NMMK STARTED WITH A CAR -
(Nordic Morris Minor Club)
THIS CAR STARTED NMMK I 1978
The first car in the club was this blue 1960 Morris, AKA "Greased Lightning".
Founding member # 002 Olaf
used it to drive to the meeting on September 18, 1978,
when Ole, Agnes and Olaf started the NMMK at Ole's home at Huseby in Oslo.
The car is still in running condition. It has been used regularly from when it was bought new by Sverre Svendsen at Sandnes by Stavanger, Norway until today. His daughter got the car and sold it to Oslo Bil-auksjoner for 500 N. kr. Olaf bought it from them in the fall of 1977 as the first car to be auctioned off. He bade 350 kr., or about 50 USD, and got the car, including four spare wheels with winter tires and a working 1960 Philips radio. He immediately named it BLÅLYNET, Norwegian for "Greased (blue) Lightning".
He needed help repairing the car, and when he met Ole Ostby, a fine mechanics and a Minor collector, time was ready to start a club with Ole as Chairman (member # 001) and Olaf as Assistant Chair (member # 002). On September the 18, 1978 Olaf started his blue Morris and went over to Ole's place. Together they started the Norsk Morris Minor Klubb then and there and with Ole's girlfriend Agnes as a secretary. Ole had a brother and a couple of friends he believed would be members but could not attend. During and shortly after this first meeting Ole signed his brother Kjell (#003) and a few others. We were less than ten at the end of the first year. Ole did the promotion work and was good at selling the club, securing parts from closed down dealers and assisting on collective repair evenings. Olaf made the first bylaws and took care of the organizational side. Ole edited the first newsletter and Olaf came up with its name NORMINOR. It was teamwork all the way. What Ole couldn't do Olaf did and vise versa.
Ole had a brightly painted LVC from the early sixties. Together with "Greased Lightning" and a few other cars they went to Sweden and met with a loosely organized Morris Minor Register members at a lovely campsite by a lake. Some Swedes wanted to join our club along with some Danes and the club started growing fast due to good promotion in papers and magazines. Within a year we decided to change our name from Norsk (Norwegian) to Nordisk (Norse) to better include the other Scandinavian countries.
The Danes took over the wheel after some five years as there were many more cars in Denmark than in Norway. The board has been in Denmark ever since. More than 2,500 persons have been members of the club. The membership list is today a book of 52 pages. The Norwegian members had the disadvantage that they were few and lived further apart. To cope with this they started groups in other parts of Norway. They were active in securing good cars and parts, make favorable deals with repair-shops, keeping contact with the car industry and other auto clubs as well as the insurance companies, where favorable insurance for the club's vehicles where obtained through a canopy organization of historic motorcars.
Club members get together at least once a year in the summer in Norway, Sweden or Denmark respectively. The most devoted fans even arrange a "Primus-rally" in the mountains of Norway in February basking in the snow and staying overnight in a big military tent with a birch-fired stove in the middle. That gives each Morris Minor a good test of its winter ability. The crank is good for the morning start, when the temperature drops to minus 20 during the night and even stays below freezing during daytime.
In 1991, after # 002 Olaf had driven his blue 1960 Morris about 150.000 km, he gave it to his daughter Gunn. She had the car and used it regularly until 1998 and got the original license plate L 52770 back. Olaf bought it back in 1997 and gave it to his oldest son Tormod for his 16th birthday in 1998. The car is somewhat restored but is kept as close to original as possible. It holds a BMI Heritage Trust Certificate as proof of authenticity.
In 1979 Olaf bought a red 1959 LVC for $ 250 and called it "The Red Scare", and in 1982 he bought a gray four-door for $ 500 in Sweden and called it "Greyhound". About 1990 Olaf sold his van to Oslo where it became "Olavsbibelen" promoting a new illustrated edition Bible.
In 1997 Olaf bought "Cream Fresh" a 1960 two-door in Berkeley, Calif. and took it to Norway where he sold it in 1999. Finally in 2002 he bought a white 1966 Tourer from Randy in Marina del Ray and called it "Beach Babe". This car has only 44.000 miles, it looks and rides as new. It even has a spare tire that has never been used.