MORRIS MINOR OWNERS CLUB - Gauteng (Johannesburg)

MARCH 2009

Owners Club


A very hearty welcome to our new members:

Manie and Elize Groenewald, who joined us at De Deur for our January outing. They have a 1963 British Racing
Green 4 door "1098” cc Minor and they live in Vereeniging. Manie's car left Cowley in CKD format late in 1962
and was assembled in Durban by Motor Assemblies. It would have left that plant in 1963. This information was
supplied by Chris Spinks and differs from that recorded on the Application Form. Manie, for further info,
please contact Chris.

Les and Marleen McLeod have bought a blue 1957 "1000” from John Lawton and they come from Mondeor. They also
joined us at De Deur.

Membership of our Johannesburg Club has grown by an additional 4 members to 124 paid up members since the
last issue.

We hope your membership brings you and your families a wonderful and rewarding experience with us. Please
remember that you are not obliged to arrive at outings in your Minor. If it is being repaired, please join
us in "modern tin” and enjoy the friendship of our Club members.


Owners of Morris Minors and enthusiasts often ask what the benefits are of belonging to our Johannesburg
branch of the Morris Minor Owners’ Club. The Club draws members mainly from Johannesburg and Pretoria,
although we have members from all over South Africa and in four countries in the world.

Some of the benefits of being a member are:
Advice from the qualified members (it is critical to correctly determine the model and year of your Minor,
as BMC made small but significant changes each year. You would be very upset if you replaced a costly part for
your Minor, whereas you might want the part for a different Minor).
Information regarding the best places to locate spares, whether locally or in the UK.
Where to have your Minor refurbished (paintwork, rust, mechanical repairs etc).
What to look for when purchasing a Morris Minor.
How to maintain your Morris Minor.
A magazine every 3 months, giving details of our outings, service providers, spares suppliers,
a trading section and other features.
An interesting and active website which you will find at

Monthly outings to places of interest, including a weekend away each year.
Participation in the national rally every two years (the next one is to be held in Worcester in 2010).
The friendship and camaraderie of people with a common interest.
Insurance cover through SAVVA and more.

It is the Club’s policy to assist members who ask for advice etc and non-members with general info.


John Webb has made a remarkable recovery from his second knee operation and we are pleased to report that
now that his "pins” have been straightened, he will be able to catch some girls, instead of pigs. A couple
of weeks ago, he walked way past his intended destination because he couldn’t take his eyes off a young
lady walking in front of him! It seems as if the operation has worked for him.

We are told that Heidi Bedford is progressing well with her remedial therapy.

Mike Del Frate is most fortunate not to have had one of his Achilles’ tendons completely severed.
One of his assistants dropped his angle grinder onto the back of Mike’s leg so that he had to have 18 internal
stitches alone. Many more were required to sew him up. We hope you recover well.


The printer apologises for the error on the cover of the last magazine, where the incorrect date was stated.


You have received your renewal forms for the forthcoming year with the last magazine. Please ensure that it is
COMPLETED IN FULL, COMPLETED IN FULL and COMPLETED IN FULL and returned to your Committee member or to Harry
Meintjes. Hopefully the repetition here will get the desired effect. Members are asked please not to rely on the
fact that they may have previously given the information on their cars. Often, information like the body number
or assembly number has been omitted on the original application form. The information is very important for the
accuracy of the national database. The subs are to be paid by the end of April 2009. Those paying late will be
subject to a re-joining fee of R 50.00.


If you move from your present address, or change your contact details in any way, PLEASE contact
Harry Meintjes on (011) 827 5168 (h) or (082) 420 5950 or email him on to advise your
new details.

Jozua and Sharon Cloete have recently been on the move, but too fast this time. They were caught in a speed
trap returning from one of our outings!


