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Morris Oxford MO

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Morris Oxford MO

The Morris Oxford MO was launched at the 1948 Earls Court motor show in London This was the first time that the British Motor Shown had taken place at Earls Court since it had first moved there from Olympia in 1937. The Morris Oxford MO was designed by Alec Issigonis (who had also deigned the Morris Minor which too was making its debut at the 1948 show) and was a medium sized saloon to replace the aging Morris 10, and was aimed at the modern post war family.

The Morris Oxford MO four-door saloons all steel body bore a strong resemblance to its smaller (and infinitely more successful) brother the Morris Minor. It was of unitary construction and became the basis for other cars in the Nuffield group such as the Morris Six and Wolseley 6/80.

It featured torsion bar front suspension with rack and pinion steering just like the Morris Minor, and its brakes were hydraulically operated drums all round. The car was powered by an all-new side valve 1476cc four-cylinder engine fed by an SU 1 1/4" carburettor. The choice of engine was rather odd in the fact that the MO’s predecessor, the Morris 10, had used an overhead valve unit. As a point of interest, Issigonis had originally designed both the Minor and the Oxford with a flat four unit in mind, but of course, this was never to be. The gearbox was a conventional four speed manual with a column change driving the live rear axle. Performance although not exciting was deemed to be adequate for a family car of this size at the time.

Minor changes to trim were made throughout its life, most notably, a two part stainless steel grille replaced the earlier one-piece mazac affair in late 1952. An ash framed Traveller estate or (shooting brake) version joined the saloon in that year and both models remained in production until 1954 when the Series II Oxford was launched.


Specifications (saloon)


Oxford MO

Years Produced


Body Type

4 door saloon, all steel unitary construction


13ft 9.5in


5ft 5in




1476 cc 4 cylinder inline side valve


41 bhp @ 4000 rpm


65lb ft @ 1800 rpm


Column change 4 speed manual

Driven Wheels



Drums all round

Front Suspension

Torsion bar

Rear Suspension

Leaf Spring, live axle




Oxford MO

Top Speed

71 mph

0-60 mph

31.1 seconds

Fuel Consumption

31 mpg approx


Useful Links

The 6/80 & MO Club Website

Morris Oxford books at