Morris Minor 1000 Traveller 1960
Your Cool Little Woody Wagon  - 1 -
Photo section: the replica of a Morris Minor Traveller (Woody Wagon)

The model is one of several Travellers I bought. There is something about them especially pleasing to my eye. This one is a little darker blue than the one I had, and the wood is darker than what I found when I sandpapered my way to virgin wood on the real one. I have one Morris Minor Traveller model in the correct shade of blue, but it is got up as a police vehicle, with white doors and signs on top.

This wonderful little car was a treat to drive and a delight to look at. It had the Sprite 998cc engine with a single SU carburetter on a long intake manifold. With a good run at it, the hill up 395 from Mission Valley could be conquered without shifting to third gear, but barely. As in the case of the Sprite I put spacers under the front of the driver seat mounts. In this car the seat tilt was perfect and had no ill consequences.

Now that I am thinking about it, I really lavished attention and man-hours on this car. Did a hand-rubbed polish job to bring up the color. Cleaned and refinished all the exterior woodwork. Cleaned and refinshed the upholstery, including doorpanels. Cleaned, sanded and masked the dashboard and gave it a flat black wrinkle finish out of a few cans of JC Whitney spray paint. Installed a neat-o tachometer and a turn-indicator light in a place you could see, as well as a toggle switch for the horn. Removed the glove box door, stripped it of its chromed trim and fabric back-lining and refinished the face that would be hidden with several coats of the spar varnish I used on the outside wood. If you have a Morris Minor Traveller with an absolutely flawless back-of-the-glovebox-door, I bet I did it in 1966 while we lived in that ex-military Linda Vista two-bedroom.

What else about this car . . . ?  It was honestly short on power for the freeway world of Southern California. I wrote to Jerry Titus, Sports Car Graphics' technical guru and world-class race driver, about swapping in some larger engine, an MG A or B for example. He sent back a pleasant letter in which he offered some hope and refrained from calling me an idiot. I have the letter here, somewhere. When we catch up with each other, I'll scan and post.

The throw-some-technology-and-money-at-it easy-for-me solution to the lack of power was from Conshohocken, PA. Judson made a supercharger for the Sprite, and I figured bolting on a 15% hp increase should be easy enough. I know it worked wonders for the TD.

First week of possession I had done a valve job on the Morris cylinder head and reassembled it with Sprite valve springs. The valve job was necessary, since it ran on only three cylinders at low engine speeds. When looking for this car I had stopped at a lot on El Cajon Boulevard's Endless Mile Of Sleazy Car Dealers, and mentioned to a salesman what I was looking for. Three days later he called and said he had it. I went to see, and sure enough, he had . . .   >>>

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