Follow by Email

Saturday, June 27, 2015

This Vintage Surf Van is What Summer is All About



If every season has a car, you’d be hard pressed to find a better representative for summer than this. It’s fun, it’s vintage, it’s quite British – it’s a 1970 Morris Minor Traveller with a surfboard on top. Any more ‘summer’ and it would reek of bug repellant and SPF 30. 
The Minor can trace its roots all the way back to 1948, when the first Minors began to roll out of Morris’ Oxford, England production facility.

 These Traveller ‘woodie’ van variants came later with the Series II updates of 1952, which included the larger A-series engine. If it looks perfect for that sun soaked trip to the shore this summer – you’re in luck. This vintage Morris is currently up for grabs online.


According to the listing, this car has been a longtime resident of Florida’s northern beach community, which explains the surfboard and the ‘Beach Patrol’ lettering. Though unoriginal to this right-hand drive UK-market car, those beach themed cosmetic touches don’t detract from the Minor’s achingly beautiful patina and lightly weathered look. Out back lies the Minor’s stunning ash frame, which houses an impressively capacious rear boot.
Pop open the hood and you’ll find that this Traveller, one of the later Traveller 1000 vans (introduced in 1956), sports the largest of the Minor engines – a 1,098cc A-series four-cylinder. Though the Minor was never what you’d call a fast car, this larger 48 horsepower engine was noted to be quite the performer in comparison to the early, side-valve 918cc engine of the first generation.


If you can’t shake the lingering thought, “Hmm, this looks vaguely like a Mini.” You’re not far off. Renowned auto designer Alec Issigonis crafted the Minor and later went on to perfect his small car engineering ideas with the famous Mini in 1959.
After 45 years on the road, this vintage 1970 Traveller is said to have only 35,000 original miles to its name. Quite the beach bum.