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Morris Minor 1949 - Canberra barnfind


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#1 275 GTB-4

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Posted 01 November 2011 - 20:39

62 year old Morris Minor Lowlight 2 door 1949, with twin 1 1/8’’ carbs, sports coil etc plus Kleinig Head.

Enjoy :)

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Edited by 275 GTB-4, 01 November 2011 - 20:43.


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#2 GMACKIE

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 01:16

Welcome back, Mick.

What a great little Minor. That Kleinig head would be rarer than a Mazengarb, wouldn't it?

#3 Dick Willis

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 02:28

What a beauty, just like the first car I ever had.

#4 johnny yuma

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 04:35


I can see now why we have such restrictive legislation on modifying production cars ! How did people survive with
outrageous hotted-up death traps prowling the cities and suburbs !! :eek:

#5 275 GTB-4

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 05:39

Welcome back, Mick.

What a great little Minor. That Kleinig head would be rarer than a Mazengarb, wouldn't it?


Thanks Greg...have I been somewhere? I will check my credit card statements for airline tickets etc :wave:

Haven't done any research yet....still fascinated by the pent-roof shaped combustion chamber....

My folks had a lowlight convertible in the 1950s..seeing this one, literally brought back childhood memories!

I was genuinly astounded at all the "performance" mods...must get the rego details and find out if it competed somewhere..

Now...what to do with it? if it comes into my keeping :confused:

#6 Ray Bell

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 08:42

If you're fascinated by that combustion chamber, you've never looked at many flathead engines!

Maybe Clive Gibson knows something about it?

#7 eldougo

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 09:05

I had a standard Morris Minor ,black in color until i got hit at a stop sign i had stopped then got hit and rolled over.SAD ending to my first car,it happened in the Entrance.

#8 Jacer

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 09:39

If you're fascinated by that combustion chamber, you've never looked at many flathead engines!

Maybe Clive Gibson knows something about it?

Spoke to Frank this afternoon. He said that he used machine those heads as an 11 yr old on his way home from school as a way of getting out of homework!

#9 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 09:45

I can see now why we have such restrictive legislation on modifying production cars ! How did people survive with
outrageous hotted-up death traps prowling the cities and suburbs !! :eek:

It makes Australias own look sophisticated in comparison.
Though seemingly lots of Moggys seem to have survived.
A mate is paying with one of those with 120Y with Auto power
And a friends 17y/o son is playing with a late model Minor traytop.
There was quite a few on the Bay To Birdwood recently, some were probably too old.

#10 Bloggsworth

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 10:04

Love the craquelure on the paintwork - should be in an art gallery.

#11 D-Type

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 14:37

I've not seen the term 'Lowlight' used before in Moggie Minor context (but then I'm not really into Minors). What does it mean? I know of the original side valve MM, the Series 2 with OHV 'A Series' engine from the A30 and the 1000 with the 948 and later 1275 'A' Series engines.

Edited by D-Type, 02 November 2011 - 14:43.


#12 fnqvmuch

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 14:50

I've not seen the term 'Lowlight' used before in Moggie Minor context (but then I'm not really into Minors). What does it mean? I know of the original side valve MM, the Series 2 with OHV 'A Series' engine from the A30 and the 1000 with the 948 and later 1275 'A' Series engines.

headlights down beside grill rather than up on top of mudguards. for US market regulations like bugeye sprite i wonder?
there were a couple more sizes too; 848 998 1075 spring to mind, but that's from my childhood ...

Edited by fnqvmuch, 02 November 2011 - 14:54.


