Dont ever give up on finding your old morris :)

Discuss anything Morris Minor related.
kevbarlas
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Dont ever give up on finding your old morris :)

Postby kevbarlas » Mon Aug 28, 2017 12:35 pm

8 years ago i wrote a post up on this forum asking if anyone had ever seen my dads morris minor lately, the original thread is here

viewtopic.php?t=25725

I'll copy and paste it here for conveinance,

Hey,
Ive been trying to search for my dads old Morris minor he had ages ago. He spent years customising it but after a light front end crash my dad got diss-heartened and couldnt affored the garage anymore so he had to sell it and i think hes regreted it ever since. I'd love to know where it is now. It was sold in Edinburgh around 92 i believe, possibly later. It had a Corsair V4 engine and was painted miami blue with a silver roof although it may be purple now. Last time i saw it was in Edinburgh about 96-97 . Last time my dad knew where it was it was rumoured to be in liberton in Edinburgh somewhere. Ive tried driving around the streets there but cant see it.
Does anyone know where it is now?
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I was just rummaging about my old computer and noticed this thread i made so i thought id update it with good news.

When my dad had to sell this car all those years ago. My brothers and I were way too young to do anything about it. I would have been 8 and my brothers 16 and 17. My memory of that time is a bit hazy but we all felt a huge connection to that car. So much so that I would continue to draw it and study it as I was growing up.
(don't know how old I was when I drew this, young though.)
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I would spend ages looking at the photo album my dad made and ask him questions about it. I truly believe my life would be completely different had it not been for this car. I like top think of it a bit as my genesis. It influenced me so much so that I knew I wanted a project of my own one day and well, here I am.
Still, as I was growing up. The thought of even just seeing this car again conjured up feelings of excitement, pride joy etc.. I always wanted to try and find it again. Back in 2009 I started to put a bit more effort into finding it. I had put up a few posts on Scottish Morris minors, rods'n'sods etc.. asking if anyone had seen it. I never had much luck. A few people said they remembered seeing it at a few car shows but that was about it. No actual new sightings. I also found out my Brother Ross had also done the same, asked a few people in the car scene and also put a few posts up.
We had heard rumours it was last seen in a field somewhere. An are called Gilmerton had been named so one day, I jumped in my trusty Fiat Punto and drove around looking for it with out much luck. Although, that was the day I spotted the Consul that I later bought so , like I said, with out this car I wouldn't really be here, doing what I love to do with out it.
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Another thing I tried was to write to the DVLA and try to get the address of the current registered keeper. Unfortunately/fortunately they don't just go handing out info like that to anyone. You need a reasonable excuse. Such as being involved in a crash with this car and it drove away, or its parked on your land. All I could come up with was that I had some important history that we found that should go with the car. The DVLA wrote back saying that wasn't good enough and that they weren't willing to give out any information.
At that point things just came to a plateau. Everynow and then I would crack open Google and search for it. Search the reg, type in 'custom Morris minor, Miami blue Morris minor, V4 Morris minor' and other things like that. Never got anywhere but still, I was hoping for one day something to happen.
Cut to Thursday, October 27th of this year. Just a normal day at work, get home, make my dinner then get ready for bed. Around 9:30 I noticed I had a friend request from one id never heard of before. I had just put up some stuff about the Bin lorry so I thought maybe it was someone asking about it. I accepted and went back to relaxing. 30 mins later I go back to my tablet, 'Oh, what's that, a message from that guy, wonder what it is' *click*

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HOLY CRAP!!!! That's the Morris! What... Where... Why... When .. I felt like I was having a melt down. I honestly couldn't believe it. There it is, I haven't seen any new photos of it for over 20 years and BAM, heres one right now. First thing I had to do was phone my brother, doesn't matter it was a bit late I just knew this had to be shared. I managed to get him on the phone and told him about the guy that had added me. My bro told me how he had had a friend request but didn't accept him as he didn't know him. I was like, "maaaaaan, heh, right check out what he was going to tell you". So I sent him over the photo and when he received it he was just as excited as me. We spoke about how crazy it was and that we need to buy it back , or at the very least find out where it is and try to see it.
I got off the phone and then messaged the guy back. (To save privacy I'm going to refer to all the people involved by there initials) AS was a really nice guy. He explained that he had seen the picture of the Morris on a North Lanarkshire secret car club page on Facebook and that it was for sale, for £500. He wasnt sure what kind of car it was so he googled the reg number and it had came up with all the posts my broither and I had posted on the various forums and he managed to find us on facebook. He then gave me the name of the seller, JR , and so I added him to my facebook as well as applying to join the secret car club page. I messaged him whilst waiting for his facebook request confirmation saying "Really interested in the Morris you have for sale, here's my phone number, let me know if its still available". I didn't want to give too much info away at first. My brother and I also agreed that I would do the dealing with him as Ross is quite busy with his 2 boys, work and home life and if its only one of us it might not come across too off putting.
The next again morning, after getting about 2 hours sleep I checked my facebook and JR had added me as a friend and had also replied. He said "il phone you at 12pm" . Brilliant I thought, I have contact. By this time I had also been accepted to the club page and I checked out the advert. There was a few other cars that were for sale by JR. A jeep, an Armstrong Sidley, a Volkswagen Rod and a beetle parts car. Every photo was pretty much just the car, no landmarks or anything.
I patiently waited until 12, literally counting down the minutes. Then it was 12:30, then it was 1pm, then it was 1:30pm and still nothing.... Mhm.. Maybe he's busy... Ok.. I really want this car... I think if I message him about how it was my dads he might take it more serious and will be cool about it. So I message him, I include a photo of me and my brother standing infront of it when I was about 2 or so.

