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Story of a Swedish Moggie, 2 door 1959 (with videos)

Posted: Sun Sep 01, 2019 9:07 pm
by Belmont
Hello everyone!

Since I'm still new to these forums , I thought it would be a good idea to get started by telling the story of our car. We've only had her for a short while but we've grown very fond of her and had a few memorable adventures this summer. We've named her "Duchess". :)

The car in question is a 1959 Morris Minor 1000 2 door saloon, sold in Sweden and thus LHD. It is my wife's car (I've previously been more of a "Volvo guy" but my wife has always liked Moggies) and we bought her from an elderly man in the south of Sweden in preparation for the summer of this year. I think the story behind the car is quite interesting so I'll tell it below.

Story of the car:
Duchess was in very poor condition when the previous owner bought her from a friend in the mid 80's, apparently it was a spur of the moment kind of deal -he'd never seen the car and the transaction took place during a Midsummers Eve celebration... The next day they drove out to look at the car, which was parked in a field and had started to grow over, and he realized that it would be a big project. Being a man of his word he didn't want to back out of the deal.

The first challenge was moving the car from the field. I don't know how long she sat there but I was told that the engine had seized at that time. With patience, a lot of penetrating oil and some mild persuasion they did get the engine to spin freely and could tow her from the field with a tractor.

At that time the previous owner worked at a well-known manufacturer of baby carriers here in Sweden and he used that to his advantage by, for example, having some workmates do the paint and also the chrome after hours at the factory! The restoration took several years and the owner himself did most of the mechanical and bodywork. Repairs included -all new brakes, replacement of much of the floor panels and the central cross member, a full respray etc. A lot of years has passed since then and while the car is still in a nice condition, she is by no means flawless.

After finishing the car the man drove her quite sparingly, probably only 100 miles/year or so. When we bought her he'd been successively reducing fleet of vehicles over the last few years, but had kept Duchess as long as he did since she was his first serious restoration project (at least the first car he did, he started with motorcycles).

What we've been up to this far (short version):
The drive back home (60 miles or so) went without a hitch and was followed up by a general mechanical overview and service. I had a few issues with the voltage regulator early on that were solved and we've since then managed to participate in two classic car rallies and a vacation totaling about 1500 miles. :)

In parallel with all of this we also started a YouTube channel where we do retro-themed videos, frequently featuring Duchess. I'm by no means an experienced mechanic but I try to learn as much as possible and do all the work on the car myself (with a helping hand from my wife and father-in-law). I try to document a lot of the work in videos as well.
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In closing, my intention with this thread is to document ongoing mechanical and cosmetic work on the car and share some of the other adventures as well! Over time I will add some links to relevant videos where I work on the car.

Lastly I'll attach a few pictures taken during the summer on trips etc.

Thanks for reading and any feedback!

Re: Story of a Swedish Moggie, 2 door 1959 (with videos)

Posted: Sun Sep 01, 2019 10:50 pm
by myoldjalopy
Very sweet little car! 8)

Re: Story of a Swedish Moggie, 2 door 1959 (with videos)

Posted: Mon Sep 02, 2019 6:45 am
by Murrayminor
Lovely looking car, keep us updated.
Is there a link to your video's?

Re: Story of a Swedish Moggie, 2 door 1959 (with videos)

Posted: Mon Sep 02, 2019 10:03 am
by Belmont
Thank you both!

I will add links to videos as we go along, starting here :)

About the video:
This video shows me replacing the water pump. My wife and I had planned to drive in a 70 mile classic car rally a few weeks ago. We had a bit of bad luck when I discovered a bad grinding noise and a lot of play in the water pump bearing less than a week before the event. I managed to get the pump delivered in time and replace it with a couple of days to spare.

We also have a few other videos featuring Duchess on the channel, some are however in Swedish, but I have decided to make future videos understandable to an English audience.

Link here:
Replacing water pump on Morris Minor

Re: Story of a Swedish Moggie, 2 door 1959 (with videos)

Posted: Mon Sep 02, 2019 2:43 pm
by Murrayminor
I have just noticed yourr bonnet is different as it doesn't have the "slam handle" was this deleted on export models?

Re: Story of a Swedish Moggie, 2 door 1959 (with videos)

Posted: Mon Sep 02, 2019 3:00 pm
by Belmont
Yes I think those types of protruding hood ornaments were outlawed here in the 50's for safety reasons. I think your version looks nicer so it's a bit of a pity.