#13 David McKinney

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 14:50

'Lowlight' MMs were the first design, with headlights mounted in the grille. Later models had them on the wings, above the grille (and are sometimes known as "highlight" Minors)

Edit: Pipped at the post :lol:

#14 D-Type

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 15:06

Thanx both.
I think the 848 and 998 'A' series were only in the Mini

#15 David McKinney

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 15:58

Yes, the original Morris Minor used the 918cc side-valve Morris Eight engine, which was replaced by the 803cc ohv from the Austin A30, and then the 948cc ohv when it became the Morris Minor 1000 (and the A30 became the A35)

#16 RTH

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 17:46

Yes, the original Morris Minor used the 918cc side-valve Morris Eight engine, which was replaced by the 803cc ohv from the Austin A30, and then the 948cc ohv when it became the Morris Minor 1000 (and the A30 became the A35)


Spot on David as usual.

In its final version ADO 59 from 1962 to the end in 1971 the engine capacity was 1098cc.. in the late 60s the Police bought vast numbers of the run out model and were used as panda cars, all painted turquoise and white ( this was by then a design more than 20 years old and not much good for chasing anyone,) certainly in the met area and no doubt across the country then to be replaced by the A1100/1300 2drs then in '73 the Allegro

Edited by RTH, 02 November 2011 - 17:57.


#17 Sharman

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 19:46

Spot on David as usual.

In its final version ADO 59 from 1962 to the end in 1971 the engine capacity was 1098cc.. in the late 60s the Police bought vast numbers of the run out model and were used as panda cars, all painted turquoise and white ( this was by then a design more than 20 years old and not much good for chasing anyone,) certainly in the met area and no doubt across the country then to be replaced by the A1100/1300 2drs then in '73 the Allegro


A Downton modified one was of great use for chasing people as was a Peter Kaye tweaked car. I can remember going at it with Barrie Williams on the roads of Cheshire after Oulton one day. there was a bit of spice in the mix in the shape of Lanfers in a Corvair.

The 918 sidevalve had a surprising amount of torque. we used to tow a Healey on a trailer with one until the Healey's owner's mother bought an 848 Mini and then we used that but that is another story.... :cool:

#18 275 GTB-4

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 21:18

Love the craquelure on the paintwork - should be in an art gallery.


Correct, I agree...thats what I thought and I know people associated with the Museum of Australia here in Canberra!

http://www.nma.gov.au/index.html

The other thing that immediately sprang to mind was...."lets start cutting it back and commence the resto right now!!"

Very tempted :)

PS Cowley Tally Plate:

Car Type MNR/S
Car Number SMM/ 32254

Edited by 275 GTB-4, 02 November 2011 - 21:25.


#19 Ray Bell

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 01:19

Originally posted by Sharman
.....The 918 sidevalve had a surprising amount of torque. we used to tow a Healey on a trailer with one until the Healey's owner's mother bought an 848 Mini and then we used that but that is another story....


Then 'number 3s' came into this, I'm quite sure!

Number 3 big end should have failed regularly, it would slip out of third gear without warrant too, I daresay.

Nobody in Australia would (surely?) have dared tow anything remotely like a Healey with such a car.

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#20 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 07:22

Thanx both.
I think the 848 and 998 'A' series were only in the Mini

The original was about 850 sidevalve and then the first OHV were about 850 too and then the ultimate, the big bloc 1000. Which I think was a long stroke 1000 unlike Minis which were short stroke.

#21 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 07:25

'Lowlight' MMs were the first design, with headlights mounted in the grille. Later models had them on the wings, above the grille (and are sometimes known as "highlight" Minors)

Edit: Pipped at the post :lol:

These days better known as lowlife Minors!

#22 Sharman

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 07:49

Then 'number 3s' came into this, I'm quite sure!

Number 3 big end should have failed regularly, it would slip out of third gear without warrant too, I daresay.

Nobody in Australia would (surely?) have dared tow anything remotely like a Healey with such a car.


Yup!! It felt like 3 days to cover the 120 miles between Cheshire and Silverstone. We had to leave VERY early to get there in time for scrutineering

Edited by Sharman, 03 November 2011 - 07:50.