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He eventually replies back in the afternoon, "wow, that was a long time ago. That price I put up on facebook isn't the real price, was just a starting point. I don't know how much the owner wants for it, I'm selling it for them" . Great I think..... dam... Now he's going to extortion me. He also says that the owner is hard to get a hold of and that's why he never phoned me back yet but when he does he will contact me. I leave it at that for the day and hope for good news in the morning.
Next again day and I thought id just send a wee reminder to him. He later phones me around 2pm. He just explained a bit more about the situation and that he has tried to get the owner on the phone with no luck so he was going to head over and see if he was in. In the mean time the Morris was all I could think of. I was looking at the photo of it a lot and the other cars trying to figure out anything about where they could be. For the rest of that first week I heard nothing. Whenever I phoned it was just the same answer. The owners hard to get a hold of. I even asked if I could have the owners number and deal directly with them but he wasn't really willing to give me that information.
By the Friday I got a message from another guy I know through the car clubs, AL . I phoned AL up and he told me he had heard my dads car was for sale. I told him thanks but I kinda knew already and I'm currently dealing with the guy whose selling it for the owner. He then pipes up that he has the phone number for the owner!!. Brilliant, after the week I've had trying to get information, here's the contact info for the actual owner. Sure enough, the phone number he gives me is different but he doesn't have a name for the guy. Anxiously I phone up "Hello", "Hi, erm, are you the guy with all the cars for sale?" I asked. "Nah, I think you have the wrong number" he said. "Oh, eh, ok" I replied. "Well.......actually...what car is it your asking about ?" he then asks. "Its the blue Morris minor" I said. "Ohright , yeah I know that one. I think you are actually dealing with my son , JR, about it already" . UUUGGGHHHHHhhhhhh, as it turns out that the number I got was for JR's dad. He then went on to explain that his son is selling them on behalf of his friend but there's a bit of complications about it all. Its not going to be a quick sale or anything and for me to be patient.
Through out the following couple of weeks my brother and I were feeling really frustrated. You know, when you want to sell a car you advertise it, someone comes round, they buy it and the deals done. This just felt odd, Here's a car I'm advertising for sale but I cant actually sell it yet.. Why bother advertising it. As JR and JR's dad were my only point of contact though I felt kinda trapped and had to jump through their hoops to get what I wanted. I thought maybe they hadn't all came to an agreement about how much each person involved would get from the sale so I even said to JR on the phone "If you can get it for this weekend for the £500 you first said I will give you £200, no question." When that failed to stir up any extra enthusiasm from him I started to really think it was going a bit strange.
I started to do a little detective work, looked through a lot of his friends and photos on facebook to pinpoint some kind of connection with the one brickwall of the house I could see in the photos or any of the other cars. Never really got very far with that direction though. I also tried ebay, gumtree and google for any more info on any of the other cars being for sale somewhere else.
I remember trying to contact him at the beginning of week 3 and he never answered, tried his dad again, no answer so I sent a txt and got no reply. I really didn't want to give up so I kept trying every second day until the Saturday when JR answered. I said "hey man, its the guy about the Morris, just wondering how its going?". "Oh eh.... il get my dad (laughing) Hey dad, its the guy about the Morris...-mumble mumble- He says he's just got out the shower and to give it 5 minutes." then he hung up. I waited 5 mins, 10 mins, 15 mins. Ok, maybe he meant I was to phone him back. I rang his phone and surprise surprise, no answer. This was my turning point. For a few hours I thought that that was it. No more contact from these guys I might aswell just let it go.

