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Epic journey takes Moggie the Morris 8 to new life Down Under

PUBLISHED: 14:12 18 October 2015

Trevor Webster with Moggie the 1939 Morris 8 Series E he and his wife drove from England to Australia in 1958. Now restored, Moggie has been with the same family for more than 75 years

Trevor Webster with Moggie the 1939 Morris 8 Series E he and his wife drove from England to Australia in 1958. Now restored, Moggie has been with the same family for more than 75 years

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Trevor Webster took Moggie his 1931 Morris 8 on an epic overland journey 17,633 miles to Sydney, Australia.

The first car in my life was a 1939 Morris 8 Series E, called Moggie, which I eventually ‘inherited’ – as a birthday present – from my Mother when she bought a new Morris Minor in 1957.

I passed my driving test in Moggie and by 1957 she had seen a lot of roads – some 139,000 miles of them – both in the UK from Land’s End to John O’Groats and on the Continent from Gibraltar up to the Norwegian fjords.

However, after a bit of TLC and a few modifications to suit rugged road – or lack of – conditions, Moggie and crew set off in 1958 on a pretty eventful journey – a six-month 17,663-mile overland trip from London to Sydney via Turkey, Iran and Pakistan to India and then to Malaya and Singapore and across to north-west Australia for the home run to Sydney.

My wife, Mary, and I drove the car overland to Australia with young son, Tony, in 1958, together with another couple, Alan and Vera Taylor from Chelmsford, also in a 1940 Morris 8 Series E Tourer.

We hadn’t definitely decided on emigrating when we set off on our drive but we needed to work when we arrived to get some funds and, as you will have realised, we ended up staying.

I’m afraid Alan’s tourer hasn’t survived but I restored my saloon. Sadly, Mary and Alan are no longer with us but Vera still lives in Sydney. Tony is living in Port Macquarie 400km north of Sydney and my other two children – both Aussies – also live in Sydney. My sister lives near Bury St Edmunds which is how I came to read your My First Car feature.

Moggie covered another 60,000 miles in Australia after arrival, before being retired. She has been restored and still has pride of place in my garage after more than 75 years with the same family.

These pictures were taken this year on January 26 – Australia Day – at a vintage car show in the city of Sydney with Hyde Park in the background She was in the Morris Register of New South Wales (NSW) section.

Moggie was originally London-registered FUW 13 but now carries NSW plate FUW 013 – as close as I could get – after being registered in Victoria for some years as GXS 485.

Tell us about your first car – bright spots, breakdowns, delights and disasters. Email your first car memories, with a picture if you have one, to motoring@archant.co.uk


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