THE Morris Cowley was one of the mainstays of popular motoring in the UKof the 1950s.
The more economical version of the also popular Oxford, the Cowley has long been a denizen of the history books, but now and again you do see one with paintwork polished to perfection and chrome gleaming still strutting its stuff in classic car shows.
The Cowley produced from 1954 was a tough workhorse of a car with few pretentions of inflated grandeur, except being one up from the famous Morris Minor.
It was a car that did what it said on the tin and that was to transport families in a reasonable degree of comfort and efficiently.
Produced until 1959, this was essentially a budget version of the Oxfordwith less chrome, no heater, fixed front quarter lights and a simplified dashboard.
It was powered by the well-known 1.2-litre engine was also a feature of the Austin A40 and the Nash Metropolitan. To be fair, at 42bhp it was a little underpowered for such a bulky saloon, but it certainly did its job with a total of 17,413 rolling off the production line at Oxford.
Some of the Oxford's exterior chrome was removed to bring down the price and some items were replaced with stainless steel. Plastic-covered felt was utilised in place of interior carpet.
The car had a top speed of just over 70 miles per hour as was proven in a 1955 road test by a well-known publication of the time. It could accelerate to 60 mph is a leisurely 31.5 seconds and returned a fuel consumption of 28mpg.
The car cost £702 including taxes and it its day competed against the Austin Cambridge, Ford Consul and Hilman Minx.
The old engine was replaced with a larger 1.5-litre as used in the Oxford.
The Cowley carried a proud title borne by some famous vehicles including the famous bull-nosed model. The model was replaced by the well-known Farina design, but this carried on the Oxford name.