Lowlites, Splitties, Thous and Millions Lowlites, Splitties, Thous and Millions
Lowlites - Splitties - Thou's - Millions

History of the Minor

Production Changes

Minors were in production for nearly 25 years so it's no surprise that the factory made a number of changes as they went along. The following lists some of the more important production changes made to the Minor. With your chassis number and engine number you should be able to narrow down when your car was made to within a month or two.

Note that Minors continued production outside of the UK for some time after production had 'officially' ceased in 1972. In New Zealand for example, vans were still made from CKD (completely knocked down kits) until 1974.

These 'end-of-line' vehicles may or may not have been built to 'official' specifications. Other countries that also built Minors (as opposed to importing them from the UK) may also have deviated from standard specifications.

Change Description
October 1948
First Minor rolls off production line
Car Number SMM501
Engine Type USHM2
June 1949
Car No.RHD#3389 LHD#6142: small, round twin rear lights replace single rear lamp (mounted vertically in USA).
Car No.RHD#17580 LHD#7967: larger squared-off variety of rear lamps fitted.
September 1949
Improved draught and water sealing. Choke control altered slightly. Seats given more forwards adjustment.
Late 1949
Front suspension tiebar mounting strengthened RHD#904 LHD#5600.
Rear suspension - front shackle renewable bush plates fitted, RHD#17840 LHD#8700.
Cellulose paint replaced by synthetic enamel RHD#12118 RHD LHD#5856.
All US market cars fitted with headlamps in wings.
October 1950 - on
Four-door Series MM Minor introduced, also with headlamps situated in wings.
Indicators fitted high in central door pillar instead of low down as on two-door cars.
Some cars (two-door and four-door) fitted with leather front seats, Vyanide being retained in the rear.
RHD#69832 LHD#71098 - front doors closed with straps instead of cord.
Four-door cars fitted with one-piece bumpers instead of earlier split type.
RHD#72985 RHD - passenger windscreen wiper fitted as standard.
January 1951
RHD#83390 LHD#81595 - all Minors built with headlamps mounted in the wings with sidelamps placed where the headiamps used to be.
All wing mounted headlamps were 7" instead of former 5" units.
March 1951
A nickel shortage led to painted grille and hub caps being fitted - RHD#91076 LHD#89726.
Hub caps only were restored to chrome plated finish six months later.
April 1951
Optional water pump fitted to engine, allowing use of heater. Complete cost £RHD#83206 LDH#81502 LHD - all cars now fitted with one-piece bumpers in place of earlier split type.
June 1951 - on
RHD#100920 LHD#102836 - Tourer sidescreens of fixed type and revised hood fitted.
Door-mounted ashtray discontinued on four-door at RHD#131460 LHD#126597 and on two-door at RHD#124810 LHD#122788, replaced by fascia mounted ashtray.
RHD#139359 LHD#139514 - glove box emblem changed from chrome and enamel to plastic.
Bootlid lock strengthened.
September 1951
RHD#114923 LHD#89910 - rubber bushed top suspension link introduced to cure suspension 'clonk'. Later fitted as a modification to most cars.
At same time in 1952 a secondary steering rack damper was introduced.
Late 1952 - on
Series MM engine replaced by A-series engine, in export four-door car at first.
Two-door saloon and Tourer still fitted with Morris 8 engine until 23 February 1953, when last Series MM Minor built.
August 1952
First OHV engine fitted in four-door saloon (sidevalve engine continued in some), #160001.
January 1953
All models fitted with ohv engine, #180001.
October 1953
New page_textDe Luxe models introduced featuring heater, leather seats, overriders and passenger sun visor.
Two-door saloon #221842, four-door saloon #221803, Convertible #221914.
January 1954
'A' type rear axle and standard swivel pin assembly introduced #228267.
Wedge type fan belt at engine no. 72610.
Early 1954
Sprung-type semibucket seats replaced by more modern, flatter far less comfortable front seats.
Also around this time and until late 1954, 10,000 cars were fitted with separate rear reflectors as a stop-gap way of satisfying new rear reflector regulations.
June 1954
Enginesteady cable fitted, 264013.
October 1954
Horizontal grill bars introduced.
Revised instrument and control panel.
Separate speedometer, fuel and oil pressure gauges replaced by single separate instrument with open gloveboxes each side - two-door saloon #291140, four-door saloon #290173, Convertible #291336, Traveller #289687.
Rubber-buffered tie-rod mounted between engine and bulkhead to act as engine steady and to cut out clutch judder.
New larger rear light fitting incorporating reflector in lens cover fitted, #293051.
August 1956
Coloured hoods fitted to Convertible, #433571.
During its production run, the Series II received few other changes but they included:
- discontinuation of front wing beading
- hardboard replacing millboard door trim
- grease nipples added to handbrake cables
