From rusting in pieces to £20,000 stunner — the labour of love which brought Morgan back to its best

A CLASSIC car fan was impressed with how a marvellous Morgan had been restored — and stunned to find out it was his own cherished motor, which had been secretly spruced up by his son.

Joseph Carney (88, above) bought the Morgan JAP three-wheeler 62 years ago for just £65 but it had fallen into disrepair over the years and he was only steadily restoring it to health in his retirement.

The Morgan's slow journey to its old glory was only accelerated when his son Steve Carney began sending away for parts and adding them on the quiet.

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Unbeknown to Joseph, the Morgan was put on display at the annual Morgan 3-Wheeler Club meet and AGM, held this year in Leamington Spa, which the veteran car lover usually attends.

Joseph said: “When I saw this red one, I asked Stephen if it would be like that when it was finished.

“I looked at the radiator and the engine and then I looked at the registration!

“I said a few ‘polite’ words, I can tell you.

“Stephen had brought it down on a low-loader and driven it the last half-mile to the meet so he ran it round the field a few times.

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“I sat in it and we had some photos — it was a great feeling.”

Joseph, a dad of three who lives in Hellaby with his wife Lily, said when he had bought the Morgan in 1957 parts had been easy to come by but they were much scarcer these days.

“I was working at BSC River Don and there was a strike for 13 weeks so I thought it was the ideal time to get it all dismantled and all bits and pieces and went on rebuilding it for nearly 60 years,” he said.

“It’s been under restoration since then.

“I have been to meetings of the Morgan owners club but I’ve not been a really active member because of all the things I had going on in my working life.

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“My son Stephen took the Morgan away and said he was going to do a bit of restoration. “He and a couple of friends had got their heads together to do as much as they could.

“There is this TV programme where they take a classic car and restore it and I thought mine would be ideal for that — but this was no TV programme, it was all just my boy and his friends.

“It was amazing, really.”

Joseph’s daughter Catherine Brooks said: “Dad’s health is failing and so over the past 18 months my brother has stepped up efforts to rebuild the Morgan and get it back on the road.

"All the family were all keen to be present when Steve announced that the Morgan was just about ready for this year's meeting — although it was touch and go until a few days before.

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"Dad casually looked at all the Morgans on display followed by an entourage of the family, many with cameras and mobile phones, and he never suspected a thing.

“When my brother then handed him the keys, there wasn’t a dry eye in sight.”

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