Life is full of ups and downs and more so for an adventurer like Tintin. In my last post we saw that the young reporter had been saved from the execution squad and promoted to the rank of a Colonel in the army of General Alcazar. But things do not remain simple when notorious villains are ganged up against you. Now a plot was hatched against Tintin and he was accused of being a spy. In a fit of rage General Alcazar orderd him to be put in jail. But then, Tintin has many friends and he again escaped from captivity. The car this time was a Morris 10/4.
The Morris was a British car maker which started production in 1919. The brand name was in use till 1984 when the then owner British Leyland decided to shelve the the brand in favour of the more popular Austin . As of now the brand name is owned by the Chinese company SAIC which had acquired the ailing Rover.
William Morris, the owner of Morris had successfully implemented production techniques evolved by Henry Ford in UK. He successfully produced small cars for the masses. Some of the major car brands owned by the company were MG, Morris Commercial, Wolseley, Riley and Nuffield Mechanization which produced fighting vehicles and arms like tanks, armoured cars, artillery and anti aircraft guns for the British Army.
In 1933, Morris was the second largest car manufacturer in UK controlling a market share of 23%. This is the time when the company introduced the Morris 10 in the important 10 HP segment. The car was available in various variants like the 10/4 which was a four cylinder car, 10/6 which was powered by a six cylinder engine and the 10/6 Special Sport. The car in which Tintin escaped was a two door coupe, however, the Morris 10/4 was also offered as a saloon, a four door tourer, a traveler and a two seater with a dicky seat.
The Morris 10/4 was powered by an inline four cylinder side valve engine displacing 1,292 cc. This engine produced 24 BHP at 3,200 rpm. The drive was transferred to the rear wheels through a manual four speed gearbox. The engine was water cooled and employed SU carburetors. SU was a firm that was owned by Morris. This puny engine could push the car from 0 to 80 kmph in 27.2 secs and the quarter mile took 27.4 secs. If the throttle was mashed to the floor and kept there, the engine ran out of breath at 97.6 kmph.
Morris 10/ 4 was a small car with a wheel base of 2,438 mm. When parked on the road, it covered real estate measuring 3,734 mm in length and 1,778 mm in width. This small car sipped one liter of petrol to cover a distance of 12 km. Incidentally this car met all the specifications of a small car as defined by the Government of India, making it eligible for relief in excise duty, less than 4 m long with a 1200 cc petrol engine.
Morris 10/4 model was in production till 1948 when it was replaced by the Morris Oxford MO. Morris Oxford MO was the precursor to the Morris Oxford Series II, a model that ruled the Indian car market as the ubiquitous Ambassador for the major part of the last century.