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Out of Africa Morris Minor blog


Ian Cushway profile Image

By Ian Cushway, 21st April 2021


Out of Africa!


A well-travelled 1951 Moggy goes under the hammer.


Out of Africa Morris Minor blog image 01

Photo Credit: Hampson Auctions


Looking almost as spotless as it did 70 years ago, who would have guessed this Minor spent most of its life on a much wilder continent? But close to three decades in Africa might be just the start for 'YSY 530' because the intrepid Morris is about to find a new owner as it's set to go under the hammer at Hampson Auctions’ sale, Thornton Manor, Wirral later this month.


Out of Africa Morris Minor blog image 02

Photo Credit: Hampson Auctions


The story begins when current owner James Davies bought it from a private seller in Rhodesia in 1954. Up to that point, aside from a memorable 2500-mile return trip from Salisbury (now Harare, Zimbabwe) to Umtata on the Eastern Cape of South Africa, it was primarily used for journeys on the local roads, whose primitive strips of tarmac were far better suited to trucks than the relatively narrow track of the Morris. Come 1960, when James moved to the UK to further his education, the mighty Minor was sold to an elderly lady. Imagine his surprise then, on returning to Rhodesia three years later, to find the car advertised in a local paper for £200. Needless to say, James snapped it back up and it then spent the following seven years trundling along the dusty, makeshift roads of Zambia.

This was followed by a six-year spell in South Africa, the journey to which remains lodged deep in the Davies' family memory. Husband and wife set off in separate cars, with James in the Minor accompanied by no less than four spaniels. Alas, they became separated and, on nearing the Zambesi, the Morris’s fuel tank sprung a leak. The 1820-mile trek by road and rail was ultimately only completed by plugging the hole with soft soap (a proven ‘get you home’ repair) and topping up with fuel at each of the widely spaced petrol stations. Mrs. Davies still remembers her relief at hearing the Minor finally steaming up the Zambesi escarpment to the hotel at the top, where she had waited, desperate for news of her husband, dogs and car.


Out of Africa Morris Minor blog image 03

Photo Credit: Hampson Auctions


Following its stint in South Africa, where the Morris had served as a school taxi for the couple’s two boys, in 1978 it and the rest of the family’s worldly chattels were shoe-horned into a 20ft shipping container en-route to a fresh start back in the UK.


Out of Africa Morris Minor blog image 04

Photo Credit: Hampson Auctions


Despite its worldly adventures, this stunningly original, rust-free 1951 Morris Minor MM has still only clocked 62,900 miles from new, and is now being sold by Mr. Davies for the second and, doubtless emotional, last time in 67 years on April 28. The car carries a pre-sale estimate of £7,000-8,000 - but its previous history makes it priceless. Indeed, if cars could talk, this humble Moggy would have quite a tale to tell...

See Hampson Auctions for further details.


Main image photo credit: Hamson Auctions



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