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Unfortunately it appears that no records survived the factory closure in the mid seventies even though the buildings were not actually demolished until as recently as 1999.

Luckily the Australian Bureau of Statistics has published new vehicle registration figures each year throughout the sixties and seventies allowing fairly accurate estimates of production output.

The BMC Factory showing rows of finished 1100s ready for distribution The BMC Factory at Victoria Park, Zetland NSW in 1966.  Thirty-four years later the site was redeveloped as high density residential apartments to help accomodate Sydney's burgeoning population.

Often it is said that sales of the Morris 1100 "sharply declined" or "nose-dived" in 1966.

Looking at the graph, this does appear to be the case. Initially there was much demand for the "new" model in 1964. Then publicity surrounding the Wheels Car of the Year Award in 1965 caused a further surge in demand.

For the next four years sales stabilised around 14,000 per year. However, what is not pointed out is that sales of its competitors also declined in 1966 actually allowing the Morris 1100 to maintain the number one spot! - quite a different situation to that implied by the original statements.

Also, the Austin 1800 was introduced in Australia at the end of 1965 and undoubtedly stole a portion of the sales in 1966 just as the 1100 made a big dent in the Mini's sales in 1964.

Graph showing 1100 sales 1964 - 1969

The graph above shows the total number of new Morris 1100s registered each year. Note that the figures for 1969 include the Morris 1300/1500 which replaced the 1100 in July of that year.

The graph below shows the proportion of 1100s making up total annual Morris sales.

Assembly line at the Zetland factory Graph showing proportion of BMC sales that were the 1100 In light of the continuing popularity of the Mini and the number still on the road today, it is interesting to reflect on the fact that the 1100 actually outsold the Mini every year from 1964 to 1969 accounting for between 49% and 60% of total Morris sales.

And how many survive today?

The Australian Bureau of Statistics figures indicate that 17,841 Morris passenger vehicles of various models were on their register in 1997. Presumably the bulk of these were Morris Minors and Minis as both enjoy a cult following and were not as susceptible to rust as the 1100 was.

The 1971 the ABS Motor Vehicle Census indicates that 30 years ago, arguably the peak of the BMC population, 316,146 Morris passenger vehicles were on the register that year, falling to just 161,411 eight years later.

The end of the line - A Morris 1100 surrenders its servicable parts Notorious rust spots include the sills, the boot floor, fresh air intake chamber and the front passenger compartment floor. Perished front and rear window rubbers allow water to enter the boot and cabin and collect under the rubber floor mats. Blocked fresh air intake drain holes can lead to rust holes behind the heater assembly in the fresh air intake allowing water to drain directly into the cabin.