Visiting Joe’s premises is a treat for anyone immersed in the hobby of messing about with old cars: In addition to acres of three-wheeler Reliants we found ourselves tripping over rarer Reliant products, including the Rebel, the Ant, the Kitten and Fox, the Reliant-based Jimp utility… and a Sherpa motorhome. Joe also specialises in the Tempest, a neat little lightweight sports car based on Reliant running gear.

As for the Minor, it’s no show winner but does look remarkably presentable for something that’s been sitting in a garage for 17 years. Joe reports that after going through the ignition, and liberal use of a can of penetrating spray, he had the car running following just an hour’s tinkering.

This gave a good opportunity to take a good look around the Morris, at which point it was discovered that despite the battle-scarred topside, the underneath isn’t rotten and it’s really surprisingly solid, despite the flaking paint. In fact, we reckoned that if you were to get the brakes working properly it really wouldn’t take too much work to get an MoT pass.

Speaking of which, it’s going to take more than a can of WD-40 to sort the brakes, since the pedal sinks to the floor and the handbrake doesn’t do much either. All of which made our brief test drive round the yard rather interesting.

On the other hand though, the system may simply need bleeding and in any case parts don’t come any cheaper than for the Minor: In the worst-case scenario, even a complete set of shoes, wheel cylinders and a roll of copper brake piping isn’t going to break the bank. These cars are simple to work on and a keen DIY-er could have the brakes entirely replaced with a day’s work.

The A Series motor does sound strong though and fired crisply despite its years of activity. It revved nice and cleanly too, suggesting it has many years of life left in it – in fact that 86,280 on the odometer could well be correct.

The interior is much like the outside: Usable but in need of some TLC. The headlining is hanging down, while the driver’s seat has been replaced by a non-matching item, but headlinings and seat covers aren’t expensive for the Minor and would make all the difference.

The more I looked at this Minor the more I wanted to find a space for it at home. It needs work, there’s no doubt about that, but it’s the ease with which it could be fixed up and pressed into daily use that makes it appealing. Without having to fund expensive bodywork repairs, it would make an ideal rolling restoration project that could easily be carried out at home. There’s something delightfully classy about a down-at-heel Minor too and I could just see myself making an anti-snobbery statement by mixing with the Audis on the school run in this one.

I just haven’t got the space to accommodate any more old cars at home though, which is very much your gain.

POWER: 48bhp
TOP SPEED: 77mph
0-60mph: 24.8 secs
ECONOMY: 40mpg
GEARBOX: 4-sp man