Morris Minor a major time capsule

Tumut’s Simone Guascoine with her 1957 Morris Minor.

Spin My Wheels: Josh Gidney

Simone Guascoine’s Morris Minor was built the year man was first launched in space, but her history with it began 25 years ago.

“I had an art gallery in Kingaroy, Queensland 25 years ago and we had an artist who used to drive up there from The Entrance in NSW in a green four-door Morris,” she recalled.

“I had always loved Morrises, ever since I was a nurse in England. A doctor bought one, but didn’t have a licence, so I went with him to pick it up and I got to drive it home.”

The artist friend from The Entrance informed Simone that someone he knew was doing up a 1957 Morris Minor, but wasn’t able to finish it. The Morris was bought and brought back to Kingaroy.

“There were two lads that lived nearby who were mechanics and they got her roadworthy,” she said. “It became the gallery car.”

Simone and family moved to Alice Springs, but the Morris stayed in Kingaroy for ten years before joining her for the last five years she was there.

“My son’s partner’s father had a mechanical business and they restored her mechanically,” she said. Meanwhile, back here in Tumut, Simone said the Morris is a fabulous car to own.

“When you drive it, it is a bit of nostalgia,” she said.

“It gets you out of the fast lane and you get to see the countryside more because you are going so slow.”

It is also a great conversation piece.

“It is amazing how many people have had a connection to a Morris some time in their life,” she said. “There were at least eight Morrises in Alice Springs.”

The Morris has its original 1000cc engine and a four-speed manual gearbox. While the paint scheme is easy on the eye, Simone wants to get it back to what it left the factory with.

“We’re going to have it painted Camden Cream, which is what is on the compliance plate,” she said. Considering it is 61 years old, the Morris hasn’t given Simone a whole lot of grief.

“It has its own little quirks,” she said. “Sometimes it will jump out of second gear, although it is a lot better than it used to be.

“The only thing that has really gone wrong was on its maiden voyage, when the accelerator cable snapped. Luckily a nearby friend on a farm replaced it with some fence wire.

That stayed there for years before we replaced it.” Spare parts are not a problem these days despite the car’s age.

“We have found a place in Goulburn where we can get any parts we want.” Simone is unlikely to ever part with the Morris.

“I won’t get rid of it; I’ve had it so long,” she said.