A pick-up convertible ….? Only very few people know that they really exist. To be honest, we had never heard or seen of the car before. Nice to discover, although 40 years experience in the car business, we are never too old to learn. But a good client of us was aware of the lovely cars and he bought this Morris Eight Series Z Utility in England in 2005. He asked a well known specialist to modifying the car a little in order to make it more driveable by the fitting of a brand new 1000 cc Mini engine and disc brakes in front. After this work was carried out the crossing of the North Sea to the Netherlands could take place. And such a crossing the car was used to because originally the Morris Eight Ute (Utility) was built exclusively for Australia. Just like in the USA, a pick up has been there, and still is, very popular for decades. And the connection with England and their car industry is obvious. So the Morris came on the market as a pickup, but then for a sunny country, so as a convertible.
We can say it is a very special car, which was imported in England and used by master thatcher Dan Quartermain from Shutford. He drove the Morris when he had to make an offer somewhere and did that driving in style. Especially the women of the house were always very fond of the nice convertible. Talking about the car and the work that has to done to the roof of the house, the quotation was often quickly converted to an assignment.
But times and wishes change and so the car was sold to a Dutch enthusiast. The Morris fit perfectly between the other English cars from his collection and was neatly maintained and regularly driven. Several meetings in a club or tour were ridden until in France. And the reactions were always overwhelming. There is another expensive or exclusive Bugatti, Ferrari or other exot, but the Morris always attracted the most attention. We think because it is an endearing car, almost no one has seen him before and because the originality radiates from it. No shiny paint or chrome but a wonderful patina that you rarely see.
The pick-up drives, partly due to the more powerful and torque of the new engine, very good. The original 900 cc. side-valve engine is also present. It did run very well, but a little more power was desirable, so that was done. The gearbox also shifts smoothly and the brakes work through the fitting of disc brakes, even better than the original drum brakes. The owner has installed a new softtop and a vinyl cover for the cargo area. Recently, 4 new tires have been mounted and the wheels have also been sandblasted and powder coated.
Sometimes we come accross a car that attracts everyone’s attention in a funny way. Rarely we saw a car where that was more than with this Morris. Then you also come to the point where you “fall in love” for such a car and look for reasons to justify the purchase to yourself. We did not have to think a long period. What about: not a big investment, and what you invest is well spent, something special, unique in the world (we have heard that there are only a dozen driving around the world). ) easy to maintain, and perhaps most the important reason: having a lot of fun with it. Of course, it can also be a perfect car for promoting a company. Think of flower shops, antique shops or a bed and breakfast. There are countless opportunities for promoting your company. It is wonderful to be able to enjoy a 65-year-old very rare classic car which does not think about retiring.
The Series Z 5cwt Van, a derivative of the Morris 8-series E, was introduced at the end of 1938, and was designed as a replacement for the Series 1 van. However, many of the features of the van had more in common with the earlier 8 Series 1 & 2 cars than the Series E. The engine was similar to that in the 8 Series E, but used a crankshaft from the Series 1 & 2, but with bearings instead cast in bearing shells. This may have been a necessity to adapt the engine to the 3-speed gearbox used in previous 8 models instead of the 4-speed gearbox used in the 8 Series cars. Unlike the cars, with their new headlamp mounting in the front wings, the Z series used traditional lights. The instrumentation used was the same as previous 8 models. The vast majority of the early production went to military and public use. Production continued until 1953, when more than 51,000 vans were manufactured. The best known are the cars that were used for the English Mail Company. Only for the Australian market the Z Utility, the pick-up version, was made.