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Author Topic: Morris Parry  (Read 2190 times)
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« on: 11 February, 2022, 09:13:11 PM »

Morris Ferdinand Parry 27/02/1945 > 01/01/2022

What can I say and where do I begin . My dad came from a tough back ground , his father died when my dad was 14 years old , in his youth he  was a slight tearaway, building motorcycles out of scrap parts from his late fathers shed and racing them across fields with his friends, setting off a live 303 round with his friend from school and nearly killing them both are just a couple of memories I have from my dad's stories .
His engineering skills started at a young age and his passion for electronics , at 15 he became "the kid" to take your radio to to be repaired in the local village , all self-taught from magazines and books , again mostly his late fathers .
He eventually at the age of around 16 started working for the local handyman Pete Morris who became a sort of father figure to my dad , he  worked for Pete a number of years mostly fitting out factories and local saw mills etc with electricity and electric motors on machinery that had previously relied on water wheels or steam engines and learning more from Pete on how to repair everything that was deemed scrap.
This was an era where everything was repaired , nothing thrown away , this became part of my dad's core which becomes apparent as we go on .
At 19 years old he met the love of his life my mother and became a toyboy, this was a standing joke with them for many years as she was 2 years his senior , at 20 years old he had been offered a job at a local technical college as a technition , my mum pushed him to further his career and he eventually and reluctantly took the job.
He was only there for around 18 months when he was offered a job as a lecturer in another college , this was virtually unheard of as he was only 22 years old .
He taught an array of topics, engineering, motor vehicle but mostly electronics and electrical engineering .
Mum and dad were together for 5 years then married , bought their first home in Buckley near Mold in north Wales .
September 1974 was a fantastic year for my parents ...... I arrived! a great big bundle of fun which on many occasions I'm sure they regretted ! My dad then furthered his career more by doing his teacher training in Bolton  to "up" his qualifications as such , he then jumped straight up to senior lecturer level in the college because of the qualifications that he gained  in such a short period of time , he was also offered the job of head of department which he refused as he preferred to teach and be "hands on" , this continued until his early retirement in 2005 where he was one of the most highly qualified members of staff within the college .
CARS!
Typically, all my dad's early cars were British of some sort, his very first car being a Rover 12 at 14 years old . As he couldn't afford a car initially for the road he had a few motorcycles first , he had his first cars for the road just before he met my mum, these included a standard 10, A40 summerset , A40 Devon pickups x2 , Mg 1500 and a Triumph renown .
Things moved a little more up market for him, he bought a Rover P5 3ltr with a knackered engine cheap as the cost of repair to the engine outweighed the value of the car , he had also managed to buy a Mk7 Jaguar "cheap" as no one really wanted such a dated car at the time.
Along came the hot rod , Rover 3ltr with Jaguar 3.8 xk engine and box , this was at the time of the release of the P5b which was apparently interesting as his car had considerably more power and was much faster than the newer model .
He also had a love affair with Triumph TR4's  (this is why we still have 1 ), which at the time were arguably one of the best affordable British sports cars available , He got into these because of His friend Richard Peacock who lived locally from my dad's home village .
After the TR's Richard bought ?        a sixth series B20 , he was having problems with the brakes and asked my dad to take a look at it for him , My dad hated it and slated it saying "why have you bought such a terrible car".
Richard took my dad out for a run in the car , stopped and forced my dad too drive it back , my dad said that he just fell in love with the car within a few hundred yards but didn't dare admit this to Richard as he'd been so negative about the whole thing . Sadly, Richard crashed the car a few months later on ice and that was the end of that .
The Love affair :
A few years later my dad bought his first Lancia , a Flavia 1500 PF coupe , my ride home from the hospital as a new born was on the back seat of this very car . I remember my dad saying that he bought the car as a none runner , and he remembered lying on his back in his garage underneath it regretting buying it as soon as he saw a steering box and six track rod ends , all he thought was this will be like an A40 to drive !
He said he remembered the first drive , couldn't believe how smooth and positive the car was to drive and had never driven anything other than the B20 like it .
He still wanted a B20 and the search began , he found one locally that he bought and ran for around a year , a sixth series just like Richards but very rough , eventually he took it off the road to repair the bodywork but decided that it would be easier to find a better car as this one was so rotten . He found another 6th series in the exchange and mart I think he said , it was down south somewhere , a few letters and phone calls later he'd bought the car minus engine . He went to pick the car up and all was not as it was supposed to be , the vendor remembered the car being better than it actually was and was very apologetic for its condition, my dad wasn't bothered or phased as it was far better than what he had, didn't say anything as the vendor kept handing my dad spares and freebies to go with it including a modified race engine in bits .
The restoration began , a few memories of that car for me he said was that when he was welding the it up, he thought that his dog was lying next to him as it was a winters night and he was quite warm , lifts his goggles up to see his legs on fire from the underseal dripping off the Aurelia which was also on fire!
Another was he and the late Dave Baker re sprayed the car on new year's day I think 1977 ( I bet that pleased the neighbours!) and finally terrifying my young aunt who thought the speedo was in mph not kph and doing 140 .
In the meantime My dad had made many friends within the club , one being the late Norman Stewart , he desperately  wanted a pre-war Lancia and Norman found him an Aprilia , he  bought the car and started hoovering up all the missing parts , Norman and Dave both had Aprilia projects at the time so the 3 of them would buy up stuff from all-over the country , on one occasion my mum and dad went to a wedding near London in their first Fulvia coupe  and bought a complete Aprilia interior on the way home , apparently it was a tight fit getting it all in but they did it , This was my dad through and through always finding things wherever he went .
By 1979 the Aprilia wasn't enough and the love of the B20 was gone , he wanted more , something better and more interesting to him , he viewed a couple of Lambdas but wasn't impressed with what he was being offered at the time , too much money for what he could afford and dubious cars .