Barry Botes of Nelspruit has bought Schalk Burger’s ’57 2 door Minor.
Mark Richardson's Traveller (ex Jannie Dippenaar), has been bought recently by Theo van Niekerk. Theo is
expected to join our Club at the AGM.
The Clipper blue 4 door "1000” that was owned by Steve McGrail was sold to Archie Campbell. We hope that he
will join the Club as well.
Steve McGrail sold his "1098” cc Pick-up to Craig Marland. Steve bought the Pick-up at Salt Rock during the 2004
National Rally
Gary Dodds sold his Pick Up at the recent George Motor Show. It is a pity that it didn’t sell to a local member.
Ben de Goederen has just acquired George Bowen’s (ex Christo Vorster) convertible.
The following Minors are at Mike Del Frate’s workshop in Benoni, being prepared so that they can partake in our
The following Minors have been standing in Mike’s workshop for about 2 years. Each of them only requires the
owners to choose the upholstery so that they can be completed and then reassembled. If the owners
(Karol & Pauline Jarozynski, and Janet Mathews) read this message, please contact Mike so that the work can
be finalised. There is a similar problem with Tielman Karovsky, who has been in the USA, but is back and can’t
be traced.
Stanford Mogotsi’s 2 dr ’57 Minor has been in for replacement of the glass, rubbers, brakes and a service.
Stanford recently bought the car in Cape Town.
The bodywork on Charles Gardiner’s yellow 2 door "1000” has been completed, as is the case with Charles’ ex
Colin Dettmer 4 door "1000”. His black 2 door "1000” is still there for a chassis leg replacement.
Mike is busy working on a 1934 Chevrolet, an Alfa Romeo Junior and he recently completed work on other Alfas.
Work on Aldo Marcon's Dark Green ‘57 Morris "1000’” 4 door is progressing.
John Webb is hard at work restoring a Traveller.
Terence Redmond is quietly working away at his Convertible and should have the project completed by the end
of the year.


"You meet the nicest people in a Morris Minor!”


Our first outing for the year was a most pleasant one at a place called De Deur, which is just north of
Vereeniging. Travelling there, we were concerned about the threatening rain clouds, but fortunately, the
rain stayed away for most of the time. This allowed us to meet with our friends and enjoy a braai in the
grounds of the premises; always a lot of fun, with much banter.

18 Minors turned up for the event and we were able to welcome new members Manie and Elise Groenewald,
Manie Mathee, Chris Grant with his family, Les McLeod with his family and a few Mini Minors in tow.
George and Angie Anderson made a short appearance as well, but without their excellent lowlight convertible
because of the inclement weather.
Two other people arrived in their Minors. They were Izelle Laubscher in a white Traveller, whose parents run
the antique business and Ishmael, in a grey 4 door Minor, who happened to see us when driving past.
We are hoping that they will join our Club.

The venue creates an old farm / kraal atmosphere in the countryside, with lawns and trees, suitable for a picnic.
Most people visited the antique showrooms, which had a selection of ‘farm’ antiques and general furniture.
It also has a Stationary Engine Museum and numerous motoring signs and old fuel pumps on exhibit. There was
also ample space for the younger generation to romp about and get up to mischief.

Our sincere thanks go to John Lawton for his special "Survival Kit”, which he prepared for the event. As can
be seen from the graphic, he placed the items into a bag and handed these and window Certificates to all those
taking part. We are reminded of his skills and innovative thinking when he participated in our National Rally
last year. Your efforts are much appreciated. Such a nice and unexpected touch.


Well, what can one say when one is unexpectedly shown such a fantastic collection of private vehicles.

Our visit to Davie Gous’ private museum in Benoni occurred by default, because we were in actual fact supposed
to attend the Duck Derby at Modderfontein. Unfortunately and despite concerted efforts on the part of the
organisers, the Duck Derby had to be cancelled at the last moment because there was raw sewerage in the stream
and water system.

It seems as if the committee and locals have been trying to get some reaction out of the council to attend to
the overflow and subsequent mess for the last 6 months, but to no avail. The public has been asked to support
the campaign to coax the council into action.

So, on an overcast day, we met in Edenvale and proceeded behind Charles Gardiner to a secret destination,
which turned out to be Davie Gous’ museum. We were treated to an excellent collection of Ferraris, Lancias,
Porsches, various American cars, an ambulance, an Austin 7, a Chevrolet truck, a collection of rare motorbikes
and for me the best being the 1960s racing cars. He has a Lotus, a Maserati, which is worth a fortune and an MG
racing car, one of only 3 in South Africa, plus an Alfa Romeo. Davie still races these cars in the historic
events around the country.

All of these vehicles are set out around an inside swimming pool, which can be viewed from his lounge
and pool room. Also parked in the museum is his stunt aeroplane. What a privilege it was to see all those
rare cars and bikes and our thanks go to Davie and his wife for hosting us in their lovely garden, where we
had a picnic / braai with our friends. Our thanks also go to Charles Gardiner for making the arrangements.