*In between all of this during those weeks, my brother and I had been talking about the car non stop to each other, pretty much atleast once a day one of us would phone the other. How amazing it would be to finally have it back. What we would do with I, how it should be restored and all. Had a really good chat one night down the pub, as we were getting more and more drunk it was like we had actually had it already. *

Then I snapped out of it. No, My brother and I want this Morris and we have came so close now we cant stop. MY brother and I spoke about ways of finding out where the car is. Looking at the photos there is a tall ish building, no real features to it though. My sister in law sent that to a guy she knows in Airdrie but they couldn't pin point it exactly. We thought of driving through and just trying to find it in person but North Lanarkshire is just under 300 square miles. What we needed was something like a helicopter or a bird. With out those at hand we done the next best thing, Google maps. I knew it was some kind of farm land, north Lanarkshire and there was 5 cars on the bit of land which is in a hilly kind of area.
I started with the area JR lived. Basically I found what looked like a farm, zoomed in, looked for clues to it being the farm, then zoomed back out, moved to the next farm, zoomed in, zoomed out, repeat, repeat, repeat. My brother and sister in law were also doing the same in their spare time. I done this for hours and hours, must have been something like 20-25 hours and I couldn't find it. I started to dread that maybe the google map photos were too out of date or something. I had went all over Airdrie, Bells hill, Motherwell, etc... I was starting to lose track of what areas id covered so I check out on Google the boundary line of North Lanarkshire. Doing so led me to a few areas I hadn't tried yet and then finally.... There it was.. I had found it!.
EEEEEEeeeeeeekkkkk!!!, there it is, I can see the Morris and the other cars surrounding it. That's exactly where it is right now and I know. I phoned my brother back up again and told him I had found it. He was equally as happy as I was and so the next question was "Ok, how do we actually contact the owner now" . Googling the farm name gave us a business name and that they owned the other farm down the road from it.I tried to facebook them but couldn't find anything. I think this was the Monday night I had found it, almost 5 weeks from seeing the first photo. My brother and I spoke about going along on the weekend, just driving up and seeing if anyone was in. Then I thought it might be best to send a letter first, try to make contact where we can get our side of the story over better. I wrote the letter on the Tuesday after work and posted it on Wednesday.
Thursday rolled in and I was kinda anticipating a phone call so I kept my phone on me all day at full volume in my top pocket. Nothing much was happening until around 3pm I got a phone call from an unknown number. Nervously, I answered the phone "Hello..", They then went on to say in my edited version" HI, this is ** , I got your letter in the post, were from the other farm and I just wanted to tell you that we don't actually own that other farm anymore, I don't even know who owns it now, sorry I cant help but I wish you luck and if I can help in any way let me know". Not quite the answer I wanted but atleast I know they don't own it anymore. I never received another phone call that day.... Dam.
On Friday afternoon I spoke with my bro again, just to confirm that going though on Saturday was still happening. We both agreed to and hoped that someone would be in. If no one was there then we could kinda trespass a little and check the Morris out anyway. I got home from work, relaxed, made my dinner and started watching TV. Around 7:30, my phone rang. Another new number. Again, I anxiously answered the phone. "hello...." , "hello, is that Kevin? I got your letter about the Morris minor on the farm here" . My heart skipped a beat and my voice went squeaky high. I'm actually speaking to the owner now. She went on to explain how she was busy the night before and never got home until 10pm and this was her just getting free time now.
The Morris used to belong to her partner who very sadly had died in a fire earlier this year in the garage at the farm. He had kept it for the last 18 years and she said he would never have parted with it. She was still trying to sort out a lot of the repair work on the house, the death of her partner and stuff and hadn't got round to selling anything yet. I don't know exactly how JR knew of these cars so I'm just going to say nothing about them and forget them for the rest of the story as I don't want to speculate but I did inform her. She was very touched by the letter and said I was welcome to come around anytime and look at the Morris but wasn't sure when it would be for sale. My little squeaky voice managed " Can we come over tomorrow please???" to which she replied yes. So, I was able to phone my brother up and after 5-6 weeks of all of this gong on, tell him that I had made contact with the owner and we can infact, with permission, go see it on Saturday now.
I couldn't sleep all night, I was so excited. On Saturday I went and picked my brother up from work and we drove over to her house. On arrival, I had bought her bunch of flowers to say thankyou then we got to the house and we laid eyes our eyes on the Morris for the first time in over 20 years!