#23 Allan Lupton

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 08:53

The original was about 850 sidevalve and then the first OHV were about 850 too and then the ultimate, the big bloc 1000. Which I think was a long stroke 1000 unlike Minis which were short stroke.

No, see post no 15.
918 like the E-type Morris 8, then 803 like the A30, 948 like the A35 and finally long-stroke 1098 as per MOWOG 1100s.

Edited by Allan Lupton, 03 November 2011 - 09:51.


#24 GeoffR

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 09:41

I remember back in the early '70s a guy I knew dropped a somewhat modded 1600 Ford cross flow engine into one, best thing that could ever happen to a Morrie Minor!

#25 275 GTB-4

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 09:51

I remember back in the early '70s a guy I knew dropped a somewhat modded 1600 Ford cross flow engine into one, best thing that could ever happen to a Morrie Minor!


the Black Ute at Ultimo Tech?? ;)

#26 Catalina Park

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 09:59

No, see post no 15.
918 like the E-type Morris 8, then 803 like the A30, 948 like the A35 and finally long-stroke 1098 as per MOWG 1100s.

Australia never got the 1098cc version of the Minor, the Australian arm of BMC did a big reorganisation and rationalization in 1961 when they merged the Austin and Morris dealerships and dropped a lot of poor selling and obsolete models. The Minor was dropped and so was the A40 Farina and a few other models.
Badge engineering was then kept to a minimum.


#27 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 10:01

I remember back in the early '70s a guy I knew dropped a somewhat modded 1600 Ford cross flow engine into one, best thing that could ever happen to a Morrie Minor!

And Holdens of all descriptions, and 1 with a 200 Falcon motor
Though B series BMC and Cortinas were alweays a favorite, as are these days Japanese A12s eg Datto 1200s


#28 GeoffR

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 10:15

the Black Ute at Ultimo Tech??;)

No, this was a mousey grey one at Mildura, at the time probably the 'hot car capital' (per capita) in Victoria.

#29 GeoffR

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 10:19

And Holdens of all descriptions, and 1 with a 200 Falcon motor. Though B series BMC and Cortinas were alweays a favorite, as are these days Japanese A12s eg Datto 1200s

Alway thought a six was a bit big for the Minor, the Ford four was a sweet fit. Would like to see one now with a Millington BDA & 6 speed sequential - ultimate Q car?!

#30 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 11:33

Alway thought a six was a bit big for the Minor, the Ford four was a sweet fit. Would like to see one now with a Millington BDA & 6 speed sequential - ultimate Q car?!

Hey there was good Holden powered Minors, average ones and bloody awfull. The best was a a lowlife with the grey motors front engine mount on the front bumper!! The radiator sort of had a cradle in front of that.Though basically hanging on the hoses. And it was around for several months!
All those expensive Cortina and MGB motor were far too expensive compared with a grey, and had less power.
In the 70s there was Holden powered Minors, Anglias, Cortinas, Heralds, Simcas. Because they were dirt cheap and went quite well.

#31 RTH

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 12:00

Anyone remember the late Mike Bennion from 45 years ago at Silverstone. As I remember this early type MM model had a 6.2 Chevrolet V8

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These really were the day of exciting spectacular and varied special saloon car racing with cat and mouse duels and dramatic blow ups

Truly great days.

Edited by RTH, 03 November 2011 - 12:55.


#32 RCH

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 12:43

I believe there is a firm in the UK which specialises in fitting Fiat Twin Cam engines to Morry Minors.

Going back 40 or so years now one of our Leicester Colleges Motor Club members had a tuned 1275 engined Minor Traveller in pale blue, the same colour as the Travellers that Leicester Police used as Panda cars at the time. Always useful to have a car that can be mistaken for a police car!

