At the same time as all the other Farina-styled BMC B-Series models were upgraded in the autumn of 1961,the Morris Oxford Series V became the Series V1. In almost every respect, the improvements made were the same as those applied to the Austin Cambridge when it progressed from being A55 Mk II to A60. The obvious visual change was that the rear fins, which had been rather obvious on the Series V, were cut down into an altogether more graceful shape, and of course this meant that the tail-lamps were also new.
Compared with the Oxford Series V, the Series V1 had a slightly longer wheelbase and wider tracks, and anti-roll bars on front and rear suspensions to firm up the roadholding, the result being a car which felt more stable and handled better.
The important mechanical change, however, was that the B-Series engine was enlarged to 1,622cc, this making the Oxford a genuine 80mph car for the first time. At the same time, BMC made Borg-Warner Type 35 automatic transmission optional, though the take-up was very limited in the first few years.
Once it had been introduced, the Oxford was virtually ignored by BMC's product planners and engineers, for although it sold successfully, if not spectacularly, for ten years, the 1971 model was almost the same as the 1961 variety. Even after British Leyland was formed, the Oxford soldiered on until the Traveller was dropped in February 1969 and the saloon finally disappeared in April 1971. It was immediately replaced on the Cowley scene by the new British Leyland-designed Morris Marina.
As with most models, some cars were assembled at factories abroad as 'CKD' - or 'Knocked Down Kits'. One such factory was at Umtali, Rhodesia.
To read about a Series VI Oxford assembled there, click here.
Morris Oxford Series V1 Specification
As for Oxford Series V except for :
Produced: Cowley, 1961-1971, 208,823 cars built.
Engine and transmission: 1,622cc, 76.2 x 88.9mm, 61bhp at 4,500rpm; 90lb ft at 2,100rpm; 4-speed gearbox, no synchromesh on 1st gear; centre-floor gear-change or steering-column change; optional automatic transmission.
Chassis: Front and rear anti-roll bars.
Dimensions: Wheelbase 8ft 4.35in; front track 4ft 2.6in; rear track 4ft 3.4in; length 14ft 6.5in.
Distinguishing features from previous model: Different front and rear bumpers, changed profile to rear fins, new grille and facia, new waistline mouldings.
Typical performance: Maximum speed 81mph; 0-60mph 21.4sec; standing 1/4-mile 21.8sec; overall fuel consumption 26mpg.
Launch Price: £869
Derivatives: Estate car (Traveller) version also available. Close mechanical and family resemblance to all other B-Series Farina models.
Trivia fact: Winston Churchill owned two of these towards the end of his life. The only model in the 4 cylinder range available with a manual column change and bench seat although all marques from 1962 were offered with the Borg Warner Type 35 3-speed auto box as an option.
Fate: Discontinued in 1971 (Traveller in 1969) in favour of the forthcoming and entirely different Morris Marina.