Not enough spark….

You know those days when you just want to get in your car and drive somewhere without anything going wrong? Those days in modern cars are often, and are often taken for granted…. When you own a classic, each problem free day is to be cherished and your car needs to be coaxed, applauded and made to feel cherished in order for these days to continue.

Friday morning was not one of these days, it took about 15 mins to start Betty and she just had a lacklustre mood. 

I thought she may be a little sick so I took her to the mechanics 

  
The guys at Passion for Classics in Malaga are fantastic and really understand old cars. Tony took one look and realised that she wasn’t getting any spark…

   
   
A new coil and Betty was back to her usual self, happy to cruise for the rest of the weekend!

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Cars 4 Kids

We were quite proud of Betty – she was chosen to be displayed at a Cars 4 Kids charity event in  Perth last Monday. The aim was to provide a venue for very ill children to get up and close with all sorts of cars.

It was a great day and we were in good company. Betty was the oldest car by far and was certainly the cheapest there…we were in good company with some Lamborghinis and Ferraris….

It was a great experience to let the kids be involved and see cars that they usually would not be able to see.

  
  
   
    
    
    
  
 

‘That was my first car!!’

On Sunday I was driving Betty down the road near my house, and a top of the range Mercedes Coupe, brand new, worth over $200,000 pulls up alongside me at the traffic lights and lowers the window. An older guy, in his 60’s shouts out with a British accent “That was my first car” – “Amazing”. The smile on the guys face, obviously bringing back memories of when he had a Morris Oxford was priceless.

You could tell the fond admiration for the car, and that he was genuinely happy to have a reminder of his past.

He was very interested in where I bought it from and all the usual info, but my that time the lights had changed, he had sped off in his new car! leaving history in his rear mirror….

These types of instances, where people are reminded of the past are why I enjoy having classic cars. If only for a few moments, time has transported these people back to a better day!

Why I Bother With Old Cars

Quite often, people who just don’t get it, ask me…Why do you bother keeping these old cars? They are rusting, they smell of old oil and petrol, and they cost alot of money to keep on the road.

For some people, of which I am one, there is far more to it. It is about preserving, and holding on to the times gone by. Trying to make sure that there is something from those times left, for other people to enjoy, admire and experience.

The best experience of the last few months, was my 6 year old niece, saw Betty for the first time, and was enchanted to say the least! She HAD to climb on the bonnet, climb onto the roof, had to sit in the drivers seat and look at all the parts of the car….It was something that she had never seen before.

We went for a drive, and she was in the front seat, and just loved it. Comments like, this is so much fun, it smells all ‘greasy’, it make alot of noise compared to mummy’s car were all parts of the education.

There is something about older cars that all people enjoy.

Of the 88,000 odd thousand of the Morris Oxfords produced, I am not sure how many are left, but in Perth, WA there couldn’t be more that 5 or 10 maximum. Mine is the only one I have seen in the last 2 years.

My guess, is this is what the rest ended up like:

Original Morris Oxford Specs

Morris Oxford Series V specification

Produced: Cowley, 1959-61, 87,432 cars built. Distinguishing features from previous model: Entirely different car compared with earlier Nuffield-styled Oxford Series III, bearing family resemblance to other related Farina models.

General layout: Unit-construction, pressed-steel body-chassis structure, in 4-seater, 4-door saloon car style. Front-mounted engine driving rear wheels.

Engine and transmission: BMC B-Series engine, 4-cylinder, ohv, in-line 1,489cc, 73.02 x 88.9mm, 52bhp at 4,350rpm; 82lb ft at 2,100rpm; 4-speed gearbox, no synchromesh on 1st gear; centre-floor gear-change or steering-column change; live (beam) rear axle with hypoid-bevel final drive.

Chassis: Independent front suspension, coil springs and wishbones. Cam-and-lever steering. Rear suspension by half-elliptic leaf springs. Front and rear drum brakes. 5.90-14in tyres.

Dimensions: Wheelbase 8ft 3.25in; front track 4ft 0.87in; rear track 4ft 1.87in; length 14ft 10in; width 5ft 3.5in; height 4ft 11.75in. Unladen weight (approx) 2,473lb.

Typical performance: Maximum speed 78mph; 0-60mph 23.6sec; standing 1/4-mile 22.5sec: overall fuel consumption 28mpg.

Launch Price: £816

Derivatives: Estate car (Traveller) from late 1960. The Oxford Series VI of 1961 was a further developed version of the Oxford Series V. All other B-Series ‘Farinas’ were closely related.

Fate: Discontinued in 1961 in favour of the updated Series VI model.

1960 Series 5 Morris Oxford