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Homepage. This page: Original photos of Series V and VI Oxfords, including several at a BMC factory facility.

1. The Farina-designed Morris Oxford saloon.

Victor kindly sent the first photo in. He spotted this Morris saloon while driving through Budapest in 1968, and managed to record it in colour for posterity on his camera. He's interested in car registration numbers, and identified this lefthand drive Morris Oxford Series 5 as having been registered in Bucharest (Romania), hence the R plate on the bootlid. I wonder whether this car, registration 1-B-9575, survived?
A Series 5 Morris Oxford car

The Series V Morris Oxford.

The Series V Oxford was launched in 1959, and sold in this 'big fin' form until 1961 when the revised Series VI was introduced. The basic design was by Pininfarina, utilising tried and trusted British Motor Corporation (BMC) running gear. Various versions of the same basic design were built, with the Morris Oxford, and the Austin A55 Cambridge Mk2, being most numerous. Performance fans could opt for the Riley or MG version, whereas those looking for luxury might choose the Wolseley. Despite their close similarities, the two most popular versions were produced at different plants - the Austins at Longbridge, and the Morrises at Cowley.
These early Farinas were powered by the 1489cc B Series engine, and were a bit under-powered by all accounts. They also had quite a narrow track, making the cars look a little over-bodied (my own '59 Cambridge is just the same!). In 1961 the revised Series VI Morris Oxford was introduced, echoing improvements that were evident in the new A60 Austin. The track was widened, the wheelbase lengthened slightly, and a larger 1622cc version of the engine was now a standard fitment. The fins were also trimmed down on the rear wings, necessitating new rear light clusters and trim.

2. The Series VI Oxford.

An example of the Series VI Oxford now follows, seen in 1971. Along with various trim and styling revisions, the Series VI also saw the introduction of a diesel option, instead of the usual petrol unit of 1622cc. Many of the oil-burners were bought to use as taxis, and the Oxford taxi shown below could well have been one of the oil-burning variety. Estate car versions, known as the Oxford Traveller, were also sold.
A Series 6 Morris Oxford in a garage
This particular Oxford is seen being serviced at a garage, with a Morris Mini-Minor, and a Hillman Imp, for company. The Hackney Carriage plate (no.164) has been attached to the side of the Morris' rear wing, above the bumper. Unfortunately the car's registration can't be seen, but the smaller rear fins confirm that it is a Series VI rather than the earlier Series V model. The Mini (registration 972 GFJ) is having work done on its rear brakes by the look of it.

3. Another Oxford Series VI.

This Oxford's registration (8799 MX) dates it to the early 1960's, which ties in nicely with the rear wing line that can just be made out - confirming that it's a Series VI rather than the previous V. It looks to be in standard trim, bar the fitment of a spotlamp to the grille, an AA badge, and a stick-on demister panel in the rear window. A number of other British classics can also be seen in this photograph, including a couple of BMC 1100s/1300s (the nearest being a sporty MG variant). Ahead of this duo is, I think, a Mini, followed by a Hillman Husky estate car, a Vauxhall Victor, and yet another 1100/1300. In the distance, over the girl's shoulder, is a motorcyclist surrounded by a group of people.
(Please click the thumbnail to view the full-size Oxford images.)
Another Series VI Morris Oxford saloon

4. Series V Oxfords and more at a BMC Service facility.

This photograph, taken from a high vantage point in a factory BMC servicing facility (Cowley perhaps?) circa 1960, should gladden the heart of any 1950s/1960s BMC car fan. The more I stare at it, the more becomes apparent. In the foreground are two Series V Oxfords, identifiable from the Austin Cambridge version by the style of rear lamp, the hubcaps, and the chrome strip running along the top edge of the sills, beneath the doors. Evidently this is a servicing area of some kind, rather than solely a new-car preparation area, given that a variety of models - some several years older than others - are in shot.

Spot the classics.

To the right foreground is an immaculate Austin A55 pickup, which could well be receiving a pre-delivery inspection, so perfect is the paint in the rear load bay. Note the black-painted, rather than chromium-plated, wing mirrors. The front end of a Minor can also be seen, alongside the pickup. In row two are the following: Minor saloon, Austin A40/A50 Cambridge, Austin Princess (up on a two-post lift, registration GKW 261), another Minor (this time with blacked-out windows), and what looks like an A95 Westminster.
BMC service facility
Further back are more fine Austins, Morrises and a couple of MGAs. A Minor four-door saloon has its bootlid raised, while alongside it is parked a very sad-looking Austin A40 Somerset, with a stoved-in rear end. Alongside the Somerset is a 2.2 litre A70 Hereford (bonnet raised), parked in close proximity to an Austin A55 Cambridge Mk2. More Farinas can be seen beyond the A70, as can an Austin-Healey "frogeye" Sprite Mk1 (one of two in view), and an A35. To the right of, and behind, the Princess is a Mk1 A55, and a Mk1 A40 Farina nosed up close to it, with an A95 behind it. Close to the A35, on another hydraulic lift, is a two-tone A40 Mk1 (wheels removed, bonnet up), while in a row of cars in the distance - sandwiched by two more A40s and a Wolseley 1500, is a rare MGA Twin-Cam - identifiable by its knock-on centre-lock disc wheels.
On a raised section are what appear to be new Austin Cambridges under inspection (a better view of this inspection line can be seen on the A55 Cambridge Mk2 photo page). A lone MGA roadster can be seen to the left, having just been driven down the ramp from the inspection area. Anyone interested in the cars of BMC should take a look at this page, as it has photographs of this service facility before it became operational.
The MGA Twin-cam was only produced between 1958 and 1960. The Farina-designed A40 was also launched in 1958, and the A55 Mk2 and Oxford V in 1959. Assuming that the MGA shown above is new at the time of this shot, it pins down the date of this photograph to 1959 or 1960, about the date that my own Mk1 A40 rolled off Longbridge's production line. Were these cars photographed at Longbridge or Cowley?
Return to Old Car Photos Page No. 8.

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