Because the original event was cancelled, some members never turned up, but 17 members with their family and
friends were lucky enough to make the trip in their Minors (14 of them) and have what turned out to be a
most enjoyable day.


Neville, Laura and Stacey Josman attended the Brisbane National Rally in Australia recently and they thoroughly
enjoyed it. They sent these photos to us. There were about 180 Minors at the nationals and came from all over
Australia. One person even drove 4 500 kms from Perth!! The big Ferris wheel is known as the 'Brisbane Eye'.


We had such fun, in spite of the date! On Friday evening 13 March, a group of 14 members made our way
to the Wits Theatre to see the son of one of our members (9 year old Joshua Harper) participate in a theatrical
performance. That is Joshua featured in the picture. He auditioned for and was chosen to take part in a production
which incorporated a host of nursery rhymes. The play was a comic spin on the mishaps which befell Jack, Rapunzel,
Cinderella and Little Red Riding Hood. He played the part of Jack in Jack and the Beanstalk and very good he was

Other excellent performances came from the wicked witch and the baker, who have been acting for many years.
The Prince was very amusing too, as he spoke in a very broad Cape Coloured accent. And the Harper family can
feel very proud, as Joshua received acclaim for his performance in an article in the Citizen newspaper. He was
picked out together with the actors mentioned above.

Those who missed it surely lost out on a most enjoyable evening. We had such a good time and after the show,
we went for dinner at a nearby restaurant where there was plenty of banter amongst the 11 of us. It was a most
pleasant evening and our thanks go to Sara Harper for making the arrangements.



Our MMOC Committee extends to all members and their families and friends, a cordial invitation to attend all
our outings, especially driving your Morris Minor! Only by regular use can an investment be properly preserved.
It is a recognised fact that a car sitting around, unused, deteriorates alarmingly quickly!

Many members have their cars restored from time to time. Please join us for our outings in "modern tin” instead
of staying at home. We would love to see you there.

Dates have been provisionally set aside for our Club outings, but inevitably some last minute changes might
have to be made. If this happens, our Events Co-ordinator, Rusty Clover, will try his best to contact members.
Please contact Rusty on (012) 347 8291 (h) or 083 264 6240, or Lauren Edgar on 083 647 0569, or one of our
Committee members before the outings, to make 100% sure of the details.

Our Committee would welcome suggestions for future outings.

Our Planned MMOC Outings for the next few months are as follows:

Sun. 29 Mar – The Cullinan Minor Steam Run (not to be missed!!)
Mon. 27 Apr – Pub lunch at Rusty Hook Country Restaurant
Sat. 16 May – AGM at the Piston Ring Club, followed by a braai
Sun. 31 May – Lunch at Sparkling Waters Hotel (near Buffelspoort)
Sun. 28 Jun – Bowls at the Capital Park Bowling Club in Pretoria
Sun. 26 Jul – Potjie / Braai (still to be confirmed)


Sun. 29 Mar – Blairgowrie Toy Collector’s Fair
Sun. 05 Apr – Angela’s Picnic - Delta Park
Sun. 03 May – Benoni Cars on the Range
Sun. 24 May – Benoni Wheels Day
Sat. 30 May – POMC Mampoer Rally
08 - 12 Jun - Milligan Tour (40th) EPVCC


Sun. 19 Apr - Ford day
Sun. 17 May - Military machines & commercial transporters. (Chev El Camino 50 years)
Sun. 21 Jun -- Concours (plus spotlight on Mini, Valiant, Hudson)
Sun. 19 Jul – Toyota Toys Day


Sun. 10th May at 14H00
Sun. 23rd Aug at 14H00
Sun. 8th Nov at 14H00


Any opinions and suggestions presented in our MMOC magazine "Minor Headlines” do not
necessarily reflect the views of the Editor or the MMOC Committee. Each reader is requested to
weigh up for themselves the pros and cons of the material presented and to make their own educated decisions
thereafter. We cannot hold ourselves responsible in any way for the consequences of these suggestions.
This applies in particular to the Minor Helpline below and any other information or suggestions in the magazine.
The names of the listed service providers have been forwarded by various members who have had good experiences
with the service provider.



Advertisements are placed for the mutual benefit of members and the public alike.
In future, "repeats” will not be featured, unless the member or person contacts the Editor to state that the
vehicle or parts have NOT been sold.

