JAKE Mangel Worzel is a well-known Morris 1000 fancier. The self-styled Salendine Nook eccentric is probably the only person in Huddersfield to have one on his roof.
Colleague Andrew Baldwin’s recent feature about Charles and Irene Jones’s lovingly maintained Morris Minor set Jake off on a personal journey through his ownership, at one time or another, of all six Morris 1000 models.
The vehicles were produced from 1948 to 1971 and were recently voted the car most representative of Britain and its people. Jake got his first second-hand in 1964, a pick-up that he drove for five years before it fell into a tip at Scapegoat Hill.
"It was not in very good nick," said Jake with considerable understatement. "The radiator burst on the way to the Earls Court Motor Show and a bit after that the forward gears went and I had to reverse it all the way from Huddersfield to Leeds."
But the pick-up was versatile. He and a friend drove it almost to the top of Snowdon. But he found that the way to the Welsh peak inconsiderately blocked by large boulders.
The rear end of the chassis rotted from the frame and Jake fixed up a timber frame to hold the back axle to what remained of the chassis.
"It seemed to work," he said. "I drove to Coventry and back, though the garage man who filled the tank at Penistone was horrified when he saw what I’d done."
This already ramshackle vehicle was further damaged when a car crashed into its side.
"It was slightly bent in the middle," said Jake. "There was a big gap where one door wouldn’t fit and on the other side the door was too tight it wouldn’t close. So I jammed it between a pile of sand and a wall and straightened it out with a JCB."
The Morris 1000 that most readers will remember is the one that lasted from 1979 to 1981 and was then craned on to Jake’s house roof, where it still lives.
This was nicknamed the Wonderful Worzel Wagon and included, among many other decorations, a single bed, a bath, a refuse bin, a chamber pot, a 9ft key called the Key To Happiness, a coffin and a dozen plastic cats.