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Old 14th March 2019, 12:22   #1
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Default Pre-War (1928-34) Morris Minors in India

This thread is for the Morris Minor car's manufactured by Morris Motors Limited from 1928–1934.

Most people relate to the Morris Minor by the later 1948 onward cars and so often confuse the earlier Minor with an Austin, so I thought it would be a good idea to have a dedicated thread for this unsung model and the survivors in India.

At the onset I would like to thank Chris Lambert of the Pre-War Minor network for all support and many of the pictures, articles, and information. Some of old pictures and advertisements are from Team-BHP archives as well.

Viscount Nuffield (William R. Morris) with Morris Minor's, more about William R. Morris can be found here

Pre-War (1928-34) Morris Minors in India-wmr-1.jpg

Pre-War (1928-34) Morris Minors in India-wmr.jpg

The Morris Minor story (Excerpts from Pre-war Minor network)

The Morris Minor was probably conceived over the winter of 1927/28. It had been designed as a 7 H.P. car with a 747cc engine but was updated at the 11th hour being ‘given’ another 100 cc, resulting in an additional single unit of horsepower.

The Morris Minor was launched to much critical acclaim at the London Motor Show, Olympia in October 1928. There were just two models available in its first year (the 1929 season); these being the Fabric Saloon and the four seat tourer.

Minor's on the assembly line
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While not the huge initial success that William Morris had hoped for, the car undoubtedly claimed many Austin Seven sales. However It also suffered a number of teething problems with its complex engine, not least of which was oil loss from the camshaft drive housing at the front of the cylinder head.

Production details
Information credit : Pre-war minor network

Quote:
The pre-war Morris Minor was in continuous production at the Morris Motors, Cowley factory for six full years. The car was produced in seven variants, five on the short wheel base chassis and a further two on an extended or long wheel base version. Two engine types were also used, the earlier and technically advanced 847 cc overhead camshaft unit was fitted to all cars produced up to January 1931, at which time a new, similar capacity side valve engine was introduced to power the 100 Minor and a further range of economy models. The OHC unit continued to be fitted to the lwb models until August 1932, after which time all Minor models were powered by the S.V. engine.
In totality 86,343 (39089 OHC & 47253 S.V) Minors were produced over the six years.

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Old 15th March 2019, 12:56   #2
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Default re: Pre-War (1928-34) Morris Minors in India

The Morris Minor Model Range

Information credit : Pre-war minor network (www.prewarminor.com

Quote:
1929 Season
Fabric Saloon, Four Seat Tourer.

1930 Season
Fabric Saloon, Four Seat Tourer, Coachbuilt Saloon.

1931 Season (Initial model range)
Fabric Saloon, Four Seat Tourer, Coachbuilt Saloon, Two Seat Semi-Sports.

1931 Season (Supplemental Model Range – staggered launch between 19th December 1930 and middle of March 1931)
Side valve engine two-seater (100 Minor), Side valve engine Fabric Saloon, Side valve engine Coachbuilt Saloon,(both saloons launched February 1931) Side valve engine Four Seat Tourer (launched March 1931)

1932 Season
Overhead valve engine Family Eight Four Door Saloon, Overhead valve engine Sports Coupe,
S/V Four Seat Tourer, S/V Coachbuilt Saloon, S/V Two Seat Tourer

1933 Season
Model range unchanged except for Family Eight and Special (name change from Sports) Coupe models, which were now powered by the side valve engine.

1934 Season
Model Range unchanged from 1933
Some of the models can be seen here

1928 Tourer
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1930 Coach built saloon
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1930 Fabric saloon
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1931 2 seater tourer
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Semi Sports
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1932 Family Eight
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1932 sports coupe
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1932 tourer
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1933 2 seater
Pre-War (1928-34) Morris Minors in India-1933-2-seater.jpg

1934 tourer
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Apart from these there were commercial vans, military minors and many specials.

Fire engine
Pre-War (1928-34) Morris Minors in India-4535432757.jpg

Van
Pre-War (1928-34) Morris Minors in India-4539907921.jpg

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Old 16th March 2019, 13:42   #3
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Default re: Pre-War (1928-34) Morris Minors in India

We can safely assume that many Morris Minor's came to India during 1928-1934, though nothing compared to the dominant Austin 7, which probably came in very huge numbers.