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Really we wanted to just run over there and check it out but we tapped on the door and greeted BA with the flowers and a huge thank you. She walked us over and allowed us free reign at the car whilst she went back in the house. It all felt very surreal. Seeing git in the flesh again. We were running all over it, things I had forgot all about came flooding back and being an adult now I could work out how my dad done certain parts. Searching all around at it it had all the traits of my dad. It had never really been tampered with, all I could see was a mobile phone holder had been attached on the inside and that was about it. Sure there was a lot more rust now, the paint work was faded, primered, peeling etc.. A lot of the body filler had shrunk but what is there is all true to form. It had never even been vandalised, no dents, no broken windows.. Anyway, il let the photos do the talking.

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Through out all of this my brother and I were like 2 little boys in a sweet shop. Congratulating each other in all the effort we had put in. We had both been waiting for this for so long. Through out all of this I think the lady, BA must have been watching as she came out about 20 mins later. She said she could see how important this car was to us, how we would be the best people to take it on now and that we could have it.... For free!. Once more my brother and I were speechless, we only thought we were going to see it, not actually get to own it. As we were leaving we took the bonnet mascot which was a knight chess piece as a little memento of the day.

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On the way home we couldn't shut up, making plans for picking it up ASAP but mostly about how me managed it, and without the help from the first guy. My brother got on the phone to his mate to borrow his beaver tail pick up van to collect it. His dad said he would come through on the Tuesday to pick it up for us. I managed to get time off work and then on Tuesday around 1pm we set off.

I was the first Barlas to 'drive' it for a long long time.

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All tied on and ready to go. The old guy that helped us pick it up was in a bit of a rush so my brother had to go with him as it was getting dropped off at his. I stayed behind and had a coffee with BA and a chat. My brothers and I had also put some cash in an envelope for her. It was very nice of her to give us the Morris a s a gift but we were brought up to work hard for stuff you really want and she deserved it, Wonderful woman.

By the time I got back to my brothers the Morris had been dropped off and the old boy left already, heh. It was amazing turning the corner and seeing it on a road setting, almost as if it never left.

We managed to get it up on to his drive using my Lexus, towing it up backwards and setting it in its place. We talked about the best way to surprise our dad. This was the Tuesday and we knew the best time would be Saturday as the whole family could be there. Really we wanted it to be ASAP as the excitement was overwhelming but alas, we waited. We came up with a plan to mount the knight on a plinth of wood and put it in a box and give it as a gift to Dad. We knew that as soon as he saw it he would know it was from the Morris.

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On the Saturday I went around a bit earlier as my brother was working and the Nephews and I gave the car a quick clean up. Wanted to remove all the moss and algae that had formed on it.

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My brother arrived home and then my other brother came over too. We all sat down in the livingroom checking out the window for the arrival of my mum and dad who thought we were all just meeting up for a coffee and a blether. When they arrived, well, we filmed it so I'll put the youtube link up here.

https://youtu.be/dLkVbPk1ZhM

For years my dad thought he would never see this car again. I think my dads coping strategy about things like this is to just think the worst, that way you wont be disappointed. He was sure it had been scrapped or banger raced or something, he never ever thought id would be back in the Barlas family and BAM! Here it is dad, its still here. Not only that but its never been messed with, its just as original as when you had it. I cant think of a better family for it either, between my brothers and I this car will one day be back to its former glory. We all have good bond between us and we all have a very similar direction for this car.
For the time being the car will be secured at my brothers until he builds a new double garage at the bottom of the garden which will take a couple of years at least. Which is good, you know, atleast we have it back. Its back with us and we can plan the restoration and modifications now whilst I get on with completing my van project. My brothers excited to learn new skills and were both excited to work on our dream car.

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This is for you dad, your car that you built over all these years and then had to regrettably sell has came home and I know that one day it will be back to as perfect as you had it.

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stevey
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Re: Dont ever give up on finding your old morris :)

Postby stevey » Mon Aug 28, 2017 3:03 pm

What a story!!!! Well done in persevering for so long. A great project. :D


firedrake1942
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Re: Dont ever give up on finding your old morris :)

Postby firedrake1942 » Mon Aug 28, 2017 3:05 pm

One for Minor matters!

amgrave
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Re: Dont ever give up on finding your old morris :)

Postby amgrave » Mon Aug 28, 2017 7:17 pm

Looks like your dad did quite a lot to it over the years, bet he was well chuffed to see it again and brought back a lot of memories to him by the look on his face :wink: :D


SteveClem
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Re: Dont ever give up on finding your old morris :)

Postby SteveClem » Mon Aug 28, 2017 7:56 pm

Wonderful story. Well done! :D

les
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Re: Dont ever give up on finding your old morris :)