When you wish to sell something, please state where the item is kept. A cell phone number could be anywhere in SA.
Adverts, in writing please, can be forwarded to the Editor of the MMOC (Johannesburg) at e-mail:


Frederick Wilson has launched a social group for our Club on Facebook, which allows people to join by
invitation only and they can list stories, events and add photos of their cars etc.

In the last edition, it was not explained how to actually access Facebook. This is done by typing
in and the site will ask you whether you want to log in or join. If you choose the option of
joining, you will be asked for your full name, email address and then a password, which will create a profile
for you and then give you access to the site. If you are not sure about this, contact Frederick.


Have you yet had a chance to view our new look website on If you have any
comments to make, please contact our Website Master, Frederick Wilson at

Those who wish to advertise their products or companies in this magazine
should forward their information to:

Chris Grant on or


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Email to: or Fax: 086 545 4545 (011) Cell: 074 181 8174.


Standard Bank Greenstone Branch
Branch Code: 016342
Acc. No.42-792-856-7
Acc. Name: The Morris Minor Owners’ Club.

Please put your name or that of your company as a reference!


Please will you ensure that the information provided on your renewal of membership form CLEARLY
indicates what Minors you own, WITH ALL THEIR DETAILS and those sold and to whom. Harry Meintjes
can then forward copies thereof to Chris Spinks for his significant database of 650 Morris Minors
in South Africa.

For those reading this message, if you are not a member for any reason, kindly advise the details
of your Minor for the national database. If you do not have Chris Spinks’ e-mail address, please
forward the info to Harry Meintjes, the Membership Manager on or and
this will be passed on to Chris.


During 1959, Minor 1000s underwent numerous bodywork (cosmetic) changes which, by the end of 1959, made a much
nicer car than the 1957-58 models. Mechanically, they were virtually unchanged from 1957 to 1962, with a 948 cc
engine. From 1963, a larger 1098 cc engine was fitted, but only 215 of these were assembled here in South Africa.

Things to look out for in buying any used car are:

1 Has it been licenced? Has it got proper registration papers? If not - rather walk away!!
2 What is the bodywork, upholstery & paintwork like? A good respray will cost you around R 3 000
and to re-upholster and carpet can cost R 2 000.
3 Look at the tyres and the spare.
4 Are there any major oil leaks or blue smoke coming from the exhaust?
5 Does it drive and steer well and are the shock absorbers and brakes (including handbrake) working properly?
6 Are there any strange noises coming from the engine, especially when the car is driven hard?

Specific to Morris Minors:

1 Look at the chassis legs (rails) under the car for rust or holes.
2 Is 1st gear noisy?
3 Does the car jump out of gear?
4 What are the windscreen and rear window rubbers like? (perished?)
5 Has the car been fitted with a non-Morris engine or gearbox?
6 Are the shock absorbers working properly?
7 What size tyres have been fitted?

Comments regarding the last 7 items specific to Morris Minors are as follows:

1 Chassis legs on most old Minors can show rust and holes. These can be fixed by cutting them open and
welding in new metal. In severe cases, a replacement chassis leg can be welded in, but this can be expensive
and the welding can mean that the paint inside the engine compartment will burn and need a respray.
2 & 3 New gearbox parts are all but unobtainable, so one has to rely on used spares. First gear was never
fitted with synchromesh, so it can be damaged if drivers select first gear by crash-changing on the move.
4 These can be replaced fairly easily. New rubbers are locally available and can be imported.
5 If the car has been fitted with a Datsun / Nissan / Ford or any non Morris engine, simply walk away - you
would be better off by buying a Datsun / Nissan / Ford etc.
6 Telescopic conversions are available front and rear. The original shocks are not available new and
reconditioned ones don't last too well.
7 Minor 1000s were originally all fitted with 5.20 X 14 crossplies. This size is now obsolete and 145 or
155 X 14 radials are suitable replacements. However, these sizes are very difficult to find. You can
fit 165/70 X 14 tyres, but please stay away from anything wider.

I have a database of 650 Morris Minors to-date known to be in South Africa (113 are 1959 models), so if you
care to send me the chassis and engine numbers I can possibly give you some history of the car you have in mind.
It may be listed.

