1964 saw the launch of the third in range of Alec Issigonis practical front wheel drive British Motor Corporation (BMC) models that started with the Mini variations in 1959 progressed to the ADO16 1100 and 1300 variations first seen in 1962 and had grown to the ADO 17 1800 variations for 1964 with the launch of the Austin 1800 that was followed two years later by the Morris 1800 of the type featured today.
Prior to the current owner of this 1966 model purchasing it for £200 on the 28th of February 2011 the car had spent 17 years in a barn and a further two years rotting in a garden because the clutch had failed in 1992.
Since 2011 the owner has replaced the clutch, rebuilt and refurbished the braking system scraped, cleaned, etch primed and coated the under side in bitumen under seal and carried out a few welding repairs to the wings / fenders around the headlights.
By May 2012 the Morris had passed it MOT and was back in use as a daily driver. Since then the owner, a member of the Norton Radstock Classic Vehicle Club has attempted to use the vehicle as a starting point to recreate a period works rally car of the type that was used in the 1968 London to Sydney and 1970 London to Mexico World Cup Rally marathons where Landcrabs finished 2nd and 9th respectively.
The AD0 17’s in Austin, Morris and Wolseley guises, all affectionately known as land crabs were extremely roomy and rugged vehicles but ultimately even in up market Wolseley guise a touch to pragmatic for owners of vehicles of this size and consequently did not perform in the market as expected. The ADO 17’s were eventually produced in three different series being joined by six cylinder 2200 variations in the third series from 1972. Production of the Morris 1800/2200 variants totaled 95,271 between 1966 and 1975 when the model was replaced by the new wedge shaped ADO 71 Morris 1800 and 2200 which soon after became known as the Princess.
Thanks for joining me on this Morris 1800 (ADO 17) edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !