A
PROFILE
OF
THE CLUB



The NSW Club was formed in Sydney in November 1978, by a few close friends who all had a common interest in Morris Minors. It was the first Morris Minor Club in Australia. They decided to place an advertisement announcing the formation of the Club and were overwhelmed by the response. The club, once formed, decided to publish a newsletter naming it "MINOR TORQUE" telling of activities and functions of the club. The Club was set up firstly to provide social contact as an avenue for people with a common interest to get together and secondly to provide help of a technical nature. In the early years of the club activities included Mystery Runs, Observation Runs and Motorkhanas.

The Club progressed and membership grew steadily in the first ten years of operation. Our tenth year 1988 was to be our biggest year yet, a tri-celebration. Not only was it the Club's 10th birthday, it was also the Morris Minor's 40th birthday and to cap it all off it was during Australia's Bicentennial. The Club planned an event on a scale bigger than the Club had ever seen before. The plan was to organise a parade that would travel from north to south through the centre of the city. The north side assembly point would be at one of our football clubs, then over the harbour via the world famous Sydney Harbour Bridge (sometimes called the "coat-hanger" by locals) and travel approximately 20 miles to one of Sydney's southern suburbs football clubs. No one knew exactly how many cars would attend but at a guess we expected about 40 cars. The convoy was to be an informal event and so it was thought that the police would not be required. On the day, cars started coming from all directions so that by the time the convoy was about to leave there was an assembly of about 130 cars. Slowly we moved out onto the road and headed across the Harbour Bridge. Once the lead car was on the bridge the convoy spread extended more than two miles. We then travelled around the outskirts of the city, occasionally stopping to wait for any cars that were left behind during the journey and after three hours we reached our destination. Speeches and cheers were the order of the day before a celebratory lunch. It was agreed by all that it was the best display of Morris Minors seen. Now there is pressure on the Club for an even better turn out for the 20th year, 1998 celebration.

In the recent years the Club has grown in strength to approximately 140 members at present with some 800 members who have passed through the Club since first forming. Activities now include monthly outings to picturesque places around Sydney ending in a mouth watering barbecues, prepared on our customised barbecue trailer and social activity. These runs normally take a couple of hours and can cover 100 - 150 miles. Other activities are an Olympic style competition with a couple of other Morris Minor Clubs from nearby towns in which the games revolve around items associated with the beloved car. Examples of games include team sports where, contestants must put spark plugs in the head of an engine in the shortest possible time or throwing a set of hub caps into a ring formed by a tow rope. The day is usually concluded by a chariot race, in which one of our smaller members sits in an upturned discarded Morris bonnet, then with a tow rope tied to the front of the bonnet is pulled across a a paddock by four hefty members cheered on by a vociferous gallery. At the end of the day a trophy is awarded to the winning club. The Club also participates in a number of 'All club display days'. One of these is the "Motorfest" held on Australia's National Day January 26th. At this event, sponsored by the NRMA, NSW premier motor organisation a visitor can see over 1000 different cars over 30 years of age displayed at parks throughout the streets of the city. The other major display day is in October at the "All British Display Day". Here again is a large collection of cars from all eras of British motoring. Once every two years Australian Morris Minor Clubs come together for a National Rally. This is shared around the six states and hosted by one of the 17 clubs that make up the Morris Minor movement in Australia.

The Club, also provides the general public and club members an avenue in which to buy and sell cars, give information on reliable sources of spares and service for their cars and give advice on what repairs are required to member's cars. The Club holds a number of service and technical manuals which are available to members on loan. For "hands on" explanations of Morris Minor care, two days a year we use facilities donated by loaned to the Club for members themselves to repair/service their own cars and have on hand excellent tutors well versed in Morris Minor lore. Within the Morris Minor movement in Australia, as with most countries there are two groups: those who believe that the Morris Minor should not be changed or modified in any way from the original Alex Issigonis design and those who do not. The Morris Minor Car Club Of New South Wales, accepts any Morris Minor as long as there is no major exterior modification, that is, it must look like a Morris Minor. As for running gear modifications, this is limited by the Transport Department rules. Modification has always been part of the Australian motoring scene as the motorist aims to travel the state or nation more easily and in shorter times. When the Club was first set up, modification consisted mainly of enhancements on the BMC theme. Now in the 1990's our members are able to choose from a variety of modifications. Beginning with selection of a different motor, there is the uncommon BMC 1098cc motor (Morris Minors ended production in Australia in May 1962) or the most common conversion, the use of a Datsun 120Y motor. This can be fitted without difficulty with only "minor" removal of skirting on the frame around the inside of the lower engine bay. This engine in fact has British roots. The story goes that after WW II the Japanese were given aid and as part of this, drawings of the BMC motor were given to them. They then produced an improved design. The gearbox is also used, with or without the Datsun motor and provides better durability and convenience than the original one, with a lighter clutch and synchro is on all 4 gears and further a 5 speed unit is available although rare. Sometimes used is the Fiat 1600cc twin cam as seen in the U.K. and the Toyota Corolla 1300cc slant four cylinder motor. A choice of front brakes is also available. Morris Major 8" drum , Morris Marina discs or discs from the locally produced General Motors "Torana". (similar to a Vauxhall Viva in the U.K. ) These are the most easily fitted for which a kit has been developed by one of the Club members. Telescopic shock absorber kits are also available. Finally a variety of rear differentials are available, late Morris 4.2 ratio, Wolseley 3.7 or Morris Marina 3.9 ratio units.

So you can see that our club is, we think, equal in enthusiasm to any Morris Minor club around the world and yet have developed along with other clubs in Australia some uniquely Aussie Morris Minors.

 



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