David Yates' 1938 Morris 12 Double Cab Ute.

My Grandfather, Robert Bruce a farmer from Orari Bridge decided it was time for a small truck for the farm. The family had other ideas and after many discussions a compromise was found. A four seater cab with a truck deck was to be built. (Could this have been the first double cab ever built?) A new 1938 10 cwt part cab and chassis were purchased from Morrision Bros. in Geraldine. After approaches were made to several coach builders, one was finally found in Timaru to carry out Granddad’s instructions.

With declining health, and the uniqueness of the vehicle, Granddad decided Kittie was to be returned back to Morrison’s for display in the Geraldine Museum.

In 1979 fire swept through the museum and Kittie was all but destroyed. Kittie had many great memories for me, and we could not sit back and see it lost forever. After purchasing it from the museum, we brought it back to Christchurch to be restored.

Restoration began. The motor was salvaged and overhauled. The original gear box was undamaged and only required a new knob for the gear stick. New tyres were fitted to the original wheels with some of the spokes needing to be repaired. The original chassis, springs, front axle and diff were used again.

The interior was completely stripped out and all the wood work needed to be started from the beginning. New electrics were fitted. After many years, restoration was completed, but the original plates were well expired. As Granddad had always referred to his Morris as Kittie, as he always said it purred like a kitten when it was running there was no other plate that would have been appropriate.

In 2001 the Morris Owners Club displayed Kittie in the car show. All the time in restoring Kittie was rewarded with Kittie being placed 3rd and the club display placed 1st.

Kittie as we all know it today.

Dave and Linda Yates.