Projects: A Morris pick-up makeover
Wales-based boatbuilder John Jones has used his woodworking skills to renovate his beloved 1962-vintage Morris pick-up with a judicious use of WEST SYSTEM® epoxy.
The Morris Minor, or ‘Moggie’, has been likened to Doctor Who’s Tardis in that it travels through time pretty well. Designed during the Second World War by the father of the British Mini, Alex Issigonis, the Morris Minor and its variants were in production from 1948 until 1972, by which time 1,583,619 units had been made. Around 65,000 are still being driven on Britain’s roads today and one of them belongs to a talented restorer of classic yachts, John Jones.
“Moggie was a present – for a big birthday – from my wife, mother-in-law and daughters,” John explains. “The van was great and I drove it around for a year but then knew it needed a proper restoration job.”
Morris Minors are well known for their good handling and have been future-proofed by the dogged support of a select number of specialists who keep them on the road. As such, some 99.5% of all Morris Minor parts can still be obtained, many of them made in Sri Lanka in an open-air factory. Prices for panels and most of the main components are much cheaper than those for modern cars. However, John was about to learn what the 0.5% didn’t cover.
“When we decided to restore the Moggie pick-up, we soon discovered that while body work and parts are readily available, parts for the ‘pick-up’ section itself are not. Having a business in building and restoring wooden boats led us to decide that wood was the obvious answer.”
John opted for oak and oak-faced ply for the main part of the pick-up, with the wheel arches made by laminating thin strips of elm. He’s been building and restoring all types of boats for over 40 years and also specialises in custom items such as clocks and furniture. Compared to some of the projects they have undertaken, this was relatively straight forward.
“Using WEST SYSTEM Epoxy makes wood a very versatile material and hence it is feasible to keep to the original design,” John says. “Although the wooden pick-up is made of lots of pieces of timber, by using the bonding quality of WEST SYSTEM 105 Epoxy Resinand 205 Fast Hardenerthe structure becomes ‘as one’. This makes it strong and easy to maintain. It’s the same qualities we install in our wooden boats.”
Moggie is presently undergoing body repairs and painting and John hopes the restored vehicle will be on the road by August.
If you would like to see more of John’s boatbuilding or furniture work, or would like to discuss a commission, he can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 07407 059699
Creating a pick-up shell in oak.