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Homepage. This page: Two lads and a pre-war 12hp Morris Twelve-Four Series 2 saloon, photographed in Acton.

Morris 12/4 Series 2.

The mid-1930s Morris 12/4 and 10/4 Series II saloons shared the same basic design, so identifying them apart can be tricky to say the least. Fortunately Jim, who sent this old photo over, remembers this car - registration CMU 655 - as being a 12/4 of 1935 or thereabouts. A London-issued registration, it ties in nicely with this view of the car in 1962, located as it was in Acton, West London.
Two of his apprentice friends (London Underground, 1959-1965) bought the well-preserved 12hp Morris, at a time when modest pre-war cars provided a low-cost route to car ownership. This was the first car that Jim drove, shortly afterwards he'd buy his own first car, an Austin 16/6 that he still owns today.
(Please click the thumbnail to view full-size image.)
Morris 12/4 car
"As apprentices, we were working at Neasden Power Station (long since gone!), and Andy, who is not in the photo, asked me if I would like to have a drive of the Morris. Well, how could I refuse? And I have to say that (in my opinion) I drove it very well. Going down Wembley High Street, Andy could see a problem coming up with a very tight space between two other vehicles, and advised me that, given the gap available, there was no way in which I could take his car through. I can still hear his cries now as he begged me not to go through, but I took no notice and believe it or not I got through without a scratch. His cry changed to one of utter relief as he said that he did not think I could have got through the gap. *(E A S Y!)*. The other vehicles from what I can recall were a Morris Minor 1000 and a milk float. Oh Happy Days!"
Thanks for sending the photo over Jim!
Both the Morris Ten-Four and Twelve-Four employed a four-cylinder sidevalve engine under their respective bonnets. The smaller car had an engine of 1292cc, while the 12hp version has a 1550cc unit. Because of the increase, 12/4 owners would face a Road Tax bill of 9 per annum, while the 10/4 owner had to fork out 7 10s. Both variants had a three-speed (plus reverse) gearbox, with identical gear ratios, and matching 7 gallon fuel tanks. The "Twelve" did require a little more lubricant in its sump and water in its cooling system though, according to the handbook for 1935. Slightly higher tyre pressures were also recommended for the larger-engined version.

Morris Motors works' visit.

Interestingly, the handbook for the 10/4 and 12/4 mentions that interested Morris car owners could book to have a conducted tour of the Morris factory. Parties of upto twenty people at any one time could be accommodated on a tour of the works, with tours taking place on every weekday at 10.30am, 2.15pm and 3.45pm. Practices like this led to great marque loyalty, with many buyers repeatedly buying their new cars from one manufacturer only. In the '50s and '60s, BMC had to produce Austin and Morris versions of many popular ranges, simply to keep the one-marque buyers content.

The Morris chassis.

A cutaway view of the 10hp/12hp Series 2 chassis is shown below.
Morris 12 chassis
Return to Page 14 in the classic & vintage vehicle photo gallery.
A photo of the later, revised, 12hp car can be found on the Morris 12/4 Series 3 page.

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