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Four Morris Minor 1000s on tour

George – No less than four Morris Minor 1000 vehicles are taking part in the sixth Liquorland Heritage Tour that takes place from 23 to 27 September 2017.  The Heritage Tour is one of the highlights on the calendar of the Southern Cape Old Car Club (SCOCC).

Pierre Olivier and Fernando Gomes of Pick n Pay in front of the PreCap Centre in Courtenay Street, George, from where the 2016 Heritage Tour departed

Pierre Olivier, from Blanco, the chairperson of the committee organising the Liquorland Heritage Tour, is taking part in his 1962 Morris Minor 1000 for the sixth time. He is very proud of his Morris Minor 1000,  which he found in a barn in Robertson six years ago. The vehicle had been stored in the barn for 21 years. Although it was still complete, it needed serious restoration. For instance, the brake pads were completely rusted away. He lovingly restored it and it remains his favourite mode of transport.

Pierre Olivier in his Morris Minor 1000 on the way during the 2016 Heritage Tour. Pics: Tisha Steyn

 “Ever since the first Morris Minor 1000 was manufactured by the British Motor Company (BMC) during the mid-Fifties to the early seventies, the vehicle remained the most favourite family car ever manufactured in the United Kingdom. More than 1.5 million of them have been manufactured and the model is still a favourite collector’s item in former British colonies like South Africa, Australia as well as the United States and Canada.

According to Olivier, the Morris Minor 1000, which was the forerunner of the ever popular Mini, was quite advanced for its time. “It was provided with a rack and pinion steering mechanism, which is still used today.  It was also one of the first cars provided with a torsion bar front suspension.”

The door opening of Olivier’s two-door model is slightly larger than that of the four-door model, making it easier for the tall-framed Olivier to get in and out of his car. His wife, Tilly, will accompany him on this year’s Heritage Tour.

Other Morris Minor 1000s taking part in the 2017 Liquorland Heritage Tour, include the 1957 model belonging to George Marx and Mariette Terblanche from Tergniet, who are also taking part for the sixth time, Jan and Anita Wright from Danabaai, in their 1958 model, and Sydney and Daphne Young from Tulbagh in their 1961 model.

The Heritage Tour departs from the PreCap Centre in Courtenay Street, George on 23 September from 07:00. The group will travel along the R62 to Jeffreys Bay, where they will overnight. The next day they will travel to the village of Addo, the third day to Graaff Reinet, and the fourth day to Willowmore. On 27 September, they will return home to George via De Rust.

Residents of towns and places of interest along the route of just more than 1000 km are invited to meet the owners and have a closer look at the vehicles. The full travelling programme is available on the website www.scocc.co.za

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