Historical accounts from various magazines like the Morris owner, Light car magazine and some old pictures point towards quite a few MM's in India.

Here are some of the snippets/extracts from period magazines.
Courtesy: Pre-War minor network

Assam, Gordon Minor Special
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A fascinating account of the Bombay tree breaker
Pre-War (1928-34) Morris Minors in India-bombay-tree-feller.jpg


Story of the hazardous trip
Pre-War (1928-34) Morris Minors in India-hazardous-trip.jpg

Pre-War (1928-34) Morris Minors in India-hazardous-trip-1.jpg


Confounding the Skeptics
Pre-War (1928-34) Morris Minors in India-confounding.jpg

Pre-War (1928-34) Morris Minors in India-counfounding-1.jpg


Minor at the Kashmiri gate, 1932
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Same picture was kindly shared by Travancore
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Morris minor at the gates of the Seringapatam Fort
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Pre-War (1928-34) Morris Minors in India-india-minor-ed.jpg


Minor in the Himalaya's
Pre-War (1928-34) Morris Minors in India-minor-himalaya.jpg

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Old 16th March 2019, 14:07   #4
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Default re: Pre-War (1928-34) Morris Minors in India

Minor in Calicut, India (Morris Owner 1929)
Pre-War (1928-34) Morris Minors in India-mo-295-p319-minor-india.jpg


MM In Ooty, Southern India (Morris owner 1931)
Pre-War (1928-34) Morris Minors in India-mo-314-p212-mm-southern-india.jpg

The above pictured building still survives, Botanical gardens, Ooty
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Morris cars in Karaikudi, India, (Morris owner, 1934)
Pre-War (1928-34) Morris Minors in India-mo-343-p81-mms-india.jpg

The above picture was taken at the Arch/gate of the Koviloor Mutt.
A recent picture
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Military Morris Cars Kamptee, Central provinces, India, (Morris owner, 1935)
Pre-War (1928-34) Morris Minors in India-mo-353-p50-military-morris-cars-india.jpg


Morris with Police in Bombay (Morris owner, 1939)
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The Punjabi semi sport
Pre-War (1928-34) Morris Minors in India-punjabi-semi-sport.jpg

Pre-War (1928-34) Morris Minors in India-punjabi-semi-sport-1.jpg


Semi sport in the Muree hills
Pre-War (1928-34) Morris Minors in India-semi-sport-muree-hills.jpg


1933 Minor saloon & trailer in the Murree hills (Morris owner,1934)
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Old 16th March 2019, 16:25   #5
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Default re: Pre-War (1928-34) Morris Minors in India

The small Morris Minor's also graced some royal garages, my own car is supposedly from the Ayodhya garages, though no period pictures are available to substantiate that claim.

Baroda
Pre-War (1928-34) Morris Minors in India-baroda-minor-sprinkler-truck.jpg


Special built for the young prince at Jodhpur, this car survives in the Gajjar collection at Ahmedabad

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Jhalawar, this picture is from Brooklands, when the Maharaj Rana was visiting.
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Extract from notes of Morris minor historian Harry Edwards
Pre-War (1928-34) Morris Minors in India-thumbnail_harry-edwards-fire-tender-notes-extract-ws.jpg


Jodhpur -16, snippets from an article on motorists in India, this car survives in the Jodhpur collection
Courtesy : Karl

Pre-War (1928-34) Morris Minors in India-img20161114wa0014.jpg

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Default re: Pre-War (1928-34) Morris Minors in India

Morris Minor cars had an extensive network of dealers throughout British India

Morris Industries (India) Ltd, Bombay were the sole concessionaires & were spearheading the network

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Following are the known dealers for Morris Minor's in British India :

The French Motor car company, Bombay
(also had sub dealers in Poona, Nagpur and Secunderabad)

Addison and co. Ltd, Madras (branches in, Bangalore, Trichinopoly, Vizagapatam)

