I cannot let your editorial comment On Joyce Halliday’s letter in the May edition pass unanswered. In 1960 I bought one of the first Austin Minis, which I replaced two years later with a Morris Mini, which I also kept for two years. Both cars did 30,000 or so miles while I had them. Neither of them caused me a single involuntary stop on the road, and both were a pleasure to own and drive, as well as being economical. The second Mini was replaced by one of the first Hillman Imps, which was full of bugs and which I disposed of with a sigh of relief 10 months after I bought it.
This was replaced by a 1962 Morris 1100, which I bought secondhand from a friend who had looked after it carefully for the 17,000 miles it had covered till then. He had had one drive shaft failure, and about three replacement indicator switches. I had the 1100 until I sold it last month, when it had covered 40,000 miles.
During the time I had it I had no less than five drive shaft failures—one in Nice on holiday, the car having been inspected by a B.M.C. agent before the holiday, who was instructed to pay especial attention to the condition of the drive shafts.
The last two drive shaft failures occurred at the same time, two months ago. On one side the constant velocity joint and the inner hook joint had failed, and on the other side the inner hook joint had failed (I still have these parts), but the constant velocity joint was all right. The bill for £35 for the renewal of transmission parts decided me to dispose of the car, and I now have a new foreign car whose road-holding and comfort are not as good as the 1100, but which is much more solidly constructed and better finished, and has a reputation for reliability.
The repeated failures of the drive shafts were my only criticism of the Morris, whose comfort, steering, and road-holding were a source of pleasure which never palled. After the third drive shaft failure I wrote to B.M.C. to ask their advice, but their reply, while very courteous, was quite unhelpful and irrelevant to my query.
Brentwood. John A. Tallack, m.b. c.h.b.