Postby les » Mon Aug 28, 2017 9:33 pm

Detective Barlas, you finally got your man! :D


greendefender123
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Re: Dont ever give up on finding your old morris :)

Postby greendefender123 » Mon Aug 28, 2017 10:32 pm

How lovely. Non car people would never understand.

olderisbetter
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Re: Dont ever give up on finding your old morris :)

Postby olderisbetter » Tue Aug 29, 2017 7:37 pm

Such a good thing to bring back the past in this way, All the best with bringing it back to life i used to love going to shows and seeing these cars from "boy" racers back in the day.


panky
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Re: Dont ever give up on finding your old morris :)

Postby panky » Wed Aug 30, 2017 10:16 pm

Fantastic what a great story. I know this will be top notch again soon - I've seen the work you've put into the Thames and a lot of your other projects on other forums.
Hopefully you didn't pick this one up with a twin wheeled monster trailer towed by a Fiat Punto :wink:
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dubman1959
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Re: Dont ever give up on finding your old morris :)

Postby dubman1959 » Sat Sep 02, 2017 12:21 pm

kevbarlas wrote:8 years ago i wrote a post up on this forum asking if anyone had ever seen my dads morris minor lately, the original thread is here

viewtopic.php?t=25725

I'll copy and paste it here for conveinance,

Hey,
Ive been trying to search for my dads old Morris minor he had ages ago. He spent years customising it but after a light front end crash my dad got diss-heartened and couldnt affored the garage anymore so he had to sell it and i think hes regreted it ever since. I'd love to know where it is now. It was sold in Edinburgh around 92 i believe, possibly later. It had a Corsair V4 engine and was painted miami blue with a silver roof although it may be purple now. Last time i saw it was in Edinburgh about 96-97 . Last time my dad knew where it was it was rumoured to be in liberton in Edinburgh somewhere. Ive tried driving around the streets there but cant see it.
Does anyone know where it is now?
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Great stuff guys, well done...

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I was just rummaging about my old computer and noticed this thread i made so i thought id update it with good news.

When my dad had to sell this car all those years ago. My brothers and I were way too young to do anything about it. I would have been 8 and my brothers 16 and 17. My memory of that time is a bit hazy but we all felt a huge connection to that car. So much so that I would continue to draw it and study it as I was growing up.
(don't know how old I was when I drew this, young though.)
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I would spend ages looking at the photo album my dad made and ask him questions about it. I truly believe my life would be completely different had it not been for this car. I like top think of it a bit as my genesis. It influenced me so much so that I knew I wanted a project of my own one day and well, here I am.
Still, as I was growing up. The thought of even just seeing this car again conjured up feelings of excitement, pride joy etc.. I always wanted to try and find it again. Back in 2009 I started to put a bit more effort into finding it. I had put up a few posts on Scottish Morris minors, rods'n'sods etc.. asking if anyone had seen it. I never had much luck. A few people said they remembered seeing it at a few car shows but that was about it. No actual new sightings. I also found out my Brother Ross had also done the same, asked a few people in the car scene and also put a few posts up.
We had heard rumours it was last seen in a field somewhere. An are called Gilmerton had been named so one day, I jumped in my trusty Fiat Punto and drove around looking for it with out much luck. Although, that was the day I spotted the Consul that I later bought so , like I said, with out this car I wouldn't really be here, doing what I love to do with out it.
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Another thing I tried was to write to the DVLA and try to get the address of the current registered keeper. Unfortunately/fortunately they don't just go handing out info like that to anyone. You need a reasonable excuse. Such as being involved in a crash with this car and it drove away, or its parked on your land. All I could come up with was that I had some important history that we found that should go with the car. The DVLA wrote back saying that wasn't good enough and that they weren't willing to give out any information.
At that point things just came to a plateau. Everynow and then I would crack open Google and search for it. Search the reg, type in 'custom Morris minor, Miami blue Morris minor, V4 Morris minor' and other things like that. Never got anywhere but still, I was hoping for one day something to happen.
Cut to Thursday, October 27th of this year. Just a normal day at work, get home, make my dinner then get ready for bed. Around 9:30 I noticed I had a friend request from one id never heard of before. I had just put up some stuff about the Bin lorry so I thought maybe it was someone asking about it. I accepted and went back to relaxing. 30 mins later I go back to my tablet, 'Oh, what's that, a message from that guy, wonder what it is' *click*

