May 27, 2004 – Local hot rodder/British car nut Bill C. came by a couple months back to show us snapshots of his latest project, a Chevy v8-powered ’59 Morris Minor “Traveler” (ie: woodie wagon). (See April 6, 2004 feature below.)
Well, he dropped by this week to show us his progress. It’s on the road, and man-o-man, is it fast!
He’s owned this particular Traveler for 35 years, in fact it’s the second car he ever owned. His first car was a ’57 Morris Minor two-door sedan.
When he was offered a custom scratch-built chassis fitted with a small Honda Civic body that was formerly powered by a Dodge 440 hemi with dual superchargers, he saw a lot of potential there for bringing his woodie back to life – with some SERIOUS horsepower!
It’s currrently fitted with a ’65 Corvette 327 CID engine (ie: the one originally rated at 365-horsepower) fitted with an Isky 292 cam w/ 505 lift, a built turbo 350 trans, and hooked to a narrowed Chrysler/Dana rear end and ladder-bar rear suspension. The front McPherson-strut suspension and disc brakes are from a Mazda RX-7, but the A-arms (and most of the rest of the car) are custom fabricated. With its 3.55 rear end, it will still cruise comfortably at freeway speeds.
Amazingly, Bill says he’s only into the car for about $6,000, since he’s accumulated many of the parts over the years at bargain prices, and he’s done most of the work himself.
What’s next for it? Well, Bill said now that he knows everything fits, he’s going to tear it all down and paint all the components and do it up nice.
Bill’s no stranger to British cars. He’s had a number of Minis in the past, most recently a panel van. He’s looking for another, so he’s a frequent visitor to our showroom. We always enjoy his visits, since he’s got a number of interesting projects and lots of great stories!
Click Here to see more pics.