For as far as I can remember from birth to six years of age, the family mode of transport was the Morris Minor when traveling around central Africa. We even had one in England, when I was learning to drive. I’ve been through the windscreen of one and nearly died, fallen out of one whilst going around a bent and hit a stationary vehicle in my last one. We would tour for weeks in remote locations in Rhodesia in our blue Moggie with our Scottie dog, going off for ten days with two small suitcases on the roof rack. We were a singing family, from Christian songs and repetitive tunes like “coming round the mountain.” Dad would do his impressions of Burl Ives or Jim Reeves.
The Morris Minor was launched in 1948 as an economy family vehicle and was the first British-built model to produce over a million cars. There were numerous options: the salon car, convertible, estate, van, etc. and the last car was produced in 1971. There used to be many on the roads in Jaffna and I’ve seen a number of them when traveling upcountry in Sri Lanka. There is a field of rotting Minors I see each time I go to Victoria near Kandy. I’d like to stop on the next trip and have a nostalgic fix.
The car however has never had the sexy look or buzz of the VW Beatle which focused on the same target market..the family on a budget. All those happy and sad impressions in Morris Minors.