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HOLY CRAP!!!! That's the Morris! What... Where... Why... When .. I felt like I was having a melt down. I honestly couldn't believe it. There it is, I haven't seen any new photos of it for over 20 years and BAM, heres one right now. First thing I had to do was phone my brother, doesn't matter it was a bit late I just knew this had to be shared. I managed to get him on the phone and told him about the guy that had added me. My bro told me how he had had a friend request but didn't accept him as he didn't know him. I was like, "maaaaaan, heh, right check out what he was going to tell you". So I sent him over the photo and when he received it he was just as excited as me. We spoke about how crazy it was and that we need to buy it back , or at the very least find out where it is and try to see it.
I got off the phone and then messaged the guy back. (To save privacy I'm going to refer to all the people involved by there initials) AS was a really nice guy. He explained that he had seen the picture of the Morris on a North Lanarkshire secret car club page on Facebook and that it was for sale, for £500. He wasnt sure what kind of car it was so he googled the reg number and it had came up with all the posts my broither and I had posted on the various forums and he managed to find us on facebook. He then gave me the name of the seller, JR , and so I added him to my facebook as well as applying to join the secret car club page. I messaged him whilst waiting for his facebook request confirmation saying "Really interested in the Morris you have for sale, here's my phone number, let me know if its still available". I didn't want to give too much info away at first. My brother and I also agreed that I would do the dealing with him as Ross is quite busy with his 2 boys, work and home life and if its only one of us it might not come across too off putting.
The next again morning, after getting about 2 hours sleep I checked my facebook and JR had added me as a friend and had also replied. He said "il phone you at 12pm" . Brilliant I thought, I have contact. By this time I had also been accepted to the club page and I checked out the advert. There was a few other cars that were for sale by JR. A jeep, an Armstrong Sidley, a Volkswagen Rod and a beetle parts car. Every photo was pretty much just the car, no landmarks or anything.
I patiently waited until 12, literally counting down the minutes. Then it was 12:30, then it was 1pm, then it was 1:30pm and still nothing.... Mhm.. Maybe he's busy... Ok.. I really want this car... I think if I message him about how it was my dads he might take it more serious and will be cool about it. So I message him, I include a photo of me and my brother standing infront of it when I was about 2 or so.

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He eventually replies back in the afternoon, "wow, that was a long time ago. That price I put up on facebook isn't the real price, was just a starting point. I don't know how much the owner wants for it, I'm selling it for them" . Great I think..... dam... Now he's going to extortion me. He also says that the owner is hard to get a hold of and that's why he never phoned me back yet but when he does he will contact me. I leave it at that for the day and hope for good news in the morning.
Next again day and I thought id just send a wee reminder to him. He later phones me around 2pm. He just explained a bit more about the situation and that he has tried to get the owner on the phone with no luck so he was going to head over and see if he was in. In the mean time the Morris was all I could think of. I was looking at the photo of it a lot and the other cars trying to figure out anything about where they could be. For the rest of that first week I heard nothing. Whenever I phoned it was just the same answer. The owners hard to get a hold of. I even asked if I could have the owners number and deal directly with them but he wasn't really willing to give me that information.
By the Friday I got a message from another guy I know through the car clubs, AL . I phoned AL up and he told me he had heard my dads car was for sale. I told him thanks but I kinda knew already and I'm currently dealing with the guy whose selling it for the owner. He then pipes up that he has the phone number for the owner!!. Brilliant, after the week I've had trying to get information, here's the contact info for the actual owner. Sure enough, the phone number he gives me is different but he doesn't have a name for the guy. Anxiously I phone up "Hello", "Hi, erm, are you the guy with all the cars for sale?" I asked. "Nah, I think you have the wrong number" he said. "Oh, eh, ok" I replied. "Well.......actually...what car is it your asking about ?" he then asks. "Its the blue Morris minor" I said. "Ohright , yeah I know that one. I think you are actually dealing with my son , JR, about it already" . UUUGGGHHHHHhhhhhh, as it turns out that the number I got was for JR's dad. He then went on to explain that his son is selling them on behalf of his friend but there's a bit of complications about it all. Its not going to be a quick sale or anything and for me to be patient.
Through out the following couple of weeks my brother and I were feeling really frustrated. You know, when you want to sell a car you advertise it, someone comes round, they buy it and the deals done. This just felt odd, Here's a car I'm advertising for sale but I cant actually sell it yet.. Why bother advertising it. As JR and JR's dad were my only point of contact though I felt kinda trapped and had to jump through their hoops to get what I wanted. I thought maybe they hadn't all came to an agreement about how much each person involved would get from the sale so I even said to JR on the phone "If you can get it for this weekend for the £500 you first said I will give you £200, no question." When that failed to stir up any extra enthusiasm from him I started to really think it was going a bit strange.
I started to do a little detective work, looked through a lot of his friends and photos on facebook to pinpoint some kind of connection with the one brickwall of the house I could see in the photos or any of the other cars. Never really got very far with that direction though. I also tried ebay, gumtree and google for any more info on any of the other cars being for sale somewhere else.
I remember trying to contact him at the beginning of week 3 and he never answered, tried his dad again, no answer so I sent a txt and got no reply. I really didn't want to give up so I kept trying every second day until the Saturday when JR answered. I said "hey man, its the guy about the Morris, just wondering how its going?". "Oh eh.... il get my dad (laughing) Hey dad, its the guy about the Morris...-mumble mumble- He says he's just got out the shower and to give it 5 minutes." then he hung up. I waited 5 mins, 10 mins, 15 mins. Ok, maybe he meant I was to phone him back. I rang his phone and surprise surprise, no answer. This was my turning point. For a few hours I thought that that was it. No more contact from these guys I might aswell just let it go.