Breakwell & Co., Calcutta

Munday Limited, Delhi

Walter Locke & Co., Lahore, Rawalpindi

Eduljee & Co., Lucknow

Western Indian state motors, Bikaner, Jaipur, Jodhpur

Bundelkhand cycle & motor agency, Jhansi

W.J Madden & Co., Quetta

C.L Jaina & Co., Ambala & Delhi

T.A Jeewanji & Sons, Karachi

Motor house Co., Rangoon

British car Co., Colombo

Though not sure the other possible dealers could be :

Kandawalla & Co., Karachi, Lahore, Quetta
M. Ghulam Sarwar & Bros., Peshawar & Rawalpindi
Noshirwan & Co., Indore


Some period advertisements


Leaflet/Brochure of Addison and co. Ltd, Madras (1934)
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Breakwell & Co., Calcutta

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Pre-War (1928-34) Morris Minors in India-breakwell-ad.jpg

The one below courtesy : Harit Sir
advertisement also mentions Morris Industries India, Ltd.

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Munday Limited, Delhi

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French Motor car company

Pre-War (1928-34) Morris Minors in India-french-motor-car-co.jpg


Morris industries India Ltd, advertisement (along with the names of dealers)

Pre-War (1928-34) Morris Minors in India-morris-ind.jpg

Few more

Pre-War (1928-34) Morris Minors in India-img20190316wa0056-1.jpg

This one from November, 1934

Pre-War (1928-34) Morris Minors in India-img20190316wa0053.jpg


The one below again courtesy Harit Sir
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Old 18th March 2019, 17:05   #7
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Default re: Pre-War (1928-34) Morris Minors in India

Here are some old nostalgic pictures of Morris Minor's which were shared earlier on our forum.

The very first post in the nostalgic pictures thread also included the picture of a Morris Minor.
Quote:
Originally Posted by karlosdeville View Post
I was recently gifted many priceless old photographs dating as far back as the 1900s, and amongst them were these absolutely superb ones featuring cars.

Mrs Freny Mody who gave me the pictures, here she is driving her first car, a Morris. Picture shot at her residence at East Street, Poona.

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Identified as an Austin 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by harit View Post
Attached below is the picture of an Austin 7, taken in Hyderabad in 1933.

A Parsi friend of mine has a family album which I have been asking him to take out since more than 4 years. His dad, now sadly no more had shown it to me and there were old pictures with cars in them. But as I was not collecting car pictures at that time, I saw and left it. Now I wanted to have the pictures to copy for my collection.

Well, finally he gave me the album and I went through it. I got a little surprise as there was an Austin 7, names were mentioned and "Dalton Soda Factory" was mentioned. These folks were related to my friend and this factory existed in Hyderabad in 1933, how much longer it stood I do not know. The surprise was because I was offered a similar framed picture from Chor bazar, it being very expensive and just an Austin 7, I left it.

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1932 Morris Minor Saloon
from Bombay, earlier posted here
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harit View Post
A Morris Minor from Mumbai.
What could possibly be the shadow on the right?
Pre-War (1928-34) Morris Minors in India-thumbnail_morris10.jpg

Cheers harit

This was shared here by Karl in 2010 and is from Bangalore
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vintagepoint5 View Post
This car looks like early Morris with flat radiator model after bull-nose design stopped. This Morris was owned by my uncle in early 60's according to him, this picture I find in his personal collection of photos.

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This one courtesy: Vintage Minor register
A 1929 Minor tourer and a 1930 DH60M Gipsy Moth VT-ABL at Bangalore, India before the war.

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Old 20th March 2019, 12:47   #8
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Default re: Pre-War (1928-34) Morris Minors in India

I had not paid attention to a pre-war Morris Minor until I got a picture of my minor which was for sale then. I got interested right away.

Once I closed the deal I started looking for whatever information I could get on Pre War minors in India, I was told on our forum about 3 or 4 possible Pre war MM's in India. During the last few years this quest to find out about the survivors in India has led to what is now 26 known cars in India as of March 2019.