#33 Duncan Fox

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 20:14

Hey there was good Holden powered Minors, average ones and bloody awfull. The best was a a lowlife with the grey motors front engine mount on the front bumper!! The radiator sort of had a cradle in front of that.Though basically hanging on the hoses. And it was around for several months!
All those expensive Cortina and MGB motor were far too expensive compared with a grey, and had less power.
In the 70s there was Holden powered Minors, Anglias, Cortinas, Heralds, Simcas. Because they were dirt cheap and went quite well.


Lee, the v4 and v6 Ford engines and gearboxes were a great swop. I did several vans in my service fleet ,as well as some customer cars

On this side of the ditch we had the Garth Souness Morrari lowlite all comers saloon.


I see the barn car has the split front bumper, can anyone enlighten me as to how this factory fitted mistake actually came about? I recall it had something to do with the cars original planned width. Are there any other modified narrow parts fitted on this car ?

#34 GMACKIE

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 20:25

A certain Kevin Bartlett raced a Morris Minor, fitted with a V8 Ford engine, as did a certain Warren Weldon.

Edit; Maybe K.B.'s Minor was not V8 powered, now I think about it.......but Weldon's was.

Edited by GMACKIE, 03 November 2011 - 22:05.


#35 GMACKIE

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 20:36

I see the barn car has the split front bumper, can anyone enlighten me as to how this factory fitted mistake actually came about? I recall it had something to do with the cars original planned width. Are there any other modified narrow parts fitted on this car ?

My thoughts are that the tooling and production costs would have been the main reason for the split front bumper. In the late '50 when I worked on them [smash repairs], they were much easier to repair, and chrome plating was simpler.


#36 D-Type

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 20:37

Lee, the v4 and v6 Ford engines and gearboxes were a great swop. I did several vans in my service fleet ,as well as some customer cars

On this side of the ditch we had the Garth Souness Morrari lowlite all comers saloon.


I see the barn car has the split front bumper, can anyone enlighten me as to how this factory fitted mistake actually came about? I recall it had something to do with the cars original planned width. Are there any other modified narrow parts fitted on this car ?

Lord Nuffield decided the car was too narrow so they cut the mock up in half and moved the two halves apart until he was happy (hence the ridge down the bonnet). But the first batch of bumpers had been manufactured and in that age of materials shortages nothing could be scrapped ...

... or something like that.

By the way, what was special about the Kleinig head? It is obviously a period Australian made aftermarket tuning part, but still side valve although someone (was it Alta?) had produced an OHV conversion.

#37 GMACKIE

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 20:41

Alf Mazengarb produced an overhead valve head in Australia.

Edited by GMACKIE, 03 November 2011 - 20:52.


#38 275 GTB-4

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 21:19

Gents, whilst it has been a good ramble, I will no doubt be accused of hijacking this fine thread if we continue....

So, speaking of barn finds, here is another one I know of and my question is:

What sort of dollars would be acceptable to offer for something like this great little jigger??? :wave: (noting that even I know the trite answer is "as little as possible!")

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[Please feel free to donate generously to the "275 GTB-4 Retirement Hobby Car Appeal"]

Edited by 275 GTB-4, 03 November 2011 - 21:21.


#39 johnny yuma

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Posted 04 November 2011 - 04:07

Alf Mazengarb produced an overhead valve head in Australia.

Apology for double thread hijack,but was looking at Lake Gairdner results from 2010 and spotted one G.Mackie credited with 156mph in a Karmann Ghia.What's the story Greg ? And what went wrong in the VW beetle ?

Edited by johnny yuma, 04 November 2011 - 04:08.


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#40 GMACKIE

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Posted 04 November 2011 - 04:25

Nothing 'went wrong' with the Beetle - Set a new 'World Record' for a stock 36hp Beetle [75.1MPH]. The Yanks didn't allow it though, because of a mix-up as to the timing method used.

This year the attempt was abandoned, due to flooding of the salt lake [5" of water].......next year, perhaps?

Sorry for the MINOR :lol: intrusion onto your thread, Mick :wave:

Cheers, Greg

#41 RTH

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Posted 04 November 2011 - 07:10

Interesting A7 Special, history ? If that is a 'fiddle' brake on the outside did it do some trialling ? tidied up that will be a nice car.