*In between all of this during those weeks, my brother and I had been talking about the car non stop to each other, pretty much atleast once a day one of us would phone the other. How amazing it would be to finally have it back. What we would do with I, how it should be restored and all. Had a really good chat one night down the pub, as we were getting more and more drunk it was like we had actually had it already. *

Then I snapped out of it. No, My brother and I want this Morris and we have came so close now we cant stop. MY brother and I spoke about ways of finding out where the car is. Looking at the photos there is a tall ish building, no real features to it though. My sister in law sent that to a guy she knows in Airdrie but they couldn't pin point it exactly. We thought of driving through and just trying to find it in person but North Lanarkshire is just under 300 square miles. What we needed was something like a helicopter or a bird. With out those at hand we done the next best thing, Google maps. I knew it was some kind of farm land, north Lanarkshire and there was 5 cars on the bit of land which is in a hilly kind of area.
I started with the area JR lived. Basically I found what looked like a farm, zoomed in, looked for clues to it being the farm, then zoomed back out, moved to the next farm, zoomed in, zoomed out, repeat, repeat, repeat. My brother and sister in law were also doing the same in their spare time. I done this for hours and hours, must have been something like 20-25 hours and I couldn't find it. I started to dread that maybe the google map photos were too out of date or something. I had went all over Airdrie, Bells hill, Motherwell, etc... I was starting to lose track of what areas id covered so I check out on Google the boundary line of North Lanarkshire. Doing so led me to a few areas I hadn't tried yet and then finally.... There it was.. I had found it!.
EEEEEEeeeeeeekkkkk!!!, there it is, I can see the Morris and the other cars surrounding it. That's exactly where it is right now and I know. I phoned my brother back up again and told him I had found it. He was equally as happy as I was and so the next question was "Ok, how do we actually contact the owner now" . Googling the farm name gave us a business name and that they owned the other farm down the road from it.I tried to facebook them but couldn't find anything. I think this was the Monday night I had found it, almost 5 weeks from seeing the first photo. My brother and I spoke about going along on the weekend, just driving up and seeing if anyone was in. Then I thought it might be best to send a letter first, try to make contact where we can get our side of the story over better. I wrote the letter on the Tuesday after work and posted it on Wednesday.
Thursday rolled in and I was kinda anticipating a phone call so I kept my phone on me all day at full volume in my top pocket. Nothing much was happening until around 3pm I got a phone call from an unknown number. Nervously, I answered the phone "Hello..", They then went on to say in my edited version" HI, this is ** , I got your letter in the post, were from the other farm and I just wanted to tell you that we don't actually own that other farm anymore, I don't even know who owns it now, sorry I cant help but I wish you luck and if I can help in any way let me know". Not quite the answer I wanted but atleast I know they don't own it anymore. I never received another phone call that day.... Dam.
On Friday afternoon I spoke with my bro again, just to confirm that going though on Saturday was still happening. We both agreed to and hoped that someone would be in. If no one was there then we could kinda trespass a little and check the Morris out anyway. I got home from work, relaxed, made my dinner and started watching TV. Around 7:30, my phone rang. Another new number. Again, I anxiously answered the phone. "hello...." , "hello, is that Kevin? I got your letter about the Morris minor on the farm here" . My heart skipped a beat and my voice went squeaky high. I'm actually speaking to the owner now. She went on to explain how she was busy the night before and never got home until 10pm and this was her just getting free time now.
The Morris used to belong to her partner who very sadly had died in a fire earlier this year in the garage at the farm. He had kept it for the last 18 years and she said he would never have parted with it. She was still trying to sort out a lot of the repair work on the house, the death of her partner and stuff and hadn't got round to selling anything yet. I don't know exactly how JR knew of these cars so I'm just going to say nothing about them and forget them for the rest of the story as I don't want to speculate but I did inform her. She was very touched by the letter and said I was welcome to come around anytime and look at the Morris but wasn't sure when it would be for sale. My little squeaky voice managed " Can we come over tomorrow please???" to which she replied yes. So, I was able to phone my brother up and after 5-6 weeks of all of this gong on, tell him that I had made contact with the owner and we can infact, with permission, go see it on Saturday now.
I couldn't sleep all night, I was so excited. On Saturday I went and picked my brother up from work and we drove over to her house. On arrival, I had bought her bunch of flowers to say thankyou then we got to the house and we laid eyes our eyes on the Morris for the first time in over 20 years!

