Morris Minor Roof

Morris Minor Roof

I’ve not finished the bonnet but a Morris Minor Roof came up cheap, so I had to have it. It was a 11 hour round trip and needed cutting in half to fit in the car, but was in near perfect condition.

Morris Minor Roof

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The people at Oswestry Classic Cars really went above and beyond to help us out. Thanks 🙂

To be honest, I was a little concerned what these classic car specialists would say when I cut it up to get it in our hatchback, but they were very helpful – cheers!

I don’t drive any more (bad health), so thanks to the wife for driving me 🙂

It’s technically a Morris 1000, which means the rear window is a little too large for my liking. I have a much smaller early split windscreen rear window that I’ll blend in.

Morris Minor Rear Screens

Before bidding, I asked Oswestry to measure the roof to see if it would fit in the car and it wouldn’t. I also realised it was at least an inch wider than my MG Midget windscreen. It would need cutting in half, if not quarters as soon as I got home anyway.

I decided to save the £90 on van hire and pre-cut, before bringing it home

I’ve only made a few bits on the English Wheel and although I’m getting better, I think a roof would be way to big (in more ways than one) for me right now. I’d cut a few profile gauges (or engineers sweeps) out of 18awg steel, which took way too long, but they are now essentially for the bin. They are surprising close to the Moggy roof, but no cigar.

Not only is the early Morris Minor rear screen less wide, it is also not as tall. The roof on my Faux ’37 is about 4″ less tall than a Morris. Therefore, the shorter early screen is handy. The only real disadvantage of the early screens is that I haven’t seen them as heated.

There are those that will argue that you should not under any circumstance cut up a classic car. They’ll see past the artisan craftsmanship and just see the loss of a classic car. To be honest, I’m 99.9% one of those guys. I try and look on it as when this vehicle was broken, it went on to save many other vehicles. Our 17 year old Leon is already 30% recycled, but people forget that.

Trial Fit

Scaling a photo, using dimensions from Wikipedia, dropped over a 3D drawing you did in CAD years ago, isn’t the best way of envisaging whether a roof is viable. So when this 75% worked, straight out the box, I was quite chuffed.

If the roof didn’t fit or look right I had a few other options:

  • Scratch build a roof on the English Wheel – BIG TIME SCARY!
  • R51 Mini roof – nice profile at front but rear portion a massive challenge
  • Cut up a ’30 vintage car – NO – Poor Car!

I didn’t hold up much hope any of these would even happen, so all bets were basically placed on the Moggy roof working. 

Morris Minor Roof

English Wheel

The roof will need some English Wheel work, as the rear is too slightly too vertical. The Moggy’s rear screen sits at about 68° but I need it to sit at about 26°. I need to lean the rear screen forward another 42°. This is after all, this is a faux slant-back sedan.

Wooden Car Body Buck

I’ll have to get in with the deep throat stretcher and the English Wheel.– Not  easy

I’ve welded it back together and propped it in place. It’ll need straightening with the dolly and wheel but it’s not too bad. To be 100% honest, when I first welded it it looked terrible, but a quick hammering got it surprising close with very little effort. I felt like a professional panel beater. 

My wooden buck had a roof that was a little less domed in the middle, but I’ll grow to accept it. It would be too much work to make a roof from scratch with less dome.

Morris Minor Roof

In true lead-sled style, from the side, I have angle the rear down slightly by 2″. This means, all but the bottom 3 inches of the hole for the rear screen would get filled.

Morris Minor Roof

Building the structure

The roof will go back into storage for a while. It’s quite heavy and without support flexes the unfinished windscreen pillars. Besides, it’s in the way.

I will continue to make the cars The plan with all the dimple die structures is to create an internal mounting framework for the whole car. That way, I’ll have dozen of extra datum points and braces I can put spirit levels on. Some people have a open wooden buck, I want a metal one.

After the bonnet is closer, I have a list of jobs:

  • framework for headlamps
  • fully weld bulkhead
  • framework for running boards
  • door surrounds
  • floor pan
  • rear structure
  • boot surround
  • roof support
  • doors
  • roof