The Minor rolling chassis evolved over the six years of its production, as did the engines and bodies that were placed upon them. The 1929 and 1930 chassis shown below were identical as the two photos illustrate, however from then on subtle changes can be noted as the years progress.
Upon the cars launch it was fitted with a heavily dished steering wheel and a single bonnet 'steady'. No sign of the Sparton Horn or Advance/Retard arm and lever. The inset shows the same page as taken from the 1930 owners Operations Manual and shares an identical image to that used in the 1929 edition.
For 1931 the heavily dished steering wheel has gone and the single central radiator 'steady' has been replaced by a pair attached to each side of the radiator header tank and the bulkhead. Bumper bars are also seen attached to the chassis for the first time. The handbrake arm has gained a round black bakerlite nob and the advance/retard lever can also be seen.
The 1931 side valved engined car had an almost ientical chassis to its OHV predecessor. Note however the painted radiator souround, lack of a Calormeter and wings and the bracket attached to the rear of the chassis frame.
For 1932 the fuel tank has been moved from the scuttle to a position between the chassis frame at the rear of the car. The Sparton Horn re-appears, this time suspended from the nearside radiator 'steady'. The coil is now mounted on the steering column and a petro lift can be seen attached to the bulkhead. The advance/retard arm is shorter and the lever much smaller than earlier cars. A new back axle design can also be seen together with the new Dunlop Magna wheels. The new radiator souround is not obvious here although the dipswitch on the horn button is visible.
For 1933 the car had the option of a four speed gearbox, another new rad design and the Sparton Horn has vanished once again! (as has a battery!)
For 1934 (its final year) the car sported yet another new radiator souround (the 6th!), a steering column binnacle, a button operated handbrake with finger grips and smaller 18" Magna wheels.
The 1933 long wheel base chassis models (by now named the Morris Minor Family Eight & Special Coupe) were 12" longer than the standard short wheel base Minors, upon which were placed significantly heavier bodies. However the power plants remained the same 847 cc side valve units which developed just 19 BHP resulting in a detrimental impact on performance when compared with the swb models.
Page updated 28/06/13
1932 lwb Chassis: The first long wheel base chassis was also the last to carry the overhead camshaft engine. While all short wheel base Minors for the 1932 season were now fitted with the December 1930 launched side valve engine, the new Sports Coupe and the Family Eight Saloon models continued with the OHC unit. Unlike the swb OHC cars the fuel tank is now situated at the rear, hydraulic brake pipework is visible. Note also the rounded bakerlite knob on top of the handbrake, a feature common to all Minor models from the commencement of the 1931 model season until the first of the 1934 models (Image courtesy of Peter Brock)