Ah, the Morris Marina, the woeful shame that sent the British car industry twenty many years again, the badly made waste that unsuccessful to reach any of the most essential goals established by car builders, a machine that has turn into a by-phrase for failure and a symbol for awful workmanship and every thing that was completely wrong with British field in the 1970’s, and presently acknowledged superior for being cannon-fodder for an onslaught of spontaneous piano drops…
But substantially like the Austin Allegro, is it definitely as undesirable as all that?
The Morris Marina was released in 1971 by British Leyland to replace the 23 calendar year outdated Morris Minor. Created by Roy Haynes, the Marina, despite being regarded as repugnant by a lot of, doesn’t truly glimpse that undesirable, in some scenarios it really is superior than the Allegro. It was pretty substantially a structure staple of its time, with the Hillman Avenger, the Vauxhall Viva and the Ford Escort sharing pretty very similar bodyshapes.
But the difficulties came with its other developments. The car may have experienced a new physique, but beneath it was just a further Morris Minor, sharing a vast majority of components such as the suspension, with some versions being run by the BMC A-Sequence engine from the Mini.
Yet, the car was released in 1971 after only 18 months of development, and was built out there throughout the Commonwealth beneath a wide variety of badges, such as the Leyland Marina in Australia, the Austin Marina in North America, and the Morris 1700 in New Zealand. It was also out there in a selection of trim tabs, such as a four-door saloon, a 2-door coupé, a camper variant and as a pickup truck.
A lot like the Allegro, the Marina did provide perfectly originally, being the 2nd greatest offering car in the United kingdom powering the Ford Cortina in 1973, but was not with no significant community troubles to start with.
Through preliminary evaluations the badly place together press cars suffered from awful suspension difficulty which resulted in the cars getting it in the vicinity of unachievable to take corners. Even though this difficulty was afterwards rectified, 39,000 cars still went out with this initial weak suspension with no recall to correct these troubles.
But after the preliminary structure faults came to light-weight, the creation top quality faults were the subsequent challenge. A lot like the Allegro, during strike durations, strike cars remaining the factories with significant elements lacking, or parts of trim not in put or not operating correctly, or suffered heavily from malfunctions, be they mechanically or electronically. At the exact same time the sheer absence of rustproofing on these cars meant that exhibiting them a moist cloth would end result in the bare metallic brown of death appearing in a lot more destinations than one particular.
Even so, the car did continue on to provide, and reach the objective of being essential, straightforward motoring for the masses despite all its faults, and remained in creation for nine many years right up until it was replaced by a facelifted edition acknowledged as the Ital in 1980. Even though the Ital also offered perfectly for its four calendar year creation lifestyle, the legacy of its forebears was still sufficient to tarnish its standing, blended with a significantly less than stellar physique structure.
Nowadays the two Marina’s and Ital’s are in the vicinity of unachievable to appear by. Of the 809,000 Marina’s created, only 670 keep on being on the streets, while of the one hundred seventy five,000 Ital’s offered, only 174 continue on to exist.
This is not assisted by the jogging gag on the BBC car present Best Gear, wherever every time a Marina appears on the present it is destroyed by a randomly falling piano dropped by the helicopter piano haulage firm ‘Careless Airways’.
But possibly way, despite all its criticism, I individually really don’t consider the Marina is as undesirable a car as the entire world offers it credit history for. Positive it really is essential, not perfectly equipped, gradual, unreliable and susceptible to rusting, but as a little loved ones car that ambles about the countryside, it really is not as undesirable as some obscure Eastern Block versions, and even right now retains a put in the hearts of a lot of as possibly a happy-go-blessed minor runabout, or a cautionary tale of how not to establish a car.
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