Things you probably didn't know ... and probably wished you still didn't
Little Known Facts
Morris Motors was once given the chance to buy the ailing German car maker Volkswagen, but they declined saying that the 'Beetle' wouldn't sell!The Britsh band 'Madness' were once known as 'Morris and the Minors'.In the video for their hit song "Driving In My Car" they used a Morris Minor convertible because the band used to transport their equipment in Mike's Morris Miner Van so the Morris came up as an obvious choice,
Another British band were known as 'Morris Minor and the Majors'. They had a semi-hit in the Eighties with a song called 'Stutter Rap', the cover of which featured a Lowlite and which can be downloaded from this page!
The plant Lyonia Lucida is also known as 'Morris Minor' (according to the New Ornamentals Society - membership required now :/)
'Morris Minor' is an 'official' cat name (see the Catnames List)
A computer game for the Sinclair Spectrum (remember those?) was called 'Morris Meets the Bikers'. The blurb on the packaging read "From the distant constellation of Morris Minor comes Morris the intelligent little car with a big problem: Morris suffers from claustrophobia! Abandoned in a multi-story carpark (!) our tinplate hero must get out fast, the problem is that Phantom Kamikaze Bikers from a distant galaxy are after him, and he only has his Magic Horn to protect himself."
Monster Raving Loony Alliance Party Draft ManifestoThe following policy statement was included in the Draft Manifesto for the Cambridge Constituency of the candidate Nicholas Brettell-Winnington as part of his transport reform ...
"The Morris Minor with an 1100 engine, but with original chrome and split windscreen, will be reintroduced on a mass-production basis. State funding of the provision of mass-produced easily-accessible vehicles which can be adapted for disabled use will give real mobility to the people, and undermine the expensive import car market. Look, if the Trabant can achieve cult status..."
Said a man of his small Morris Minor:
"For petting, it couldn't be finer
But for love's consumation
A wagon called station
Would offer a playground diviner."
"If broomsticks were cars, this one would be a split-window Morris Minor."
Terry Pratchett, "Equal Rites"
The 'Haunted' Minor (from 'The Derby Trader' 23/3/83)
A 19 year old Derby girl is giving away her car because of a terrifying experience which convinced her it was haunted.
Diane Wairnsley was thrilled when her father bought her an old Morris Minor at the end of 1981. It provided a little extra incentive for her to pass her driving test - which she duly did last summer.
Then funny things began to happen. One night Diane and a group of friends were driving to Ockbrook when they heard a knocking on the rear and side windows. Later there was a series of unexplained bumps and minor collisions. But it was an incident last December that forced Diane to throw away the keys for good. "I was taking someone on a short trip down to Chaddesden and coming back along Lime Grove about 7.15pm when it happened. I felt a pair of hands grabbing my shoulders from the back seat, firmly but not forcefully.
"I thought it was my younger sister who'd hidden on the journey and said: 'Stop it, Rachel, don't be silly ... not when I'm driving.' I glanced round and there was no-one there", said Diane. "I felt awful and rushed home as white as a sheet. My hair was actually standing up on the back of my head. I didn't think my dad would believe me but when he saw me, and realised how I felt, he did."
Diane said she decided immediately to give up the car. She has kept it in case her younger brother, who has yet to pass his test, might want it. The car - registration JRY 367E - was purchased from a dealer in Alvaston at the end of 1981. He told the Trader: "It had been standing in my yard a while. I had it from a chap in Burnaston who had bought it for his son but apparently his lad had never got on with it and hardly touched it
Derbyshire police were unable to give any details of the vehicle but referred inquiries to the Driver Vehicle Licensing Centre in Swansea where a spokesman said the history of the car would be looked at.
The Getaway Car (from 'Weekend' magazine April 1983)
A friend had his 1961 Morris Minor stolen. A few weeks later a policeman from the station phoned and asked if he was aware that his car had been used in a bank robbery.
"Wonderful!" my friend exclaimed, "To think that my 1961 Morris was used as a getaway car."
An impatient policeman replied, "It was not used as a getaway, it was used to block the road."
'Goodbye Worn Out Morris 1000' (Pam Ayres)
Oh love. you got no poke left
I didn't want to say
It seems we are outmoded,
Much too slow, and in the way.
You know how much I love you
I'd repair you in a flash
But I haven't got the knowledge
And I haven't got the cash.
There is rust all round your headlamps
I could push through if I tried
My pot of paint can't cure it
'Cause it's from the other side.
All along your sides and middle
You are turning rusty brown
Though you took me ninety thousand miles
And never let me down.
Not the snapping of a fan belt
Nor the blowing of a tyre
Nor the rattling of a tappet
And nor did you misfire.
All your wheels stayed on the corners
And your wipers on the screen
Though I didn't do much for you
And I never kept you clean.
All your seats are unupholstered
And foam rubber specks the floor.
You were hit by something else once
And I cannot shut the door.
But it's not those things that grieve me
Or the money that I spent,
For you were my First-driven,
Ninety thousand miles we went.
I could buy a bright and new car
And go tearing round the town
A BGT! A Morgan!
(With the hood all battened down).
But as I leave you in the scrapyard,
Bangers piled up to the skies,
Why do your rusty headlamps
Look like sad, reproachful eyes?