Classic Car Rally

Posted: Sat Sep 07, 2019 9:30 pm
by Belmont
Thought I would do a general update.

As I mentioned above we were preparing for a classic car rally when the water pump broke. The event is called the "Helga Lake Rally", 100 cars and motorcycles took part -the oldest one being a Ford Model T Lorry from 1911, and the youngest a Volvo 740 from 1989 (minimum 30 years old required to enter). This was the 44:th annual installment, so it is a well established event here! The weather was great and Duchess purred like a kitten all the way. We also managed to win the award for the best period clothing, which was really fun! I will attach some pictures from the rally and also a link to a video I recorded during the event. :)

Video link:
The Helga Lake Rally video

Installing door mirrors (lucas style)

Posted: Fri Sep 20, 2019 4:54 pm
by Belmont
Time for a new update!

I finally took the time to install door mirrors last week, but not after trying my luck in dense city traffic a few weeks ago... The mirrors were ordered a few months back but I guess I didn't miss them on country roads so I didn't bother.

The job was easy enough, except for some fiddling with the nuts and washers inside the door frame which was a bit tedious.

I've made a video showing the installation: Installing door mirrors

P.S.
We're going to a drive-in movie theater this night as one of the last trips before it's time for Duchess to have her winter rest. : )
Looking forward to it!

Re: Story of a Swedish Moggie, 2 door 1959 (with videos)

Posted: Fri Sep 20, 2019 5:11 pm
by geoberni
:D :D :D
I could so see that you were fitting the wrong mirror when you first held it in place at 2:24. I'm saying "Nooooooo" as you tightened the nut... :D :D
Nice job though :)

I've just fitted those same style to replace my wing mirrors. They're not as high a spec mounting, the old wing mirrors were on sprung mountings, but they were also flat glass so completely useless! The Convex mirrors are a vast improvement.

Re: Story of a Swedish Moggie, 2 door 1959 (with videos)

Posted: Fri Sep 20, 2019 5:15 pm
by ManyMinors
Excellent. They are good mirrors. I have them on mine. The job is easier still if you firstly shorten the threaded stud to the required length, undo the nut to clean the remaining thread up and then fit the mirror to the triangle before opening it up a little and fitting it back onto the car and doing the screws up.

Re: Story of a Swedish Moggie, 2 door 1959 (with videos)

Posted: Sat Sep 21, 2019 6:50 am
by Belmont
@geoberni:
Haha, yes I was sure that I checked which side they should go on but I clearly got them mixed up... And fiddling with the nut and washer took about, hmm say 30 minutes in reality! I was very frustrated.... Dropped the spring washer at least 20 times... But it felt very nice when it was done!

@ManyMinors:
Great tip! Thought about doing something along those lines (or disassembling the window frame) but I was a bit scared that I would damage something that way.

Re: Story of a Swedish Moggie, 2 door 1959 (with videos)

Posted: Sat Sep 21, 2019 5:49 pm
by cococola
Fabulous pictures and story. :D

Re: Story of a Swedish Moggie, 2 door 1959 (with videos)

Posted: Thu Sep 26, 2019 4:43 pm
by Belmont
Thank you cococola! =)

Car crash

Posted: Sun Oct 13, 2019 11:45 am
by Belmont
So it's been a while since I did an update. To make a long story short, we sadly crashed our poor car. We were lucky though so no-one got injured and the damage to the car is actually relatively limited.

The crash happened when I made a left turn on a country road and the car behind didn't see me brake lights or indicators I think. As far as I can tell the left front wing, fender and wheel took all the damage. After switching to our spare wheel we could actually drive home, although very slowly.

I will post a few pictures showing the damage and will also ask some questions along the way:
Crash.jpg
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Here you see the damage right after the crash. The left front rim had to be replaced before driving away. Luckily the door only got some light paint damage. Honestly I thought the damage would be a lot worse, I think we got hit at a very shallow angle but the speed must have been abot 40-50 mph.
Bent bumper spring.jpg
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The bumper blade and valance got completely shot, but I am thinking about saving the mounting spring. Do you think it is possible to straighten it?
Bent bumper spring 2.jpg
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Another angle of the bend. Would it be possible to correct?
Tie bar 1.jpg
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While driving home I noted that the steering wheel had moved slightly off-center. Found that the tie bar bushing was torn apart and the bar was pushed forward through its mounting bracket a bit. Could this be the reason the steering is slightly off, or should I expect more damage?
Tie bar 2.jpg
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Replace the bushing and then it should be fine?

