Motortrades Insight Magazine Online

Morris Minor Series (Part Three): the economics of restoring Morris Minors

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Published: 22 July 2013


morris minor restoration


Morris Minors are relatively easy to restore in comparison with other classic cars, but Tim Brennan, Company Director at Charles Wares Morris Minor Centre, believes the majority of people do not restore the cars for a profit, but ‘simply for a love of Morris Minors’.


“For your average car project or DIY project, it is a love of the car that motivates the restoration,” he said. “Often these cars need a lot more work than the car could be sold on for. The owner will often be doing it for sentimental reasons. Or as a long term return on their investment. Once restored the running costs spaced over a five year period will often balance out with the costs of buying, repairing and insuring a second hand modern car. In this way, the Morris Minor is durable and cost effective.  


“To restore a Minor as a Project where labour rates are not an issue, can repay an individual doing it themselves. But to find a good car and do the necessary work and make a good profit comes from experience and focusing on the right work.

 

One can typically buy a run-down Morris Minor from £200 upwards on the private market, but they will usually need a lot of work. 


“We tend not to buy at this level as the work needed on the car is usually too costly for a business offering warranties and guarantees, such as ours. We tend to buy at the mid to top end of the market where a car is fundamentally solid but we can bring it up to a higher level and still make a small profit.


morris minor restoration

 

The costs to rebuild a Minor as a restoration depends upon the customer’s goal, how far they want to go to reach ‘perfection’, their budget and the state of the car, Mr Brennan said. But one can spend up to £3,000 on each major area to be restored, such as a full chassis rebuild, or even replacing all the wood.


Running costs are cheap. Historic vehicle tax is free, typical insurance is very low, from a few hundred a year, with club ownership giving discounts. For a young driver on their parents’ policy, classic insurance can be as low as £700 a year, compared with as much as  £2,000 to insure a young driver in the lowest insurance bracket for a Vauxhall Corsa or Nissan Micra.


Maintenance and service costs are also said to be lower as there is a lot less to go wrong than a car with a computer and it doesn’t need a computer to tell you what is wrong with it. It does 35mpg and mechanical simplicity means that people with a small bit of mechanical knowledge can service and do simple repairs themselves. “Some drivers claim that it costs them as little as £10 a week to maintain and insure their Morris,” he concluded.


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