1962 Morris Minor Traveller
(Featured on 10th July 2013)
Registration: 124 YPD
Sellers original description:
I acquired Jumbo not just because of its original, unmolested condition but just as much for its lovely history. Finding a nice example is one thing, but finding one with a lovely low ownership history makes it rather special in my opinion.
Jumbo was first registered on the 1st June 1962 by Surrey County Council to a Mr Bennett Dalby Godisson-Sketchley of The Old Rectory, Walton on the Hill, Surrey. In fact Jumbo has always resided in Surrey up until coming into my hands more recently. I acquired Jumbo from a retired gentleman, Mr Dyson McGregor Denison of Little Bookham, Surrey, who had owned Jumbo, rather amazingly since 13th June 1972. Whilst he informed me he was only the 2nd owner, looking at the copy of the original buff log book it shows a change on the 14th January 1972 to a Mr Graham Stoke of Ewell, Surrey. So for just six months in 1972, Jumbo looks to have had one other keeper. Mr Denison, kindly wrote me a little letter of authenticity confirming his long term ownership and this letter comes with the car. Also in the file is a poster used by Mr Denison when he showed Jumbo, which tells us that he paid just £220 for him in 1972.
The current mileage is correct and genuine at just 77,926 but interestingly the MOT trail, which goes back to 1979, shows that at this time Jumbo had covered 69,118 miles. So in the last 34 years Jumbo has travelled on average, just 259 miles per annum.
The History file contains many invoices dating back to 1972 for general maintenance from local business’s including the Rover main dealer, West Surrey Motors and specialist’s for parts indicating that Jumbo has been well maintained over the years. Also within the file is a current style V5 as well as a copy of the original buff log book, an original Morris Minor handbook, a service manual and the aforementioned letter of authenticity from Mr Denison.
Bodywork, Woodwork & Paintwork:
Whilst in my care, Jumbo has been the subject of what I would call a sympathetic rebuild rather than a restoration. It was taxed and tested and running well but was beginning to show signs of age to some of its panels. So a decision was made to replace the front wings, one rear wing and the front valance with brand new steel Heritage panels (they bolt on and off). The doors are the original ones and are in amazing condition for their age having never needed repair. These new panels, the other rear wing and the doors have all benefitted from being repainted and now Jumbo looks fantastic. Having said that, I would like to point out that whilst the pictures do give a true reflection of Jumbo’s overall kerb presence, they do not show that the bonnet, roof and rear door panels are original in every respect and whilst they have a nice shine to them there are one or two ‘dinks’ in them and the odd blemish that has been neatly hand touched in. So whilst the paintwork is nice, it is not perfect.
The underside is strong and as you can see from the pictures clean and tidy having been completely stripped of any underseal, inspected and repaired where needed, which was minimal. The floors are now painted satin black rather than underseal as I believe underseal can trap water and create problems, also there is nothing hiding from you. The spare wheel compartment is all clean and tidy with the wiring all located correctly and neatly. Although not seen in the pictures it also houses the original and correct wheel jack and starting handle.
The woodwork is lovely and has benefitted from a strip and re-varnish and will require no further maintenance for now. A quick rub down (rather than strip) and re-varnish every 2 years is recommended to keep the wood in tip top condition, possibly less frequent if kept in a garage and used in limited, dry conditions.
Interior & Chromework:
The interior and fittings on Jumbo are lovely and have a beautiful mellowed look and feel about them. The duo-tone interior (fitted to deluxe models only) in red and cream is one of the nicest combinations in my opinion. The seats are pretty much unmarked although the passenger seat has had an older little stitching repair to it on a seam and I replaced the lower driver’s seat cover as it was split. The front passenger seat by the way is the earlier type where the back folds flat and then the whole seat folds forward giving better access to the rear seats than the later models. I took the door cards off to give them a gentle clean and I think that was the first time they had ever been off! Everything works as it should, all the switches, indicator stalk, heater fan, horn push and interior light. The headlining is clean and unmarked. Overall I don’t think you will find a nicer interior than this.
The chromework both in and out of Jumbo is excellent. I believe the earlier cars benefited from better chrome than the later cars, so stand the test of time a little better. I have replaced the rear blades for brand new ones and used new chrome fittings for the bumpers front and rear. The front blade is original and is fine but showing a little sign of its age but on the whole the chrome is all very good.
Mechanics & Suspension:
Having had the pleasure of improving many Travellers over the years I like to think I know what I am doing when it comes to the mechanical and suspension side of things. I would also never knowingly pass on any classic car with any major mechanical issues and that is why I take great care in going through the drive train properly fixing or replacing anything I feel necessary as I go along.
Starting at the front, using correct colour coded wiring I remade the front head light looms to the headlamps and new headlamp bowls with new rubber seals where fitted. The combined front side light and indicators have had new bulb holders, rubbers and wiring fitted. All of which works perfectly. In fact all the lights front, rear and inside, work perfectly.
As you can see the engine bay has been correctly detailed using new or refurbished parts. A new battery has been fitted. The water system was drained, flushed out and refitted using new hoses and clips. The radiator is relatively new and in perfect condition and has been re-filled with fresh antifreeze. The stainless steel exhaust was refitted using new clamps and straps.
The engine which is the original unit and runs well was stripped back of all its ancillaries and rebuilt using new gaskets. Many parts have been powder coated. New service type items fitted include, air filter, thermostat with gasket, plugs, cap and leads, fan belt and a rocker cover gasket. Like many A series engines there is a small oil leak from the rear which is common and may reduce with a bit more use.
The brakes have been overhauled having had the wheels cylinders replaced and new brake shoes fitted. The system was then bled using fresh brake fluid. The suspension, prop shaft and hand brake cables have all been greased. All five wheels where striped, shot blasted and powder coated, rebuilt using new valves and then balanced.
So, all in all, Jumbo is ‘on the button’ and ready to be used and enjoyed. There should be nothing for the new owner to do in the short term and as long as a sensible programme of preventative maintenance is put into place, Jumbo should provide many years of happy and fun motoring.
Well it’s safe to say you won’t be beating any land speed records whilst driving along in Jumbo, but that’s not what owning and driving a Traveller is about really. Being an earlier example the engine is 948cc in size and starts first pull of the starter, every time. It may not be powerful but it’s eager! It’s a nice smooth engine with no signs of smoke. Selecting gears is straight forward and as you would expect. Although I will point out that going down from 3rd to 2nd can be a little ‘snicky’ if you don’t have the engine revs down enough. The ride is predictable and stable and when you need them the brakes pull you up in a nice straight line.
I am fairly confident that as you sit there driving Jumbo for the first time and hear that unmistakable burble on the overrun from the exhaust you will have a smile on your face and that, surely IS what owning a lovely Traveller like Jumbo is all about!