Home » You’ll Never Guess What’s Underneath This Odd-Looking Morris Minor

You’ll Never Guess What’s Underneath This Odd-Looking Morris Minor

Morris Minor Prius Topshot
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Something’s off about this Morris Minor. Sure, the Garfield orange paint, aftermarket wheels, and roofless configuration are unusual, but that’s not what I’m talking about. The shape of this Minor looks strange, like someone’s been feeding it pies rather than fuel for the past 60 years. That’s because underneath this funhouse mirror of postwar Britain sits an unusually modern platform.

The odd hybrid machine you see before you is likely far, far quicker than a Minor 1000 should be. We’re talking about an electronically-limited top speed of 99 mph rather than a just plain limited top speed of 75 mph, along with a zero-to-60 time half of what the Morris did.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

Morris Minor Prius Interior Sides

The British Morris is rear-wheel-drive as opposed to the donor car’s front-wheel-drive, and all the high-voltage bits are tricky to package. The simple fact is, they don’t – this is a body drop. The floorpan, dashboard, and all the mechanical bits are purely from the donor, but the panels up top are more Minor than anything. This shouldn’t work, mostly because the dimensions of the two cars aren’t even close. A U.S.-spec first-generation version of the donor car is 21.6 inches longer and 6.7 inches wider than a Morris Minor, all while riding on a wheelbase some 14.4 inches longer.

As a result, this unholy mashup had six inches of sheetmetal added up the middle of the car, and man, does it ever look weird. The wide, flat hood and split glass feels a bit ‘51 Mercury, but the fascia and re-worked fenders don’t fit the vibe. It’s very hot rod, but it needs some of the details cleaned up to hold greater appeal.

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Morris Minor Prius Bed

If this hybridized Morris is unusual in the front, it’s a straight-up party in the back. This odd Minor is a pickup truck, featuring a wooden bed influenced by the Traveller model. In the bed, you’ll find a wooden chest and an overarching Tiki theme, from candles to a carving. I’m not chronically-online enough to know whether or not this is a bad thing in 2023, but it certainly has a place in hot rod history thanks to the lowbrow movement.

Now I know what you’re thinking: “Is this mashup structurally safe?” That’s a good question. Is a British economy car engineered while Fokkers were flying overhead structurally safe by modern standards? Probably not, so how much worse could this body drop possibly be? If you’re becoming a hood ornament in a crash either way, arguments around safety largely go out the window. (Note: Answer to what the donor car is coming after these photos):

Morris Minor Prius Interior 1

That dashboard should be a huge hint as to what lies beneath the stretched British sheetmetal, but in case you’re still drawing a blank, tap the image below to reveal the root of the weirdness.

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Tell Me

If you fancy a Morris Minor with stereotypically reliable mechanicals, this green little hot rod is currently sitting on Facebook Marketplace in Hayward, Calif. for $12,500. That’s a lot of money for a chopped-up Morris Minor and an enormous amount of money for the greasy bits of this thing’s donor car, but who knows? Maybe the right person will come along who has to own this thing.

(Photo credits: Facebook Marketplace Seller)

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Myk El
Myk El
8 months ago

I got the donor right. I think the first time I’ve managed that.

121gwats
121gwats
8 months ago

I was thinking PT Cruiser from the fenders, but nope. Not. Even. Close.

Daniel Jones
Daniel Jones
8 months ago
Reply to  121gwats

My gut was saying PT Cruiser as well, but my eyebrows shot up at the actual answer.

Lew Schiller
Lew Schiller
8 months ago

He’s been trying to sell this for quite a while. Last I saw it was $10,800

Thomas Metcalf
Thomas Metcalf
8 months ago
Reply to  Lew Schiller

Well, it seems that this monstrosity is an appreciating asset. You should buy it before the value goes any higher!

Lew Schiller
Lew Schiller
8 months ago
Reply to  Thomas Metcalf

I prefer my Moggies in their more natural state. The 10,800 was what I saw very recently as it bounces around the Morris Minor FB groups.

Last edited 8 months ago by Lew Schiller
AlienProbe
AlienProbe
8 months ago

Sorry but… Crackpipe.

Nlpnt
Nlpnt
8 months ago

Bumperlessness is doing this car no favors. Since the Minor was already widened 4″ just before production (but after bumpers had been tooled up and a number produced, hence early cars’ filler plates), just cut a later model’s bumpers in half and put a similar 6″ filler plate in between.

Likewise, this car’s builder filled in the creases on the hood which was a mistake. They were there in the first place to let in the additional 4″ without reworking the curves so the builder should’ve just run with that!

Drew
Drew
8 months ago

I don’t mind this, even if I wouldn’t buy it. Taking a hybrid that isn’t particularly desirable and making it the basis of a cosmetic cruiser like this is nice. But I also just like the idea of just throwing a custom shell on a modern drivetrain (and interior here, which is fine, though I’ve never particularly cared for the old Prius interior).

Duke of Kent
Duke of Kent
8 months ago

I don’t necessarily like this particular vehicle, but I really love the concept of mating the shell of a classic car to the drivetrain and interior bits of a modern car. This seems like a great way to make use of vehicles known for their beautiful design without having to deal with their basketcase mechanicals.

