Rob Gruye collects, rebuilds and restores classic Morris Minor cars at his Double M Ranch in Port Townsend.

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If you want to know anything about Morris Minor cars, ask Port Townsend resident Rob Gruye. Of the 58 cars Gruye currently has in his collection, about 10 are running.

Gruye, 62, bought his first Morris Minor — a 1957 woody wagon — in 1971. This past April he purchased a “basket case,” a totally dismantled wagon with a lot of new parts. A few weeks later, he discovered it was the same wagon he’d purchased 41 years earlier. It’s on his list to restore.

Gruye’s shop specializes in restoring the classic British cars, built between 1949 and 1971. They came in two-door or four-door models, called “Saloons”; the convertible “Tourer”; the woody “Traveller”; the light-commercial van; or the pickup “Ute.”

Gruye, with the help of four employees, upgrades the cars with electronic ignition and disk brakes, plus bodywork and new paint. The cost to drive one away starts around $12,000 and can go upward of $20,000, depending on the model and restoration work needed; that can take a couple of months.

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Because of his collection of cars, Gruye says Port Townsend probably has more Morris Minors per capita than any other place in the U.S.

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