On the 29th March 1913 the first production Morris Oxford motor car car left the Temple Cowley works of W.R.M. Motors. Subsequently millions of cars, vans, trucks and military vehicles followed, ensuring that by the late thirties Morris Motors Ltd. were one of the largest and most successful businesses in the United Kingdom. Much of that success can be directly attributed to the energy and drive of the company founder, William R. Morris. In the process of growing his business empire he became a very wealthy man. Having built up a huge personal fortune he then proceded to donate large sums of money in order to establish charitable trusts and foundations for the benefit of all. He was fiercely patriotic and helped establish and fund campaigns imploring prospective car buyers to 'Buy British'. For these deeds a grateful nation showered awards upon him, culminating in his elevation to the peerage in 1934 followed in 1938 by the bestowal of the title Viscount Nuffield. Born in a Worcestershire village in 1877, followed by an early career in bicycles, he died peacefully in 1963.
Extract from The Morris Motor Car 1913 - 1983 by Harry Edwards. (ISBN 0 86190 098 7) Copyright The Harry Edwards Estate.
The pre-war Minor added just 86,309 units to the millions of cars eventually sold bearing the Morris badge. However its six year production life spanned the period when the worst effects of the global depression were being felt and the model helped keep Morris Motors Ltd. solvent.
The first car car to carry the Morris name was the 'Oxford' of 1913 as seen top left with William Morris at the wheel. (Image K. Martin) The very last model was the 'Ital' launched in October 1980. The car was an updated version of the 1971 Morris Marina. The most successful Morris in terms of both sales and reputation was the post - war Minor. Selling over 1,500,000 units of all derivatives, the 1948 Issigonis designed Morris 'Mosquito', was renamed the 'Minor' prior to launch. It remained in continuous production for 23 years.
Image courtesy of Ken Martin.
To enlarge the thumb nail, just click upon it
William Morris sits in an early Oxford model having just taken part in the 1913 MCC London Edinburgh Trial.