MG or Morris Marina parts
  • The brake fluid level and condition. The master cylinder is located in the chassis rail beneath the driver’s feet – you need to lift the carpets
  • to check it – and it can get forgotten. A remote reservoir in the engine bay is a cheap and useful upgrade, as is a brake servo
  • For a tatty and neglected cabin, although it’s a very simple affair. Re-trimming is straightforward and fairly inexpensive thanks to the huge specialist support for these cars. Lift the carpets to check for corrosion, though, and ensure the few electrical items are working as aged wiring and connections could be causing problems

Everything Check Out?

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