Delightful story! Interesting comparison with VW -- my father offered us children (my sister, 11, and me, 😎 a choice between a VW convertible and a Minor convertible in 1955. We chose the Morris, which was our main car for the next 10 years, including 14 hour trips up to Western Scotland from Essex. It cruised at 50 with its 803 cc ohv engine, but had enough torque to start in 2nd, which we did on level ground because 1st was so low (I think it was higher on the 1000). I learned to drive in it, on an old aerodrome at the age of 14. I remember adjusting the trafficators (turn signals) so they wouldn't foul the bodywork (and maybe short out) as they emerged from the sides; and figuring out how to start it on a cold winter morning without using the crank -- I pulled the starter knob with the ignition off, then dropped it and turned on the ignition to get the full power of 6 volts to the coil! Part of the good hadling was due to the fact that it was designed by Alec Issigonis of Mini fame. Wonderful that you have kept it running, and beautiful, all these years!
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