The Oxford series was a line of automobiles produced by the British company Morris. It spanned 23 years, with a total of nineteen models in its history. They began production in 1913, and ended in 1971. Their namesake was the city of Oxford, which was the home town of William Morris.
Although initially designed for small cars, the Oxfords grew to include large vehicles. From 1913 to mid-1935, the Oxford was a two-seater with a 1018 cc, nine horsepower, four-cylinder side-valve engine. A later model was a 2 1/2 litre, twenty horsepower car. During this period, the Oxford was also produced as a four-cylinder variant in India by Hindustan Motors.
In 1925, Morris was the leading British car manufacturer, representing over 41 percent of all private car sales in the country. At the same time, the company was able to double its production of the Oxford. Several new versions of the Oxford were introduced, including the 2.6 litre six-cylinder version, the Isis, and the four-seater Marina. This model is a favorite among taxi drivers, especially in the United Kingdom.
Another model was the Morris 1800, which remained in production until 1975. This was the largest and most successful of the Morris Oxford models. Eventually, the Morris 1800 fell into the market niche of larger automobiles, but continued in production until the end of the 1970s.
The first Morris Oxford was built by the company’s founder, William Morris. Initially, the car was known as the 14/28 engine, referring to the town of Oxford, where the Morris family grew up. When it was built, it had a four-cylinder, side-valve engine with a total of 13.9 fiscal horsepower. However, this model was soon replaced by a more powerful model.
In addition to the two-seater and four-seater, the Oxford also produced a four-cylinder taxi and an open four-seater tourer. The Isis, the newest member of the Oxford line, was announced in July 1955. Despite the fact that the Morris Isis was never marketed in the United States, the company made some improvements to the design and updated its looks. Toward the end of the 1960s, a 1.6 litre version was introduced, along with a longer wheelbase and revised rear-end.
An improved two-pedal “Manumatic” transmission, a two-tone paint scheme, and a new fluted bonnet all came with the Oxford series IV. Sales of this version were very good, enabling the company to produce more than four thousand cars. During the 1960s, the company recycled its Oxfords. During this time, the Oxfords were built on the 14/28 Super Sports chassis.
After the Oxford Six LA was replaced in 1930 by a coachbuilt body, the Oxford remained in production for another eighteen years. By the early 1960s, Morris was producing three different model series. One was the Traveller. Originally, the traveller was a woody styled car, but this was replaced by the more modern and contemporary Series IV. Then, the Marina took over.
Despite its many modifications, the Oxford series remained popular. In the 1980s, the company sold over four thousand.