Classic cars are purchases of passion: Bonhams
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The 70-year-old car spent 27 years in Africa but has led a relatively sheltered life since to keep it in top quality condition. The model was acquired by the vendor, James Davies, from a private owner in what was then Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) back in 1954.
The model was used for a 2,500 mile trip to and from Umtata, South Africa but has since been mostly used for local journeys.
The Minor was sold to an elderly lady in 1960 when Mr Davies retired to the UK for education purposes.
However, on returning to Rhodesia three years later, he re-purchased the car after it was advertised in a local paper for just £200.
The car was kept by the family in Zambia for seven years followed by another six-year spell in South Africa where the car encountered a small issue.
Nearing Zambesi, Morris’ fuel tank sprung a leak which delayed the trip.
The 1,820-mile journey was only completed after the owners plugged the hole with soap and then topping up with fuel at each service station.
Following its time in South Africa, the model was finally shipped back to the UK.
According to Hampsons auctions – who are selling the model – the car is “original” and completely “rust-free” when considering its history.
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The model has completed just 62,900 miles in its lifetime and is in almost perfect condition.
The model carried a pre-sale estimate of between £7,000 and £8,000 but could sell for much more at auction.
Hampson’s Auctions confirmed the car had undergone some “light restoration” work over recent years.
Hampson Auctions said: “Modern cars are wonderful things, but it’s hard to imagine any tugging at the heartstrings like this sensational split-screen, side-valve Morris Minor, that comes complete with a back story worthy of its own movie.
They added: “In 1997 it was treated to a light restoration and respray at the Morris Minor Centre in Bath at a cost of £4,305.45.
“While in 2013 the engine was removed and new ring gear, starter motor and clutch installed for £1,186.61.
“The vendor currently regards the undersealed grey bodywork as ‘excellent’ and the engine as ‘good’.
“This splendidly original rust-free early Minor, that’s still only clocked 62,900 miles from new, is now being offered complete with retrofitted valve radio and stainless steel exhaust system, and represents an unrepeatable opportunity for Minor lovers the world over.”
The Morris Minor became one of the most iconic British cars of the 20th century when it was launched at Earls Court in 1948.
More than 1.3million Morris Minors were produced between 1948 and 1972.
Later models in the series were capable of up to 77mph and could reach 0-60mph in 24 seconds.
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