- shorter gear lever
- repositioned pedals
- different gearbox cover and carpets to give more foot room
Car #433571 on, Tourer given a coloured hood, mottled green for green cars, mottled red for all others.
Seats became fixed-back for two-door cars.
October 1956
Series II discontinued.
Final chassis number #448714.
October 1956
Standard and De Luxe two- and four-door saloons, Convertible and Traveller introduced, designated'Minor 1000'.
948cc engine fitted.
Single-piece and enlarged curved windscreen and larger rear window.
Dished steering wheel.
Horn and trafficator control on steering column.
Glovebox lids fitted.
Deeper rear wings.
Shorter geariever, and deeper gearbox cover.
'Minor 1000' motif on sides of bonnet, #448801.
New type of shorter handbrake fitted with end push-button instead of side-mounted lever.
Gear-lever carried in aluminium remote-control extension.
Self-parking wipers, though still not of parallel movement type.
December 1956
New strengthened steering swivel pin assembly fitted, #462458.
Early 1957
Plastic gear lever knob with rubber insert
Boot lid handle and lock strengthened
Car No. 463443 - on. New steering rack oil seal fitted.
March 1957
Fuel tank enlarged from 5 to 6.5 gallons, #487048 Saloon, #485127 Traveller
Mud deflector plates made available for rear brake drums.
September 1957
Canvas hood on convertible replaced by plastic coated material, #524944.
November 1957
Gearlever reset and lengthened. Traveller #552906
October 1958
Courtesy light switches fitted in front doors, #654750.
December 1958
Rear spring design changed from 7 x 1/4" leaves to 5 x 1/4" leaves, #680464 Saloon and Tourer only.
February 1959
Early type dry paper element air cleaner, Saloon #698137, Traveller #693918.
March 1959
Wider opening doors
Self-cancelling direction indicator switch fitted to steering column
Horn button moved to centre of steering wheel
Traveller #704254, four-door saloon #705224, two-door saloon #705622.
September 1959
Combined inlet and exhaust manifold.
Foot space between gearbox cover and clutch pedal increased.
PVC interior roof lining fitted instead of cloth.
Front passenger seat on two-door saloon and Traveller modified to give better access to rear seats, #750470.
During 1960
HS type SU carburettor introduced, Engine No. 9M/U/H 353449.
January 1961
Morris Minor 1000000 produced as special edition of 349 cars.
Special features included Lilac colour, white upholstery with black piping, 'Minor 1000000' badging on sides of bonnet and on boot lid and special wheel rim embellishers.
#1000000 - #1000349 (these car numbers designated out of sequence).
October 1961
Flashing direction indicators incorporated into front and rear lamps.
Semaphore type direction indicators discontinued.
Glove compartment lid removed.
Windscreen washers fitted on De Luxe models.
Seatbelts anchorage points built into all models.
New range of colours and upholstery offered
Two-door saloon #925555, four-door saloon #925448, Convertible #947088, Traveller #925679
April 1963
Fresh air heater introduced.
Air intake on radiator cowl.
Redesigned windscreen washer system, #1039564.
October 1963
Windscreen wiper blades lengthened and now work in tandem.
Zone-toughened windscreen introduced.
New design combined side/flasher lamps at front and rear.
Extra round amber flashing indicating light fitted to rear of Traveller.
New type air cleaner fitted to prevent carburettor icing in cold weather.
Nearside (front passenger) door lock fitted to two-door models.
Two-door saloon #1043218, four-door saloon #1043752, Convertible #1043271, Traveller #1043226
October 1964
New design fascia panel.
Better trim and more comfortable seating.
Automatic boot lid support.
Glovebox on passenger side fitted with lid.
Combined ignition and starter switch.
Other switches modified to 'flick' type.
Swivel ashtrays under parcel shelf.
Crushable sun visors.
Plastic rimmed interior mirror.
Two-spoke safety dished steering wheel.
Fresh air heater performance improved.
Blocked oil filter warning light fitted.
Crackle finish heater fitted - still offered as optional.
Two-door saloon #1082280, four-door saloon #1082284, Convertible #1082717, Traveller #1082537
October 1966
Sealed-beam headlamps fitted. Fuse in sidelamp circuit introduced, #1159663.
October 1967
New type paper air cleaner element introduced, #1196653.
June 1969
Convertible discontinued. Final Car Number #1254328.
Late 1969
Oil filter switch ceased to be fitted. Amber warning lens fitted but not used.
During the last months of production some models were fitted with an alternator instead of a dynamo.
November 1970
Saloon production discontinued. Final Car Numbers, two-door saloon #1288377.
During the last months of production some of the vehicles assembled at the Morris Commercial Cars plant at Adderley Park, Birmingham were fitted with steering column ignition locks, four-door saloon #1288299.
April 1971
Traveller production discontinued. Final Car Number #1294082.

Reclining seats were fitted to some vehicles though they were never fitted as standard equipment.