Here are the Indian surviving cars according to their year of manufacture :

1. 1930 OHV Tourer USJ 1795

Built in early 1930 (April), this is as of now the oldest known Morris Minor in the country. More about this car here

Picture from 2010
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At the 21 Gun Salute event, 2015
Pre-War (1928-34) Morris Minors in India-dsc02488.jpg

At the Cartier show, 2019
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2. 1930 OHV Tourer, Punjab
Built in October/November 1930, this Punjab based car is a recent barn find and is now being restored.
As found
Pre-War (1928-34) Morris Minors in India-.jpg

Now
Pre-War (1928-34) Morris Minors in India-b.jpg

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3. Jodhpur Special 1931, Ahmedabad
One of the rarest Minor's in the world, this special was built for the son of the Maharaja of Jodhpur, subsequently sold to Jaipur and then sold off the to Shivar royal family (near Sawai Madhopur), after that this car was sold to Mr. Gajjar through the famous Bhalerao.
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Pre-War (1928-34) Morris Minors in India-26-historia-del-gujarat-vintage.jpg

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4. 1930 Bombay Tourer , Chassis no 29084)
In 2011, I was at Chor Bazaar, Bombay looking for a SU carb, guess, what I found ?
a Minor that too under piles of junk, no body, but the chassis, engine and bits and pieces.

Subsequently, I was told that it was sold to someone in M.P, I hope it re-surfaces again.
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5.1931 Tourer, Hyderabad
This 1931 tourer resides in Hyderabad and is with a family from new.
The humble owner was very kind in letting me check out the car.
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6. 1931 Minor tourer, RJF 321, Rajasthan
This former Bikaner registered Minor lived in Jaipur till the mid 1990's and was a daily driver,
now part of a collection near Beawer.

Sometime in 1980's
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Now
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7. Minor Woody (Home-built) India, UPL 626, Surat

This woody is based on a 1931 minor, and has been identified as a home-built example,
it was for sale for many years and is now part of the vintage villa collection, Surat, more about the collection here

Earlier pictures
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Pre-War (1928-34) Morris Minors in India-8285341917_ec02def4aa_b.jpg

Now
Pre-War (1928-34) Morris Minors in India-22281570_486111231759270_3506926939036962703_n.jpg

8. 1931, 2 seater, GDL 2262, Goa
This car graces the porch of a Goan resort

Older picture
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now
Pre-War (1928-34) Morris Minors in India-entrance.jpg

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Default re: Pre-War (1928-34) Morris Minors in India

9. 1932 Van, South India
Quote:
Originally Posted by KPS View Post
Kartik, here is a surprise for you!
Morris Minor in a very interesting body style. The car in a van body style, however does not sport the original grill and radiator. Still this is an very interesting car.
KPS
Pre-War (1928-34) Morris Minors in India-2217-top-view.jpg

Pre-War (1928-34) Morris Minors in India-2217-lh.jpg

Pre-War (1928-34) Morris Minors in India-2217-rear-closed.jpg

Pre-War (1928-34) Morris Minors in India-2217-rh.jpg

10. 1932 SV Minor, Hyderabad
This 2 seater is awaiting restoration in a Hyderabad workshop
Picture courtesy : Vintage Khan

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Pre-War (1928-34) Morris Minors in India-1932-hyd-.jpg

11. 1932 MDC 308, Madurai
This car resides in Madurai, any information would be very welcome.

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12. Dieseled 1932 Minor, Maharashtra
This strangely modified car was for sale on olx sometime back

Quoting Chris Lambert
Quote:
The radiator indicates that the chassis is probably 1932 Minor. The body looks to have been built locally and probably in the 50s/60s if the bumper-bar for example, was fitted to the car at the time the body was constructed. I don't recognize the engine (the inlet/exhaust manifold isn't Minor) and what's left of the bonnet is also non-Minor.
Pre-War (1928-34) Morris Minors in India-1932-mp-1.jpg

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13. 1932 Minor tourer, Rajasthan
This car resides in Rajasthan and is under family dispute
Pre-War (1928-34) Morris Minors in India-1932-rajasthan.jpg

Pre-War (1928-34) Morris Minors in India-img20170928wa0019.jpg

Pre-War (1928-34) Morris Minors in India-img20170928wa0020.jpg

Pre-War (1928-34) Morris Minors in India-img20170928wa0025.jpg

Pre-War (1928-34) Morris Minors in India-img20170928wa0026.jpg

14. 1932 Tourer, Vintage Villa, Surat
This former Nagpur based car is now part of the vintage villa collection

