Lot 19 (Chateau Impney, 7th December 2016)
Registration No: BEW 234
Chassis No: S3/FS60568
Mot Expiry: Exempt
- Reputedly 1 of just six surviving examples known to the pre-1940 Morris Register
- Remarkably well-preserved thanks in part to 30 plus years' spent in dry storage
- First registered in Huntingdonshire and understood to have been a staff car at RAF Warboys
A car to make William Morris - or indeed any manufacturer - proud, this 14/6 Series III Saloon has survived remarkably well since it was first road registered as 'BEW 234' by Huntingdon County Council on October 1st 1938. Sporting a chrome-plated (rather than painted) radiator shell and braided silk interior pull handles for its rear seat passengers, the Morris is understood to have served as an Air Ministry staff car at RAF Warboys. A handwritten annotation to the continuation buff logbook in its accompanying history file indicates that the four-door saloon was subsequently sold to Arthur William Newman Esq on 19th February 1944. Proprietor of the local Supply Stores, Mr Newman used 'BEW 234' for delivering goods to his best customers into the 1960s. Relocating to Hounslow, West London thereafter with Lewis Nevile White Esq, the 14/6 Series III was laid-up in a garage during the late 1970s. Left to slumber for over thirty years, the Morris was recommissioned by its previous keeper via a thorough service, brake system overhaul, reconditioned Jackall system, new 6-volt batteries and fresh cross-ply tyres. Starting readily upon inspection, its 1.8 litre OHV six-cylinder engine is thought to have been overhauled in the past. Boasting synchromesh on third and fourth gears, 'BEW 234' is said to possess a surprising turn of speed for a 1930s saloon. Pleasingly retaining its original Brown leather upholstery and some of its factory-applied Black paintwork, the Morris exudes a wonderful patina. The doors all open and close with a satisfying 'thunk' and overall the car gives an impression of solidity which perhaps explains its longevity. Reputedly one of just six surviving 14/6 Series III saloons known to the pre-1940 Morris Register, 'BEW 234' is just the sort of car that would have taken spectators to the first Goodwood race meetings or witnessed Sir Stirling Moss's Prescott debut etc.
Running on Evans waterless coolant and fitted with an alternator disguised as a dynamo, the Morris is said to have performed faultlessly on The Mendip Tour earlier this summer embarrassing some far grander machinery in the process.