The Morris Minor was the first British car to sell a million units and as that milestone approached, BMC decided to create a special edition car – a common event now, but a rarity in the 1960s.
So the Minor Million was created. Mechanically a standard 948 Minor 1000 this special edition of 350 cars was distinguished by vivid lilac paintwork. Other external features were wheel embellishers and special 1000000 badges on the bonnet and boot lid. The interior sported white leather seats with black piping.
Of the 350 ‘Millions’ produced in December 1960, 30 were built left hand drive specification and exported to Europe and North America. The 320 right hand drive were carefully distributed to all the BMC dealers in the UK each of whom, from Jersey to Shetland, had a Million so that every showroom had a car on display on the official launch date -4th January 1961.
The actual millionth car rolled off the production line on 22 December 1960 to be photographed with the minor’s creator , Alex Issigonis.
Perhaps because the British public were too conservative for lilac in 1961 some of the cars were slow to sell but about 1 in 5 have survived to this day – a pretty impressive percentage !
The Minor Million Register was formed as part of the Morris Minor Owners Club in the late 1970’s to bring together owners with this strange lilac craving.
Currently the register is in contact with less than 60 of the owners. About 10 have disappeared off the radar or the cars have been scrapped. If you know an owner or spot a lilac wonder hidden somewhere then Phil Smith on 01629 630018 or 077 909 40 909 would be delighted to hear from you ……so keep your eyes peeled for purple