Quote:
Originally Posted by anjan_c2007 View Post
The Morris belonged to Air Vice Marshal Sangar of the Indian Air Force, who was posted here, then. He retired within a few months, in 2004 itself and moved out.
Picture credit ( 1st 2 pictures): Dr. Anjan (anjan_c2007)

Picture from 1988
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mid 90's
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Now
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Pre-War (1928-34) Morris Minors in India-22308635_486111238425936_6235725560618231025_n.jpg

15. 1932 S.V. Tourer, (still to be traced)
This car exists somewhere in India, and was for sale in the 1980/90's, present whereabouts unknown, any one knows here ?

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Default re: Pre-War (1928-34) Morris Minors in India

16. 1933 Tourer, RJF 1039, Bikaner

I had heard about the presence of a Minor tourer in Bikaner and in 2015 took a day trip to take a look at the car.

This minor has been in the owners family since the early 1940's, somewhere in the 1980's the car was sent to a local workshop for repairs and was forgotten about, by the time in 1995 when the owner took back the car, it had lost most of its original parts, including the engine and the gearbox. However, he asked another workshop to get the car working with a modern engine and what transpired is a minor with a modern Suzuki engine and gearbox and total mix match of parts. Interestingly the car has an early windscreen.

Pre-War (1928-34) Morris Minors in India-4620100814.jpg

Pre-War (1928-34) Morris Minors in India-img_20150412_182439075.jpg

Pre-War (1928-34) Morris Minors in India-img_20150412_182552947.jpg


17. 1933 Minor Roadster (Home built), BRA 5842, Calcutta

When found this car had lost the body, supposedly to a fire

Picture credit : Shrivardhan Kanoria
Pre-War (1928-34) Morris Minors in India-morris-1933-calcutta.jpg

It was restored or rather resurrected by Shrivardhan Kanoria, the restoration took about 2 years, he took the liberty to build a roadster from scratch.

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Pre-War (1928-34) Morris Minors in India-10378063_423015914551849_1725205281418546397_n.jpg


18. 1933 Saloon, USG 98, New Delhi
This Minor owned by Mr. James is either a 1932 or 1933 season Saloon. The car is a regular at the Statesman rally, New Delhi.

The radiator would indicate that it’s 1933 car while the wheels and bumper are from a much earlier scuttle fuel tank car which was almost certainly an OHC model. The car has a SV engine, but at least two cars have been involved in this ones creation.

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19. 1933 Minor Saloon, WBB 1369, Jaipur
In 2013 I was told about the possibility of a Pre war Morris Minor saloon surfacing in Jaipur, not very far from my home, I straight away went to the location and found her. The car was in possession of a known cheat in Jaipur, who got it for restoration after telling big stories to its old owner. Later, I was able to meet the owner and asked him multiple times to get back his car.

2013
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A very complete engine
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In 2014 the car disappeared, and I tried my sources all this while to find out what happened to her, finally I got a tip off on her location and found her dumped in a by lane exposed to the elements of nature and to miscreants, fortunately it was still in the same condition and had surprisingly survived a monsoon.

2014
Pre-War (1928-34) Morris Minors in India-image-5.jpg

In 2015 I again visited the place to check on her and found this sorry sight.
2015
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The car is now gone from that place, I have been told that the owner of the property that the car was parked on did not get his rent so he scrapped the cars, I hope this is not true and that hopefully she survives somewhere.

20. 1933 SV Minor, Bombay (_ _ _ 980)

I have very little information about this car, here are couple of old posts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kasli View Post
The building cars only the Morris I remember but not the healey and ford.
Quote:
Originally Posted by harit View Post
This was the Morris.

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The current owner almost lost the car to Chor Bazar, managed to retrieve it but not yet restored.
Cheers harit
More information would be very welcome, I hope its restored soon.