#42 mikeC

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Posted 04 November 2011 - 07:58

Interesting A7 Special, history ? If that is a 'fiddle' brake on the outside did it do some trialling ? tidied up that will be a nice car.


Not a trials fiddle brake sytem - that would have two levers so that each rear wheel could be controlled independently.
As you say, that looks a nice special; fully fettled i would suggest around £8,000 in the UK, so do your own sums as to its value in barn-find state...

#43 275 GTB-4

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Posted 04 November 2011 - 10:45

Nothing 'went wrong' with the Beetle - Set a new 'World Record' for a stock 36hp Beetle [75.1MPH]. The Yanks didn't allow it though, because of a mix-up as to the timing method used.

This year the attempt was abandoned, due to flooding of the salt lake [5" of water].......next year, perhaps?

Sorry for the MINOR :lol: intrusion onto your thread, Mick :wave:

Cheers, Greg


Not at all Greg...I would have thought a higher speed than 75 was possible with a few legal tweaks and enough room though ;) Did you have the quarter vents closed?

#44 275 GTB-4

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Posted 04 November 2011 - 10:46

Not a trials fiddle brake sytem - that would have two levers so that each rear wheel could be controlled independently.
As you say, that looks a nice special; fully fettled i would suggest around £8,000 in the UK, so do your own sums as to its value in barn-find state...


Thanks Mike...that gives me a ballpark to play in...Cheers, Mick

#45 DJH

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Posted 04 November 2011 - 11:02

Great little Morrie you've come across. I've been told that the side basher Minors don't have a water pump. Is this true?

Edited by DJH, 04 November 2011 - 11:46.


#46 BRG

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Posted 04 November 2011 - 17:24

Nothing 'went wrong' with the Beetle - Set a new 'World Record' for a stock 36hp Beetle [75.1MPH]. The Yanks didn't allow it though, because of a mix-up as to the timing method used.

This year the attempt was abandoned, due to flooding of the salt lake [5" of water].......next year, perhaps?

But I thought Beetles floated?

#47 GMACKIE

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Posted 04 November 2011 - 20:31

275 GTB-4.....It was faster than 75, it was 75.1 :lol: Rules are strict - stock! We were allowed to remove the rear seat to fit a roll-cage [Aust. regs.], and that's all. Yes Mick, 1/4 vents shut tight, but 'taping over' joints isn't allowed.

DJH......Thermo-syphon system - no water pump. One less thing to worry about! :up:

BRG......Beetles will float, if you plug up all the drain holes, but you need more than 5" of water. :wave:



#48 Ray Bell

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Posted 04 November 2011 - 20:51

Originally posted by D-Type
Lord Nuffield decided the car was too narrow so they cut the mock up in half and moved the two halves apart until he was happy (hence the ridge down the bonnet). But the first batch of bumpers had been manufactured and in that age of materials shortages nothing could be scrapped ...

... or something like that.....


I heard that too... from the owner of an original car in Woodstock, NSW...

But you never know what's true or untrue about stories of that ilk.

.....By the way, what was special about the Kleinig head? It is obviously a period Australian made aftermarket tuning part, but still side valve although someone (was it Alta?) had produced an OHV conversion.


Not Alta, but I can't think of who it was right now. I've seen one on a lovely little Special here built around Hartnett parts, IIRC, and I think it was ohv inlet, side exhaust.

#49 GMACKIE

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Posted 04 November 2011 - 20:57

See Post #37, Ray.

Alta, also, made an OHV head for the 918 motor.

Edited by GMACKIE, 04 November 2011 - 21:55.


#50 Robin Fairservice

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Posted 04 November 2011 - 21:44

I have always understood that Issigonis designed the Morris Minor for a Flat Four engine, and that is why there is so much room under the bonnet.