FMF91 :
Norman came to the rescue again and knew of an Astura in Southhampton , the car wasn't for sale but was exactly what my dad wanted, it was an early Lwb 3rd series car , originally a John Charles airline saloon , the car had been bought from a scrap yard in Canterbury in the 1960's by its owner Eddie Gee , it was bought for spares and most of its original bodywork scraped except for the bonnet and front wings . He fell in love and had this vision of the castagna  double phaeton ex Dorris Duke car in automobile quarterly so had to have it .
Eddie Gee wanted a B20 and my dad wanted the Astura , neither of them had any money at the time so my dad swapped a near immaculate B20 for a pile of scrap and some spares  , people turned up from all over to see the deal done as they were in total disbelief and thought my dad was nuts , he got what he wanted though and the project began .
He started with the chassis and running gear , repairing everything himself, even down to white metalling the engine and re boring the block himself , the fuel gauge worked on a Bowden cable type arrangement, he figured out that a certain harp string could be bought in the correct gauge and length to repair what he had left of the system, he was an absolute perfectionist, everything had to work and be correct . The carb was missing one of its emulsion blocks so he made another out of duralumin , not happy with the condition of the original he made another which are both still on the car to this day.
By February 1984 it was a running and driving chassis , I remember this year he sold our 2000 sedan to buy a new ford Orion  so that he could spend more time on the Astura rather than fixing daily drivers . The fun started then with designing and building his own body for the car . He opted to use the original bonnet with an earlier radiator shell as a starting point and work backwards . He still had the remains of his Triumph Renown ; this donated its door skins to the project which were chopped down and heavily modified as a starting point for the car . He made his own wheeling machine and keeping it with all things Lancia used a Fulvia wheel bearing as the top roller for it . The car chopped and changed as he went along , re designing it to have a full boot rather than the sloping tail of the castagna , 4 doors to make it easier to get in and out of just to name a few things . He said the single biggest headache of the whole project was making the hood frame from scratch as he had nothing to go off , most body builders said when they saw it that they could tell it wasn't a factory type hood as it was "over engineered" " too good"
The car was finished and taken for its first mot Monday 3rd October 1994, 15 years later ! he used the car regularly up until around 5 years ago completing over 30,000 miles in it with relatively no trouble , a true testament to its quality and the work that he did .
In 2005 the Lancia centenary was looming , my dad had bought an Augusta from Norman and Don Williamson a few years before , we decided that we would build this car from scrap in less than 12 months and get it to Turin , we managed it , 1.15am the night before we left for Turin myself and dad were putting the rear seats in the car , it had been MOT'D the day before , both cars made it to Turin and were selected for the top 50 cars on display on the final day , when my dad went over the podium in the Astura they asked who the coach builder was , he said "me"  they said no, we know you restored but who designed and built it originally , when he replied "ME" again they were flawed. The car fooled many over the years, Bill Body wrote in motorsport magazine about the car when he saw it at Oulton park VSCC meeting , could not believe that it was a homemade body , it actually won the concourse that year for most elegant body too .
He owned many other Lancia's in his younger days , Flavia's, Fulvia's etc all used as daily drivers and tow vehicles to collect more Lancia's! and there are many cars within the club that my dad has worked on, repaired parts for , owned or helped their owners repair.
My dad was a man who could turn his had to almost anything, one of life's true geniuses , I remember a friends dad once saying, " if Morris Parry can't fix it it really is ******!!" and we used this line for years , Dave Baker actually nick named and always called my dad " The Maestro" out of pure respect for his talent .
My dad had a fantastic sense of humour and loved to wind me and my mum up on a regular basis , he would quite happily prank colleagues and friends too .He would however do anything for anyone especially if it was car related as I'm sure many within the club know , he was a kind , modest and generous man who we are extremely proud of , I was so so lucky to not only have him as a father , but also as my teacher , my mentor and most importantly my best friend .
We were all lucky to have had him within this club , no one else to my knowledge did so much for the Augusta model, he produced a detailed series of newsletters for anyone and everyone on everything that you would ever need to know about these cars and their repair, he would chat to anyone in person or over the phone about anything Lancia  and if he could help he would , even Robbie Coltrane rang him about an Augusta many years ago ! .
His memory lives on with me daily , every room in the house and every shed outside there is something to remember him by.
Sadly he battled cancer for 2 years , he died peacefully at home which is what he wanted , in his memory we set up a donation page to collect money for our local district nurses who helped myself and mum look after him for his final 3 days , we had no expectations but thought it would be nice to raise around £500 for them ,over £3500 pounds has been raised so far , a true testament to how much people thought of him and how well respected he was . I have not renewed my membership to the club, I renewed my dad's instead as he has been a member for over 40 years and for the moment this is me keeping him within the club . I'm sure his memory will live on with many for years to come as it will with me .