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Really we wanted to just run over there and check it out but we tapped on the door and greeted BA with the flowers and a huge thank you. She walked us over and allowed us free reign at the car whilst she went back in the house. It all felt very surreal. Seeing git in the flesh again. We were running all over it, things I had forgot all about came flooding back and being an adult now I could work out how my dad done certain parts. Searching all around at it it had all the traits of my dad. It had never really been tampered with, all I could see was a mobile phone holder had been attached on the inside and that was about it. Sure there was a lot more rust now, the paint work was faded, primered, peeling etc.. A lot of the body filler had shrunk but what is there is all true to form. It had never even been vandalised, no dents, no broken windows.. Anyway, il let the photos do the talking.

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Through out all of this my brother and I were like 2 little boys in a sweet shop. Congratulating each other in all the effort we had put in. We had both been waiting for this for so long. Through out all of this I think the lady, BA must have been watching as she came out about 20 mins later. She said she could see how important this car was to us, how we would be the best people to take it on now and that we could have it.... For free!. Once more my brother and I were speechless, we only thought we were going to see it, not actually get to own it. As we were leaving we took the bonnet mascot which was a knight chess piece as a little memento of the day.

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On the way home we couldn't shut up, making plans for picking it up ASAP but mostly about how me managed it, and without the help from the first guy. My brother got on the phone to his mate to borrow his beaver tail pick up van to collect it. His dad said he would come through on the Tuesday to pick it up for us. I managed to get time off work and then on Tuesday around 1pm we set off.

I was the first Barlas to 'drive' it for a long long time.

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All tied on and ready to go. The old guy that helped us pick it up was in a bit of a rush so my brother had to go with him as it was getting dropped off at his. I stayed behind and had a coffee with BA and a chat. My brothers and I had also put some cash in an envelope for her. It was very nice of her to give us the Morris a s a gift but we were brought up to work hard for stuff you really want and she deserved it, Wonderful woman.

By the time I got back to my brothers the Morris had been dropped off and the old boy left already, heh. It was amazing turning the corner and seeing it on a road setting, almost as if it never left.

We managed to get it up on to his drive using my Lexus, towing it up backwards and setting it in its place. We talked about the best way to surprise our dad. This was the Tuesday and we knew the best time would be Saturday as the whole family could be there. Really we wanted it to be ASAP as the excitement was overwhelming but alas, we waited. We came up with a plan to mount the knight on a plinth of wood and put it in a box and give it as a gift to Dad. We knew that as soon as he saw it he would know it was from the Morris.

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On the Saturday I went around a bit earlier as my brother was working and the Nephews and I gave the car a quick clean up. Wanted to remove all the moss and algae that had formed on it.

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My brother arrived home and then my other brother came over too. We all sat down in the livingroom checking out the window for the arrival of my mum and dad who thought we were all just meeting up for a coffee and a blether. When they arrived, well, we filmed it so I'll put the youtube link up here.

https://youtu.be/dLkVbPk1ZhM

For years my dad thought he would never see this car again. I think my dads coping strategy about things like this is to just think the worst, that way you wont be disappointed. He was sure it had been scrapped or banger raced or something, he never ever thought id would be back in the Barlas family and BAM! Here it is dad, its still here. Not only that but its never been messed with, its just as original as when you had it. I cant think of a better family for it either, between my brothers and I this car will one day be back to its former glory. We all have good bond between us and we all have a very similar direction for this car.
For the time being the car will be secured at my brothers until he builds a new double garage at the bottom of the garden which will take a couple of years at least. Which is good, you know, atleast we have it back. Its back with us and we can plan the restoration and modifications now whilst I get on with completing my van project. My brothers excited to learn new skills and were both excited to work on our dream car.

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This is for you dad, your car that you built over all these years and then had to regrettably sell has came home and I know that one day it will be back to as perfect as you had it.

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