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Reader Rides: 1961 Morris Minor

Morris Minor


Scotty Gosson

Home Town
Medford, Oregon


Year, Make & Model
1961 Morris Minor

How long have you owned this vehicle?
25 years

Where/how did you find this vehicle
Traded my (fun, but too heavy) gasser style '57 Pontiac for three Morris bodies. A pickup (which I sold for $75 to finance frame tubing for this build), another sedan (which was bulldozed in the wrecking yard before I could retrieve it), and this sedan body.

Any projects planned for this vehicle in the future?
The future of the Morris belongs to Chris Clark of Portland, Oregon. Hopefully, that future includes a nine second ET slip. When the economy got me and I could no longer care for the car, I gave it to old pal CC for safe keeping. At that time, it was flirting with nines, but didn't quite make it all the way in. If I ever sell enough books to pay for garage rent, I might get it back from him. Meanwhile, CC's having fun with it. He and I go back a ways and he 'gets' this car, having wrenched and wheeled it on the street, strip and salt with me. It's featured in "Rat Rods - Hot Rodding's Imperfect Stepchildren" by CarTech.

Has this vehicle won any awards?
The Morris (known as "Son of Godzilla") has won the hearts of many and the scorn of many more.

Have you raced it? If so, where and when?
Started building it in 1985, to be the next in my series of lowbuck beater street/strip cars. It hit the streets and the strip in '88ish. It's run at drag strips from the midwest to the west coast. In 2007, CC and I took it to Bonneville to run in USFRA's 130 MPH Club. We topped out at 140, using half the throttle. Details are in a Rod & Custom magazine story, "Blasting Across the Salt".

From the start, I also planned on running it at Pikes Peak, just for grins. Maybe some day...

Best quarter mile time
10.32 at 127 MPH 

Power Train

Engine size and Horsepower
377 inches. Est. 550 - 600 horses.

Tell us about any engine modifications
Nice try. But you have to buy the book to get all of the hot skinny poop. Basically, it's a destroked 400 block, running a solid flat tappet cam, lots of head work, and about 10.25 compression, to run on pump gas. I can tell you it fouls plugs really good on the street and does an even better job of cleaning them off at the track.

Transmission Type and Modifications
Homebuilt Powerglide, with brake, manual valvebody, 8" 5800 stall converter. You know - all the stuff we writers tell people not to do on the street.

Rear axle ratio and modifications
3.91 geared 8 3/4 Mopar rear and 23" tall tires equal 4.10 effective gear. Strange spool, Dutchman axles. Simple.


Stock Opel GT, with 90/10 shocks.

Utility trailer leaf springs, Napa shocks, homebuilt pinion snubber and anti-roll bar.

Stock Opel front discs, stock Mopar rear drums.


Wheels and Tires
Swap meet Japanese aluminum slots. 13 X 5 front, 15 X 10 rear (off wrecked Sprint car).

Tell us about the vehicle's unique options or features, either factory or aftermarket
Nothing unique. Just the standard power-to-weight ratio exercise. It's extremely hot, loud, and fumey inside and hard to see out of. It rides like a brick, scrapes a lot, and generally wears you out after a few miles, but the adrenaline keeps you wanting more.

Tell Us More
Built for $20 a week, stretched out over a few years. Although built mostly from crap, it's not a crappy car.

You can't imagine the adventures 25 years of driving it have supplied. I hope it works out to have more. CC's daughter digs it, so it does have a future...Gossen

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