1949 Morris Minor MM 'Low Light' 2-Door Sedan
|Engine||In-line 4-cylinder, 1098cc (see text)|
It's sometimes easy to overlook the Morris Minor in the history of the motor car, particular as the designer, the legendary Sir Alec Issigonis, is better known as the father of the Mini. But the Minor, launched at the 1948 Earls Court Motor Show, was no less ground breaking in its own way and equally deserving of legendary status. With unitary construction, modern styling, rack and pinion steering and torsion-bar independent front suspension, the Minor was a revelation at a time when most motorists were still driving around in pre-war machinery. The earliest Minors was powered by the relatively underpowered pre-war Series E side-valve four-cylinder engine displacing 918cc, with just 27 bhp at 4400 rpm driving the rear wheels through a four-speed manual gearbox. At first the Minor was only available in 2-door saloon form, but later a 4-door, then an open-topped tourer was released. The earliest Minors featured headlamps mounted in the grille (hence the nickname ?Lowlight?), a split windscreen and tiny rear window and were equipped with a sun visor, single wiper blade and beige Vynide upholstery inside. The simple painted facia featured minimal instrumentation but did come with a glovebox. The Series MM remained in production from September 1948 until February 1953 with just over 176,000 made, (later cars had the position of the headlamps was altered to satisfy American legislators) before the Series 2 came along and an overhead-valve engine was adopted across the range. A truly affordable classic car, production of the Minor continued until 1971 - by then, a remarkable 1.5 million had been made. The Minor remains an endearing first classic car with a tremendously loyal following and is a popular choice for the enthusiast looking for something reliable, uncomplicated and rewarding to own.