’62 Morris Minor 1000

The first car I ever owned

Upstairs, in my dresser drawer, in a small box of VERY personal stuff, I still have the hood badge for this car (more on how I ended up with it later in the story). This was the very first car I actually owned. Let me elaborate. I grew up, in those years, in Southern California back in the day when the Beach Boys were the biggest thing and every kid in high school who was anything had a cool car. I had the Morris. And I didn’t care. It was nerdy, a real doof but I didn’t care. It was mine. And that’s all that mattered.

One of the best things about the Morris is, after spending so much time working on the TR, the 4-banger was second nature to me. So working on it was a breeze. It wasn’t long before I began to transform the Minor into something that the Morris Garage would certainly not have approved of. First came bigger tires in the back…de rigour for any self-respecting high schooler of the 60s. Then came white walls (yes, they were cool then), a gas pedal that looked like your foot, and just about any other doodad I could afford that I thought would somehow catapult me into the realm of cool. It didn’t work. I was still a geek, a nerd. But the car was still mine.

Sadly, the Morris met its end one day in downtown Riverside (CA) when I stopped on the main drag for a few cars in front of me and the guy behind me…didn’t. He didn’t even bother hitting the brakes, launching the little Morris into the car in front of me with enough force to put the motor into the driver’s compartment.  It was ugly and the Minor was totalled, but no one was hurt.

The accident had a happy outcome though as the Morris’s sacrifice meant I could get another car. What was not to like? One door closes…and another door opens. No?

And that was how I came to possess the hood script safely tucked away in my dresser drawer.