Peter Kellaway's 1959 Morris Minor 1000

MY 59 MM aka AO3191

In the mid nineteen fifties I was working with “George Frederick Howes” as clerical employees on the staff of Vacuum Oil Co [NZ] Ltd [now Mobil] at their South Island Office in Christchurch. I was preparing to join a family business in the Retail Motor Trade – while George was looking forward to his forthcoming retirement. George's plans included the purchase of a NEW motor car [his first], with Overseas Funds held in a family trust in England. Monetary regulations of the day restricted the availability of new motor vehicles to “rank & file” New Zealand citizens without access to Overseas Funds. Being a wise old Englishman George`s choice of vehicle for his retirement was to be a Morris Minor 1000 and so it came to pass that AO 3191 began life in New Zealand with registration at Christchurch on 22 December 1959.

My association with this Morrie [apart from fuel supplies, which began immediately] began with the expiration of the new vehicle warranty [12 months?] later and was to last until sale of the Retail Motor Trade outlet in 1971. This vehicle served George and his family until June 1963 when he spent the balance of his Overseas Funds on an other new vehicle [Morris 1100] which he never accepted was up to the standard of his Minor 1000. Such was his disappointment with the 1100 that he approached the new owner of the Minor in an endeavour to repurchase the vehicle. That was not to be. The new owner had bargained hard with the management [a neighbour] of the Morris franchise in Christchurch to acquire this particular vehicle with an Odo reading 17,742 miles which George HAD to trade in prior to being given delivery of his 1100 [ a nice cosy trade arrangement if you held a new motor dealership]. No way was she [Orma Marie Coles] going to part with her Minor 1000 which she used daily for transport to and from her Hillsborough home to her work as a Radiographer at PMH as well as a shopping basket, then, and in her retirement. Yes - Orma and husband Peter were members of MOC - perusal of Membership Lists show their names from March 1999 to and including 2002

During the month of November 2003 I met up with Orma in the Supermarket Car Park where she was parking her nice “Modern” and inquired as to the whereabouts of the Minor? After explaining that vehicle was “in storage in the care of a family friend” reply concluded with “Do you want to buy it?” Having been in touch with the vehicle on and off over its lifetime an inspection was arranged and the rest as they say is history. So at 17,394 miles [Note the mileage – not quite around the clock in 40 years?] Ownership changed for the second time and AO 3191 entered another stage in its life - having been - A Retirement Treat 1959 - 1963, then a Shopping Basket 1963 - 2003, now a Hobby Vehicle. 2003 - ?

Unfortunately there was no documentation available to confirm Repairs and Maintenance undertaken over the vehicles first 44 years. Solicitor – or was it Accountant? – took all relevant papers “away” upon the death of Ormas husband and despite a request for their return – upon the sale of the vehicle - they could not be located. Obvious changes over the years are an engine overhaul and repaint. Even after 50 years MY59MM [aka AO3191] dresses up well for “the Occasion” [Dressage - courtesy of Club members Dave & Noeleen Bates.] Happy 50th Birthday - “MY 59 MM”

Peter Kellaway