I would be very thankful for any advice on the reparations, have been getting started last week. It took a while because my motivation took a hit (pun intended) after the accident.

Re: Story of a Swedish Moggie, 2 door 1959 (with videos)

Posted: Sun Oct 13, 2019 1:20 pm
by geoberni
So sorry to hear your news, but it could have been much worse for you both and the car, so something to be grateful for.
As you say, the damage doesn't look too bad, so I'll leave it to people with much more experience them I have to offer advice.

You said you didn't think the car behind realised you were turning. It took me a while to get a rear view of your car, but I wonder what indicators you have?
Are you still using the Trafficators with a non flashing Amber lamp? What were the lighting specifications for Sweden in 1959?

Many owners in the UK have changed their indicators over the years, to have flashing amber indicators on the rear. There are several different ways to do it.

You can get a flashing Amber LED lamp to replace the trafficator steady lamp: http://www.dynamoregulatorconversions.c ... -bulbs.php
Many cars have separate amber lights added
DSCF8101 (2).JPG
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if you search the forum you will find plenty of topics about indicators and Trafficators.

Perhaps you can make some changes, depending on what the rules are in Sweden. Over here, technically if you make improvements to an old vehicle you have to make them in accordance with the latest regulations, but in reality if you make changes to something newer than the car build date, but not the latest standard.... it would have to be proven when the changes were made to say they were illegal. :wink:

Re: Story of a Swedish Moggie, 2 door 1959 (with videos)

Posted: Sun Oct 13, 2019 1:33 pm
by Belmont
Thanks for your reply! Yes we were very lucky. I have never been in a car accident before so it felt very unreal.

Trafficators are very uncommon in Sweden, I think they stopped being allowed sometime in the early 1950's if I would guess. My indicators are built into the rear lights. When the crash happened the sun was starting to set, so it was at a low angle. I think that in combination with the indicators being relatively dim contributed to the accident. I have been thinking of doing some kind of LED upgrade (while keeping to the original look as much as possible).

Re: Story of a Swedish Moggie, 2 door 1959 (with videos)

Posted: Sun Oct 13, 2019 2:07 pm
by geoberni
Ahh... so you have the system that was introduced here in the UK in 1961, with the flashing brake light?

The rear lights units you have were on cars from 56-63, but here in the UK they kept the separate Trafficators until 61, before introducing the combined Red and Amber Rear light Unit in 63.

You will find a good explanation of all the different combinations here: http://potteries.mmoc.org.uk/ID/Lights.htm

My Basil is a '55, but at some time was changed to the system you have, and after that changed to have separate amber indicators. But I've also restored the trafficators and fitted them with flashing LEDs, so I've got multiple indicators for people to see. :)

Re: Story of a Swedish Moggie, 2 door 1959 (with videos)

Posted: Sun Oct 13, 2019 4:59 pm
by philthehill
Sorry to hear of your misfortune.

The damage with the tie bar can cause the steering/steering wheel to go out of true.

I would recommend that you replace the tie rod, tie rod bushes and the tie rod bush retaining washers.

Check for any distortion of the chassis leg around the front suspension eye bolt.

Looking at your photos there does not appear to be any serious damage but I would also recommend that you get the steering geometry professionally checked.

Re: Story of a Swedish Moggie, 2 door 1959 (with videos)

Posted: Sun Oct 13, 2019 5:23 pm
by Apolaustic
I’m sorry too, but glad that no-one was hurt. I hope that the damage is as limited as it seems to be, and that you are soon all back on the road. I enjoy your posts and videos, and I look forward to more tales and pictures of your happy adventures.

Re: Story of a Swedish Moggie, 2 door 1959 (with videos)

Posted: Mon Oct 14, 2019 4:31 pm
by Edward1949
Apolaustic wrote:
Sun Oct 13, 2019 5:23 pm
I’m sorry too, but glad that no-one was hurt. I hope that the damage is as limited as it seems to be, and that you are soon all back on the road. I enjoy your posts and videos, and I look forward to more tales and pictures of your happy adventures.
Same here - very sorry about the accident and please keep the posts coming.
A question: I've always wondered if Minors exported to countries with exceptionally cold winters (Scandinavian area, Canada etc) were equipped with special starting aids such as carburettor heaters ? Also, the original heater for the passengers was only just sufficient in the UK, did you have a more powerful "export" heater ?