The Morris Minor Was a British Motor Car Aimed at the Family Market. It Was the Work of a Team Led By Alec Issigonis, Who Would Go on to Design (and be Knighted For) the Successful Mini. The Minor Was Launched at the Earls Court Motor Show, London, on 20 September 1948. The Prototype Had Been Known as the Morris Mosquito, and Some Later Models Were Called Morris Minor 1000. It Should Not be Confused With the Earlier Morris Minor of 1928.
At Launch There Were Two Variants, the Standard 2-Door Saloon, and the Tourer (Convertible). The 4-Door Saloon Was Introduced in 1950. The Wood-Framed Estate Called The Traveller, Plus a Panel Van and a Pick-up Truck Version Were Introduced Later With the Series II Upgrades in 1952. The Traveller Was Very Popular, and Remained in Production Until 1971, a Year after the Saloon Had Been Discontinued.
The Car Was Updated in 1956 When the Engine Was Increased in Capacity to 948 cc (57.9 cu in). The Two-Piece Split Windscreen Was Replaced with a Curved One-Piece One and The Rear Window Enlarged. In 1961 the Semaphore-Style Trafficators Were Replaced by the More Modern Flashing Direction Indicators Then Becoming the Norm for the UK Market. An Up-Market Car Based on the Minor Floor-Plan But With Larger BMC B-Series Engine Was Sold as the Riley One-Point-Five/Wolseley 1500 Beginning in 1957: a Version, With Tail Fins Added, of This Wolseley / Riley Variant Was Also Produced in Australia as the Morris Major.
In February 1961 The Morris Minor Became the First British Car to Sell over 1,000,000 units. (In Italy the Fiat 600 Notched Up it's First Million in the Same Month.) To Commemorate the Achievement, a Limited Edition of 350 Two-Door Minor Saloons Was Produced with Distinctive Lilac Paintwork and a White Interior. Also the Badge Name on the Side of the Bonnet Was Modified to Read "Minor 1,000,000" Instead of the Standard "Minor 1000". The Millionth Minor Itself was Donated to the National Union of Journalists Who Planned to Use it as a Prize in a Competition in Aid of the Union's Widow and Orphan Fund. The Company at the Same Time Presented a Celebratory Minor to London's Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children, But This Car Was Constructed of Cake.
The Minor 1000 Gained an Even Larger Engine, 1098 cc (67 in³, in 1962. It Could Now Teach 77 mph (124 km/h), Yet Consumption Was Down to 38 mpg (6.2 L/100 km). Other Modifications Included a New Dashboard Layout (a Lidded Glove Box on the Passenger Side, an Open Cubby Hole in Front of the Driver), a Different Heater, Plus New Larger Tail/Flasher and Front Side/Flasher Lamps.
During the Life of the 1000 Model, The Car Began to Seem Dated, and Production Declined. The Last Convertible/Tourer Was Completed on 18 August 1969, and the Saloon Line Was Dropped the Next Year. 1971 Was The Last Year for the Traveller and Commercial Versions. Nearly 850,000 Minor 1000s Were Made In All. The Car Was Officially Replaced by The Morris Marina, Which Replaced it on the Cowley Production Lines, But for the Management of What Had, by 1971, Mutated Into the British Leyland Motor Corporation, the Morris Marina Was Seen Primarily as a "Cheap to Build" Competitor to Ford's Top Selling (and in Many Respects Conservatively Engineered) Cortina, Rather Than as a Replacement for the (In It's Day) Strikingly Innovative Morris Minor.