It is very difficult to advise regarding prices. A Minor 2 door or 4 door Saloon in excellent condition can
fetch R 30 000 or more. A Traveller or Convertible can fetch up to R 65 000, but these would be exceptional.
A tatty car would go for R5 000 or less, with a reasonable Minor around R 10 000 to R 20 000.
A car without papers (is in my humble opinion) worthless, unless you want to strip it for spares,
or are prepared to slip money under the table to a corrupt licencing official (there are a number of these still
operating!!) (Thanks to Chris Spinks)


Colin Downie was the Manager of the old Motor Assemblies Limited assembly plant in Durban for a number of
years and was responsible for the assembly of most of the Minors we enjoy today.

Colin has very kindly passed on a number of facts which I'm sure many of our members would be very interested in.

1) No Morris Minor Commercials were ever assembled by MAL. Colin mentions that some Morris Cowley Commercials
were assembled at MAL in Durban, which left the assembly plant in primer, to be painted in whatever colour the
purchaser wanted. Colin is of the opinion that the Morris Minor Commercials sold here must have been imported
directly by the Morris agents (eg McCarthy's in Durban) standing on imported rubber (tyres) and batteries.

2) In Feb 1956, two Travellers were assembled by MAL.

3) Between May and December 1957, a total of 12 Travellers were assembled.

4) After a lull lasting until Feb 1959, a further 690 Travellers were assembled -
until assembly of Travellers was stopped in April 1962.

5) Twelve Convertibles were assembled in 1957.

6) No record was kept of the paint colours used for Minors. Colin mentions that the factory used whatever
paint had been ordered by the owners of MAL (ie McCarthy) and happened to be in stock.

7) There was often quite a delay between the cars leaving MAL and the date of first registration.

8) Colin has the recorded date of dispatch of my own Minor 1000 4 door saloon (Assembly No. M 31428) as
May 1961.

9) There was a tandem assembly of Minors at the BMC assembly plant at Blackheath, near Cape Town.
Colin is not sure why these cars were assembled there, but surmises that Blackheath possibly had
some spare capacity at the time. Once the assembly at Blackheath ceased, all assembly of Minors reverted to
MAL in Durban.

10) Colin never owned a Morris or an Austin, but once owned a "Frogeye" Austin-Healey Sprite.

From what Colin has kindly advised us, some interesting points now emerge:

a) The Cowley Commercials were much bigger than the Minor. Cowley saloons were "entry-level" versions of
the better equipped 1500 cc Oxfords. Cowleys sold here were mechanically identical to Oxfords, but were
bumper overriders, dashboard clock, two-tone paint, leather seats and heater that the Oxford included in its
specification. The Commercials were assembled to the cheaper specification, thus called Cowleys, rather than

b) The date the first Travellers were assembled by MAL (Feb 1956) is when the 803 cc Series 11 was being
assembled - prior to the Series 111 Minor 1000.

c) The date of assembly of the 12 Convertibles indicates they were all Series 111 Minor 1000s.

d) My own Minor 1000 4 door was first registered in 1962, but according to Colin's records, left MAL
some 8 months earlier, in May 1961. This is a strong indication as to how much the Minor's popularity
had waned by that time. There was strong competition from the established V W Beetle 1200, Renault Dauphine,
Ford Anglia 1000, as well as the new Austin 850 and Morris Mini-Minor (and the rapid Mini-Cooper versions).
These, apart from the ancient V W Beetle, were all much more modern and in a similar price bracket.

e) By the time the 1098 cc engine was fitted to the Minor (Sept. 1962 in the UK), it was too late to curb the
even stiffer competition coming from the new Cortina 1200, the V W Beetle 1300, the Triumph Herald 1200 and
shortly thereafter, from the Minor's own siblings - the newly-released Morris & Austin 1100s.
Only 215 Minors were assembled at MAL, before the plug was pulled in Durban.

It was great hearing from Colin, who has a fund of information regarding the assembly of our babies.
Such a pity no records of colour and trim were kept!


Dan was a single guy living at home with his father and working in the family business. When he found out
he was going to inherit a fortune when his sickly father died, he decided he needed a wife with which to
share his fortune.

One evening at an investment meeting, he spotted the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. Her natural
beauty took his breath away. "I may look like just an ordinary man," he said to her, "but in just a few
years, my father will die, and I'll inherit $ 200 million." Impressed, the woman obtained his business card.

And three days later, she became his stepmother.
Women are so much better at financial planning than men!

We look forward to seeing you at all of our outings.

Yours in a Morris,

Clive Surtees (Editor)