The ideal vehicle for those of you planning to take up tree surgery (the sign-writing’s already there) - it is, of course, a Morris Minor pick-up from 1970, powered by a later 1,275c A-series engine and fitted with a highly-desirable Ford 5-speed gearbox.
RBM 352J underwent a heroic restoration back in the late ‘90s. There is a quite a collection of invoices from Charles Ware’s Morris Minor Centre detailing the parts supplied. Who would have thought that such a small pickup could have so many parts in it?
The list of body and chassis sections supplied is jaw-dropping: two front wings, front wheel arch panels, flitches, flitch extensions, tie plates, bulkhead to tie plate sections, front valance, under-sill panel, boxing plates, cab back rails, kitchen sinks – the lot (well, maybe not the last).
The invoices on file make great reading. The restorative work did not stop with the bodywork and there are invoices covering trim, electrical, mechanical components to the tune of almost £4,000 at 1990s prices, not including the 1,275cc engine - nor the labour.
Whether the turquoise truck did much tree surgery work (Bonsai specialist?) we don’t know, but the MOT history shows that it only covered around 10,000 miles in the next 12 years. Even now the mileage is only up to 104,994 – that’s 4,600 miles in the last nine years so it has not had to work hard for its living.
The truck was serviced as recently as September this year when it received a new battery, brake shoes, drums, hoses, wheel cylinders, electronic ignition and a new ignition switch.
Lovely though it is, it would benefit from a little cosmetic TLC, though nothing like the work it needed twenty years ago.