Last edited by KartikeyaL : 28th March 2019 at 15:58.
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Old 27th March 2019, 15:03   #11
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Default re: Pre-War (1928-34) Morris Minors in India

21. 1933 Tourer, MYB 4496, Dharmasthala
This car is in the collection of the Manjusha Museum, Dharmasthala

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22. 1933 Tourer, Umaid bhavan Palace, Jodhpur

Probably the only Pre war minor still in a royal collection, this car earlier sported the "Jodhpur 16" plates.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karlosdeville View Post
An early Morris on display at a Jodhpur palace

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23. 1933 Chassis, Rajasthan
This is what remains of this 1933 SV minor, though cannot call it a survivor in the true sense, still included it here.

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24. 1933 Tourer, USD 318, Lucknow
This car is owned by a friend in Lucknow, he rescued it a few years back and it was missing a lot of parts, though not very original with the homemade radiator shell and many other changes.

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Pre-War (1928-34) Morris Minors in India-1932-lucknow-.jpg

Pre-War (1928-34) Morris Minors in India-1932-lucknow.jpg


25. 1934 Lwb Saloon, MYB 5060, Bangalore

Probably the only Lwb Morris minor saloon in the country, it is with the same family from new, I have tried contacting them but have received no response, maybe the Bangalore friends can help in getting some pictures.

Quote:
Originally Posted by karlosdeville View Post
Here are some scans from a booklet published possibly in the 1980's to commemorate a vintage car rally in Bangalore.

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Thanks to Dominator for sharing this booklet.
26. 1934 SV Tourer, GBQ 1600, Ahmedabad
Probably the youngest Pre war Morris minor in the country, this 1934 tourer is very rare, worldwide just 5 examples survive.

Quoting Chris Lambert
Quote:
In all there were just over 47,000 side valve minors built and this one was built very close to the end of production which ceased in August 1934. In the cars final year 13,500 Minors left the production line and your car was just 4439 from the end of production.
Owned by BHPian Parthmehd, who bought this car in 2008, Parth has always been fascinated by vintage and classic cars.

Here is a picture from 1988, when the Minor participated and won an award at the Ahmadabad rally.
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Picture from 2008
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Some later pictures
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Picture from 2011 when my car was being restored and Parth paid a visit
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and this one from the 2018 Jaipur rally, making a victory sign on the Pre war Minor network badge.
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this is pretty much what I know about the Minor's in India, hopefully many more will be found in the years to come.

cheers
Kartik

Last edited by KartikeyaL : 28th March 2019 at 16:04.
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Old 28th March 2019, 16:51   #12
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Default re: Pre-War (1928-34) Morris Minors in India

Mod's note: Thread moved from Assembly Line to the Pre-War Vintage section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 29th March 2019, 07:00   #13
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Default Re: Pre-War (1928-34) Morris Minors in India

Thanks Kartikeyal for such a detailed report. Very informative and made and excellent read.

This car in particular was very fascinating. Built as toy for the Royals.
Quote:
Originally Posted by KartikeyaL View Post
3. Jodhpur Special 1931, Ahmedabad
One of the rarest Minor's in the world, this special was built for the son of the Maharaja of Jodhpur, subsequently sold to Jaipur and then sold off the to Shivar royal family (near Sawai Madhopur), after that this car was sold to Mr. Gajjar through the famous Bhalerao.
Happy to note that this car survives

Thanks again

Cheers

KPS

Last edited by KPS : 29th March 2019 at 07:01.
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Old 29th March 2019, 09:53   #14
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Default Re: Pre-War (1928-34) Morris Minors in India

Here is a picture taken in the 1980's of the Jodhpur Morris Minor

Pre-War (1928-34) Morris Minors in India-image1.jpeg

In storage, the car is rubbing shoulders with its famous stable mate Rolls Royce 94RF 1927 Windovers Limousine

Cheers

KPS
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Old 29th March 2019, 12:58   #15
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Quote:
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Here is a picture taken in the 1980's of the Jodhpur Morris Minor
Cheers

KPS
Thats a lovely picture, thanks for sharing !

Within hours of the thread going live, I received these two picture of RJF 321, when it was in Jaipur years back !

Kudos to the power & reach of Team-BHP

Pre-War (1928-34) Morris Minors in India-img20190328wa0037.jpg

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