Mannic Morris!

The recent Midland Hillclimb Championship event at Shelsley Walsh celebrated the 100th anniversary of Morris Cars. As part of this celebration, a large number of Morris cars were exercised on the hallowed 1000 yards in demonstration runs.

Nic Mann Morris Minor


A couple of familiar hillclimbing faces popped up in these demo runs. Father of Zipp Photography’s Rich Danby, and Will Hall’s gofor, Paul Danby brought his own Morris called Ethel to his local hill, but most of the crowd’s attention was diverted to what must be the fastest Morris ever to climb The World Famous hillclimb.

In the 1980s speed event enthusiast Nic Mann started developing and competing in his Mother’s normal shopping Morris Minor.

This car was tweaked and modded to the point where it was a seriously fast Special Saloon, with a nitrous injected, turbo-charged, Rover V8 engine under the bonnet.

Nic Mann Morris Minor


There are a whole host of stories about this car, which have been absorbed into hillclimb folklore. These stories include tales of a railway sleeper being fitted in the boot which was stamped ‘traction control by the GWR’, as well as Nic’s drag racing exploits when he would regularly humble the likes of Ferrari F40 and Porsche 911 turbo over 1/4 mile!

Nik sold the Morris several years ago when he began work on his next project, the awesome Mannic-Beattie sports racer, but he was invited to take the car for a blast up Shelsley by its current owner.

He pushed hard with the car as well, as demonstrated by the fact that he managed to light up the back tyres in every gear on the finish straight!


Afterwards Nic said: “It was great to be back in the old car again. I had forgotten just how lively it is on road tyres, it was a lot more stable on slicks!”

When asked about his plans to get back to the hills, he added: “We have done a lot of development on the Manic and are nearly ready to come back out. Rob Stevens got very close to my sports car record today, so I had better get on with it!”.

It was a real treat to see this fantastically evocative car back out on the hills again, thanks to all who made the demo happen.


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