Cold Start: That’s The Other 10-4, Good Buddy

Cs Morris10 4

The 1946 Morris Ten-Four (Series “M”) was about three decades too early to have a fun name with some cultural impact. I suspect the one thing that the tea-chugging, waistcoat-bound executives of the Morris concern would never have guessed is that the name of their car, the Ten-Four, would have a name that would become synonymous with a strange automotive subculture dominated by American truckers and all kinds of exciting slang like “Kojack with a Kodak” and “pregnant roller skate” and “lot lizard.”

And yet here we are. Morris should have brought back the 10-4 name in the ’70s, maybe with a special edition Marina, and really leaned into that CB culture. Maybe the 10-4 Marina could have been antenna-studded and full of kitchy Americana and have stars and stripes on the roof or something, like how American Minis can have Union Jacks slathered all over them.

Oh, also this callout diagram of the Morris has all kinds of good mundane callouts like “large luggage container with external access” and “large external oil filter” and “well-less floor.” So enjoy that.

Anyway, 10-4, good buddies.

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12 Responses

  1. One of my all time favorite rides was a ‘58 Morris Minor 1000 convertible. Tiny, tinny, floppy, and a bare canvas top: no liner. No seatbelts of course, so the slightest turn had me sliding across the oxblood-red flat seat. Wish we could post pics: it was cute as all hell. Wasn’t mine: I first ‘sorted’ it, then maintained it for a friend.

    The Lucas curse? Well, my electrical trouble-kit grew from a tackle box of misc. to a tote plus larger box. Every single time I took it out I would end up doing a temporary fix, then re-doing that circuit the next weekend. But, honestly, I think most of it was just age & neglect. Once I started getting serious about grounding, a lot of it would be, say, getting pulled over at 1am for no taillights. Cop was cool ( I was completely straight &sober, too ), and let me re-clean the lamp sockets without giving me a ticket. I had the owner order new assemblies the next day (had already re-wired the system to the rear): never had further problems back there.

    Only took it on interstate once: Speedo said 70, but I wasn’t comfortable at all-and I learned to drive on air-cooled VWs & had been driving $75-300 early ‘80s Subarus for some 15 years then, so I was used to sketchy. I should note that it didn’t have the stock 998cc(I think?), but the motor from an Austen1300 which some Giterdone ‘mechanic’ had robbed parts from to make it LHD. That was fun when I had to replace the distributor!

    I’m a fan of car forums, and the Moggy community was awesome: a bunch of Aussies kinda took me in and made getting it straight possible. They figured out the Austin thing-I was lost. So, props to those of you who read the forums and take time to help others!

  2. The “large luggage container with external access” was for the matching executive luggage with the genuine leather embellishments and initials, the mundanity of the unnecessary description just reminded me of that

  3. Ten fiscal “horsepower” (about 30 real ones), four cylinders. There had probably been a Ten-Six at some point before the war.

    Sunroof in a first-generation all steel body. Leather upholstery without even the option of cloth which had been used exclusively in closed cars throughout the non-British world from the 1920s and would continue to be until vinyl became trendy in the ’50s. By inference, this thing must’ve been leaky as a Cub Scout pup tent.

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