Two-Tone Traveller
The story of Jim Wilson's 1966 Oxford Traveller

I’ve loved Morris Oxfords since I got my first one aged 20. In those days it was great student transport with enough room to pile everyone in: it even took 5 of us from Fife to Wembley in 1981. When I had to get rid of it, it was used as the getaway car in a bank robbery! After a break of 8 years I bought a series V saloon in Stoke, and I’ve still got it, although it’s not remotely roadworthy. When it started to rust away I restored a 1960 saloon, but as I was only a beginner it just lasted 6 years before crumbling to dust.

I got my 1966 Traveller 3 years ago. It had been driven hard for a year then was rear-ended and deemed an insurance write-off. A guy brought it to Edinburgh with the intention of repairing it for his wife, but she took one look at it and said it was too big and she wouldn’t drive it. So he reversed it into his workshop and left it for 37 years. A mechanic mate of mine heard about it and made an offer which was eventually accepted. It was Smoke Grey and when I first saw it, it had one wing and the tailgate in primer and the rest the original paint, and the interior looked hardly used. So I said I would buy it (my 1960 series V saloon was in its death throes) if it was re-commissioned. It had 30000 on the clock. It didn’t need a great deal doing, but the paint he bought was not the right shade: it was definitely a grey, rather than bluey-grey. It looked good to begin with but after a year or so the paint started flaking off.

So when a friend asked if I would be the chauffeur at his wedding this summer I felt obliged to have it looking its best and got a local garage to respray it. My plan was to go back to the original Smoke Grey, but when he showed me swatches, I rather fancied Triumph Powder Blue, which you’ll see is a stronger shade.

Then half way through the preparation he suggested two-tone, which had never occurred to me, but I knew was a common period option. Eventually over-ruling my wife’s misgivings, I went for it, and you can see the results. I spent the fortnight it was in the garage polishing chrome, and it came up OK.  

On its first outing it was voted most popular car at the COOC Scottish Rally.

 Jim Wilson
email: jim@morrisoxford.com