I still own my first car.

It is a 1967 Morris 1000. It has around 48bhp, 61 lb/ft of torque and a top speed of 73mph. I say around, because at 48 years old, it has earned the right to have lost a little vigour. It is dogged, rather than fast. Tough, rather than exhilarating. 

The Minor was the first car I drove on my own. As a youngster, I went as fast as I dared in it, which, given the modest power, was rarely enough to break a speed limit. I span it, hit kerbs, clipped the odd parked car during poorly executed parking manoeuvres and basically conquered the poor driving techniques and habits that come with inexperience. All of them at low speed and in relative safety. It simply wasn’t fast enough to get me in real trouble.

At the same time, my mates were having far more serious spills in MkII Fiestas and Vauxhall Novas, which happily they recovered from, even if their more powerful, more fragile front-wheel-drive motors didn’t.

As I got older, and owned more cars, I came to appreciate the Minor for its ability to communicate exactly what it was doing, even when travelling at walking pace.

My Morris Minor has disc brakes on the front, which is an upgrade from standard, but there is no servo assistance. Any force you apply to the brakes is transmitted directly and it’s a very manual process. Press too hard and the brakes lock up. Don’t press hard enough and you will hit something. Slowly.