Every month, we try to include the “story” behind our member’s cars. This month, Mike and Susan Eckhart are sharing the restoration of their ’64 Morris Traveller:
We acquired our 1964 Morris Minor Traveller in May of 2008. Several years earlier we had spotted it sitting between the two brick buildings of the old antique shop at the corner of Huger & Blossom Streets in downtown Columbia. The asking price at the time was a little too rich for my blood so we allowed it to age in place for a while. Unfortunately, during that time the car also degraded a fair amount. When we heard later that the business may be closing Susan suggested that we see if it was still there. It was! (and at a much more reasonable price)
After the shop owner’s helper coaxed the transplanted Nissan engine to life I did a little test drive around the parking lot and a back alley. We became the proud owners of a slightly pink (oxidized maroon) LBC.
There were barely any brakes during the test drive – zero pedal pressure and not much parking brake action either. So, the first order of business was brake work to make the car drivable. A few other minor mechanical issues were addressed and some patching-together of the wood (including a complete replacement left rear pillar constructed of 2x4s) and I was on the road!!
After several years of driving the car quite frequently; errands, work commutes, Myrtle Beach, Charlotte, Road Atlanta, etc, etc – it was time to give it some well-deserved TLC. So not too long before I retired, I pretty much disassembled the car from the B-pillar back and took it, along with the rear body panels and roof to AJ’s ArtWorks in West Columbia for painting. During that time I stained and finished the new ash wood kit from England. Painting complete, assembly is the reverse of disassembly (with a few minor issues/complications). Next was a complete interior re-do by Paul Aragon and the Wicked Stitches crew.
Since completion we’ve taken it on several BCCMC club drives and to some shows including Asheville NC, Dobson NC, Dillard GA, Mills River NC and more. Speaking of car shows, our very first award was the Ugly Duck Award at the 2010 Pine Island show.
Keep driving and keep having fun!! By Mike & Susan Eckhart
We are all gearing up for some awesome spring weather and amazing drives. February 12th found our group taking a Polar Bear Run, the destination from the State Farmer’s Market to Do Little Field in St. Mathews, SC. The trip was about 100 miles round trip, and being in the south the weather was a balmy 70 degrees, it was a great day for a ride. Nineteen (19) vehicles joined in the ride, of which 16 were little British Cars.
The rally, planned and hosted by Kimberly & Randy Yaussy, took us down Hwy 176, past “the William Baker House, circa 1830 which sits along the Congaree River with a great views of Columbia”. General Sherman’s army had taken over the house for an evening of rest, after which he ordered some of the troops to stay behind and burn the house. One of the Baker daughters played “Dixie” on the piano for the troops, and they spared the home. (info provided by the Yaussy’s) From there, we traveled down Hwy 21 to 172, and Do Little Field. Donna Stanfield was the lucky winner of the $25 gift certificate for answering the most questions from the rally route. Once we arrived, we were treated to a few spectacular “fly overs” by the Do Little residents. We enjoyed a delicious lunch of chili and hot dogs with all the fixings. Numerous desserts and s’mores by the fire pit all made for a great day.
Saturday April 2, the Carolina British Classic XIV Car Show at Historic Columbia Speedway, 2001 Charleston Hwy, Cayce SC. Registration is still open and additional information is available on our website: BCCMC.com
Saturday May 14 monthly meeting at Lizard’s Thicket 10170 Two Notch Rd Columbia, SC. 9 am.
Wednesday, May 25 drive to Darla Moore Botanical Gardens 100 New Zion Rd, Lake City SC check website for details
Submitted by Kathy Fuente