Monday, 4 August 2008

Ray Newell - Celebrating 25 years as secretary of the MMOC

Ray Newell, author of Veloce Publishing Morris Minor books, interviewed in this Months Classic & Sports Car magazine.

What drew you to Morris Minor?
My first car was a peat brown Morris 1000 two-door saloon. I learned to drive in it and used it as my everyday car for two years. I was attracted to the Morris Minor because of its reputation for economy, reliability and ease of maintenance. That was in 1974 and i haven't changed my mind since.

How did you get involved with the MMOC?
I joined the East Midlands Branch in 1981 before being invited to help out at national level as events co-ordinator. I then became secretary and the rest, as they say, is history.

Which is your favourite event?
The NEC Classic Car Show. I enjoy the camaraderie that exists between the exhibitors, and the public seem to have a soft spot for our cars. There can't be many people who can say they've been arrested by the singing policeman!

Which event are you most looking forward to?
Minors Are Forever at Stanford Hall on 21-22 June. The international dimension is an exciting prospect, with all vehicles and members coming from all over the world.

Your best Minor moments?
Both came in 1998. I was privileged to be allowed to drive the first Minor to roll off the production line in '48. I also got to meet its designer Sir Alec Issigonis.

Something to surprise members
My early life was spent in Northern Ireland... when told, people invariably say: 'I would never have guessed.'

Your dream car?
It's always been my ambition to own a jaguar Mk2, but I'm more than happy with my pride and joy, my 1949 Morris Minor Tourer.

Morris Minor – 60 years on the road
By Ray Newell

The Morris Minor, designed by Alec Issigonis, was one of Britain's most popular cars, and 2008 will mark 60 years since the first production models rolled off the production lines at Cowley in Oxfordshire. In this celebratory publication, Ray Newell looks in detail at the development of the wide range of models produced during a production run which spanned twenty two years in the UK. Using mainly contemporary materials covering four decades, he transports the reader to an era when the pace of life was much slower and the marketing of vehicles considerably different to the slick advertising of today. Issigonis' sketches of the prototype cars, sales brochures, promotional materials, and rare and unusual photographs make this a fascinating story.

Also available from Veloce Publishing: Morris Minor & 1000 – The Essential Buyer's Guide By Ray Newell.