James


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« Last Edit: 12 February, 2022, 05:34:05 PM by Running Board » Logged

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neil-yaj396
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« Reply #1 on: 12 February, 2022, 08:53:44 AM »

A brilliant OB James, your pride in your father shines through all the way. Hope you have sent it to VL.
« Last Edit: 12 February, 2022, 09:00:36 AM by neil-yaj396 » Logged

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JohnMillham
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« Reply #2 on: 12 February, 2022, 09:08:16 AM »

Well done, James. A suitable tribute to a great man!
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DavidLaver
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« Reply #3 on: 12 February, 2022, 03:54:46 PM »


100pct he lives on in and through you.
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David Laver, Lewisham.
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« Reply #4 on: 12 February, 2022, 05:15:59 PM »

A brilliant OB James, your pride in your father shines through all the way. Hope you have sent it to VL.

yes i'll send it in , i've modified it a few times so just want to make sure i'm happy with it , i presume i can just copy and paste and email to jack?
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neil-yaj396
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« Reply #5 on: 13 February, 2022, 09:46:08 AM »

A brilliant OB James, your pride in your father shines through all the way. Hope you have sent it to VL.

yes i'll send it in , i've modified it a few times so just want to make sure i'm happy with it , i presume i can just copy and paste and email to jack?

Yes, just email to Jack...
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« Reply #6 on: 12 March, 2022, 12:33:54 AM »

Such sad news, the passing of Morris Parry, one of the very best of Lancisti. I count it a great privilege to have known him if only over the last twenty years. I knew of him before then and marvelled at the restoration of his beloved Astua.

In 2002 I purchased my rolling chassis Dilambda, Margaret only supporting its acquisition if I first found a suitable body at minimal cost! About to give up on a fruitless search I remembered meeting Morris at an LMC AGM and he telling me how he had constructed the body for the Astura. I rang him and having told me how he (remember, a skilled engineer) made each panel at least three times before it was right and that it took fifteen years, I was about to end the call thoroughly deflated. However, Morris suddenly remembered that in a recent VSCC Bulletin a Carlton DHC body had been advertised and the rest is history, for Modestine became a reality.

The 2006 Turin Lancia 100 celebration was the deadline set and over that time Morris pulled me back from defeat many times with his knowledge and sage advice. His patience was remarkable, it didnít seem to matter when I called, he had time for me even though at the time he was working flat out to get his Augusta ready for the same event. Often at the end of another trying week we would compare notes on our progress and set targets for the following week. It was a triumph for us both that we made the deadline and the icing on the cake that we travelled down to Turin and back together. Morris in the Astura, James Parry in the Augusta and Modestine on a trailer (thatís another story!)

Since that eventful trip I called on Morris many times to help sort out various problems that were beyond me. He repaired Modestineís regulator/cutout, passed on an invaluable tip on how to modify the metric Bibendum wheels to take 18Ē tyres and calibrated a Nivex fuel gauge to suit the Dilambda 23-gallon tank. This latter requiring great ingenuity as the tank is cylindrical and is mounted horizontally. Arriving at Shrewsbury for an LMC AGM with a very noisy engine Morris insisted that I take Modestine to his home near Wrexham, arranged for James to lend me his delightful Appia S3 and proposed that Margaret and I stay with him and Carole the following week so as to remove the engine and investigate.

Many other members will have similar stories to tell of Morrisís tremendous generosity of sprit in sharing his knowledge of all things mechanical and electronic and he is going to be sorely missed. We will all undoubtedly have Lancia associated problems in the future and without thinking, go to ring him. Life will go on but for sure it isnít going to be the same without him.

Farewell dear friend, rest in peace.

Sincere condolences to Carole, James and the rest of the family.

Robin Lacey.
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Robin Lacey 3222

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« Reply #7 on: 16 August, 2022, 07:22:12 AM »

found a brilliant photo of my dad last night in the Astura


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« Reply #8 on: 16 August, 2022, 08:27:23 AM »

Lovely photo James, just as we all remember your dad!

P
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Frank Gallagher
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