The push toward electric vehicles and their “skateboard” layouts gives me hope that we’ll see more of this in the future.

Lockleaf
Lockleaf
8 months ago
Reply to  Duke of Kent

I am on board with this idea in all but one way. I hate modern dashboards inside old steel. I find it aesthetically jarring. That being said, I’m currently building a 1971 Travelall, where I cut out the floorpan/firewall and welded it to the floorpan/firewall of a stock 2003 Tahoe (Its called Tallhoe). And inside? I still have the Tahoe dashboard. I hope to have a “phase 2” where I can pull that dashboard and in its place install a modified late 60s Travelall Dashboard instead, but for now, I’m just a hypocrite.

If anyone is interested, the build can found on Youtube under “Project Tallhoe” or “Alchemy Motorsports”.

Duke of Kent
Duke of Kent
8 months ago
Reply to  Lockleaf

That’s a fair point. The “seam” between the old and the new is hard to get right, and a pair of fuzzy dice hanging from the rear-view can only do so much to retro up a modern interior/dashboard to match the classic exterior.

W124
W124
8 months ago
Reply to  Lockleaf

This, so much this! It’s a real letdown to see modern dashboard/interior in a classic (looking) car. I’m not one to judge if someone wants to modify their car, but I don’t get how anyone could be just okay with blending classic outlook with modern interior. If interior is modified or different from the shells original, at least do it in a way that resonates with the rest of the car.

And which makes this habit of combining classic looks with modern interiors even weirder is that the classic interiors are usually way cooler and better looking at least for me, they don’t have any design restrictions because of “safety” or some other irrelevant reason like that.

Gubbin
Gubbin
8 months ago
Reply to  Duke of Kent

Proportions make it difficult though. I remember that Datsun 510 someone plopped onto a Miata, and they had to widen the 510 by like a foot. Funny to think of the perfectly adequate car my family grew up in being smaller than a small sportscar.

Jb996
Jb996
8 months ago
Reply to  Duke of Kent

I understand the sentiment of not liking a modern dash in an old car, but we should be easy on him. It may not be a matter of “How could they be alright with this!!” And more that they aren’t okay with it, but replacing a dash and gauges requires a very different skill set than body work.
The Prius is Canbus and I expect that very few, in any, gauges run on a direct voltage signal, whereas the 60s gauges did So, now you have to tap the DME wires, find the sensor signal, measure it’s range/calibration, and maybe make a custom Arduino/Raspberry Pi to convert to a voltage that will drive the 60s gauge. Or install duplicate aftermarket sensors that only drive the cluster, while also keeping the modern sensors to feed the DME.
And rewire the AC controls, etc. Or try disassemble the modern electronics/ switches into older housings? Oh, and custom vent ducts in the old dash. It’s all possible, but it seems to me as just as much, if not more work that the body swap.

But I’m sitting on my couch typing this, I have a project car that I keep mostly stock; this guy put in a ton of work. Who am I to judge?
I think Locklear might be the only one that can criticize.

Nice build. Not for me but I hope it finds a good home.

StillNotATony
StillNotATony
8 months ago

A lot of effort seems to have been put into this for a result is less than the sum of its parts.

Kinda reminds me of a vehicle I saw on Craigslist in Kansas. It was a trike built out of the front halves of two Chevy Citation notchbacks. The back front half had the engine, and the front front half had a Goldwing front fork hidden inside. The front front had been narrowed so the driver sat in the middle. It was fully enclosed, but appeared to only have a door on the driver’s side.

The truly strange thing about it was the level of craftsmanship (in pictures, at least). The body panels were all straight, and the beige paint looked factory. The ad even claimed the AC worked!

I regret not going to look at it, but it’s probably for the best that I didn’t. I wasn’t really in the market for a car at the time, but it spoke to my soul.

Nlpnt
Nlpnt
8 months ago
Reply to  StillNotATony

The most challenging part is finding two Chevy Citation *notchbacks*. I don’t think you could do that even on a Chevy dealer’s lot during the 2 or 3 non-consecutive model years they were made.

Hoonicus
Hoonicus
8 months ago

David went on his west coast buying spree too soon.

Chronometric
Chronometric
8 months ago

That is the unholiest of unholy alliances. We’re talking Lucifer and Medusa’s illicit spawn. This thing will turn you to stone and send you straight to hell.

Viking Longcar
Viking Longcar
8 months ago

Is that $12,500 with or without the catalytic converter?

Sklooner
Sklooner
8 months ago

I was going to say oil stains but that is what is under pretty much all of them

Black Peter
Black Peter
8 months ago

Ewww they ruined the charm of the original. None of the proportions work now.

Gubbin
Gubbin
8 months ago
Reply to  Black Peter

Pretty bad what they did to the Morris, too!

Black Peter
Black Peter
8 months ago
Reply to  Gubbin

lol that actually took me sec

Mark Tucker
Mark Tucker
8 months ago

Knew what it was as soon as I saw the shifter.

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