It all started with the dream of owning an old car with some surprise performance, like when you pull up at a stop street or robot and the guy next to you looks at your rusty old car, smiles, thinks “shame”, until wheel start rolling and he disappears in the wake of your old rust and dust.
Well, the lucky day arrived when my wife surprised me with a 1959 Morris. A woman had to move to a new flat and did and did not have storage place for it. I was very happy but then the take-off bugged me. What was I going to do with this nice little car ? Would it ever be possible to experience the power I always dreamed about at the robot or stop street ? I started sharing my ideas with some friends.
Of course talking to people, there is almost a certainty that the news would leak.The ‘old’ toppies at the local car club got wind of my ideas and my first meeting with them was a good lecture from one of the old guys. Do I know what is going to happen to me if I dare cut the little 1959 Morris to pieces ? My conscience started haunting me and with that my dreams, ideas and ignorance about what I wanted to do with this little car, fell away. Talk about Murphy’s law
As time rolled by, it was almost my birthday again an lo and behold, my daughter rocks up with a present. It was a couple of magazines to help me find ideas on the “how to” and “what to do” with the little car: Now, remember that I had received a lecture about cutting the little car… I was baffled. This magazine showed me what to do but I am not a panel beater, spray painter or anything like that. I have limited mechanical knowledge on how to work on my own vehicles only because I had to ! Yet, the dream kept nagging away at me. What now ? I finally made a decision: I am going to cut it ! after all, it is mine and I am going to follow my dream.
One of the old club members, however, got wind of my decision and they decided to sponsor an old stripped body worth cutting, JUST IN TIME !
This guy came to me and said, “if you want to cut, cut this one but save the other one”. And it happened just like that.
I cut off the nose, extended the suspension by 700mm and fitted support beams back into the body to make space for a V8 motor. I raised the old front suspension of the Morris into the extended beams and brazed on it. I managed to buy an old Ford Fairlane with the motor, gearbox, prop shaft and diff all still intact which made my life easier, considering my limited mechanical knowledge. The body was bad and completely rusted at the bottom. Strip it, mark it and pack it in the same order to be cleaned. Wash and refit. What a time-consuming process but this taught me how to be patient and eventually I got to know my car very well.
With all the battling and fighting, I want to use the opportunity to thank all the people who helped me and gave me advice, especially the old car history and who came to my project to help me out. They even gave me the grill and headlights.
Some technical information: it is still a 1959 Morris, with 302 Winser V8, C4 Auto box and standard diff from the Ford Fairlane, a Massey Ferguson grill, 1929 head lamps, NO paint. The front wheels are 14″ Morris and back wheels are 15″ Ford, still drum braces with power, full Hyundai brake booster with new brake and bleeding kits. No panel beating; just a lot of sanding to take the body back to bare metal. I made the front fender by hand, as well as the fire wall, seeing that cutting, grinding and welding is more my line of experience. The roof was cut and I made my split window after trying to cut the old rounded windscreen – but it burst. The back window was closed up with an old Ford Preface window frame that was welded in to fit flat glass.And yes, this is how it came out on the end.