Morris Marina - was it really that bad?

Morris Marina - was it really that bad?

Author
Discussion

baconsarney

Original Poster:

9,188 posts

109 months

Wednesday 13th November
quotequote all
And would you buy one today? Was this much maligned car really rubbish? Would it make a great little commuter car today? The legendary Marina has always been a mystery to me, always slated, seemingly never loved. Like the fat ugly bird, there was one in every class when I was at school.....

Anyone here fess up to having owned one scratchchin

motco

12,579 posts

194 months

Wednesday 13th November
quotequote all
My late father in law had one. It was grim. The 1.3 litre engine was terrifyingly powerful when you realise just how awful the drum brakes were. Luckily the razor-blade narrow tyres didn't grip much anyway so any more braking effort would have bee a waste. It wasn't much different from a Morris Minor in a Primark suit right down to the 'A' Series engine and torsion bar suspension.

eybic

8,981 posts

122 months

Wednesday 13th November
quotequote all
I'm sure a PH'er owns a very clean one or certainly did a few years ago as it used to turn up at Sunday Services.

southendpier

4,303 posts

177 months

BigGingerBob

1,473 posts

138 months

Wednesday 13th November
quotequote all
I owned an Allegro VDP for a year or so around 2011.
It was cool as hell, major talking point with all sorts.
It cracked 85 mph too once!
It did have a slight drain on the battery which I never got to the bottom of but it was 33 years old at that point so I can forgive it. Nothing else went wrong.

The Marina though. is just ugly! laugh

Mr Peel

258 posts

70 months

Wednesday 13th November
quotequote all
As with the Allegro (and other BL stuff) there are myths and cliches galore. Also a distinct lack of putting things into the context of the time.

We need a detailed reply from 2Chevrons.


Tyre Smoke

12,494 posts

209 months

Wednesday 13th November
quotequote all
I had a brown 1.3 as my first ever company car.

It was horrendous. Even for a young 19yo me with a three year old car on my parents drive. The seats were dreadfully uncomfortable, the heater was permanently set to hot - and then it was only just above freezing. As mentioned, brakes were akin to throwing out an anchor and it was flat out at little more than 75mph.

My ageing HC Viva was a limousine by comparison.

So, yes. It was that bad.

Jules Sunley

10 posts

41 months

Wednesday 13th November
quotequote all
Yes, yes it was

Plate spinner

13,672 posts

148 months

Wednesday 13th November
quotequote all
Never been in one, but as a kid our next door neighbours had one and their dad would talk to my dad endlessly about how crap and unreliable it was!

Raygun

2,966 posts

68 months

Wednesday 13th November
quotequote all
I had 4 in my younger days as runabouts. In the cheap bracket they would always get me home, the trunions use to seize up and steering them was like a work-out for your arm muscles. Parts at the local factors were readilly available and cheap. Foreign cars were ok but were prone to leave you stranded and the price of parts were more expensive than a British car. Datsuns were reliable but the bodywork metal was as thick as a Rizla paper.

irocfan

21,238 posts

138 months

Wednesday 13th November
quotequote all
Mr Peel said:
As with the Allegro (and other BL stuff) there are myths and cliches galore. Also a distinct lack of putting things into the context of the time.
they were st even in the context of the time - as an aside the car the allegro should have been is a totally different beast, quite nice TBH

motco

12,579 posts

194 months

Wednesday 13th November
quotequote all
At the time F-i-L had his Marina I had a 1500cc Hillman Hunter. That was probably dearer new, but chalk and cheese do not begin to describe the difference. He (F-i-L) worked for Leyland Commercial Vehicles at Aldenham at the time and he would have been looked at askance if he'd bought 'away from home' as it were. The Rootes car was really a Cortina competitor.

swisstoni

8,311 posts

227 months

Wednesday 13th November
quotequote all
I only have experience from the outside of the Marina.
I remember when they appeared. There wasn’t much else to do when waiting for the bus to school.

They were quite handsomely styled compared to what else was around at the time.

Cledus Snow

1,940 posts

136 months

Wednesday 13th November
quotequote all
If they had used longer doors, rather than standard 4 door front doors on the coupe it wouldn’t have looked as st in profile.

I’d like an early marina with MX5 running gear...

bristolracer

3,084 posts

97 months

Wednesday 13th November
quotequote all
Some interesting Marina facts nicked from wikipedia

Marina was the first car to use platform engineering
It was available in some European export markets with a 37hp diesel engine
It was rallied in South Africa with a Rover v8 lump in it
Some of its components have been used elsewhere, Lotus doorhandles, Indicator stalk used in the Diablo
Until the Metro, it was BLs 2nd best selling car and often came second in the sales charts behind the Cortina.
Hyundai bought 2 of them and used them as a template to start building their own cars, i.e the Pony. I wonder where Hyundai would be now if they had chosen a Cortina?

boyse7en

3,949 posts

113 months

Wednesday 13th November
quotequote all
As an impressionable eight year old i was very jealous of my mate as his dad had in imperial purple Marina 1.8 coupe. I had to make do riding in the back of a white (and rust) Lada estate so the power of a 1.8 seemed almost unimaginable.

austinsmirk

3,617 posts

71 months

Wednesday 13th November
quotequote all
I grew up in Oxford in the 70's. In Cowley- home of BL. we lived on a lovely rural road- just houses with drives on one side of the street, all open countryside. Of course now, ever single bit has been built on !

It seemed like everyone worked in the motor industry and every one had a British car- ironically even the neighbours, with their purple marina.

my memory of that street is every single BL car, parked on those drives had oil pans catching the drips. Or ever other driveway had a set of home ramps out and a car being endlessly fixed.

except my foreign parents. No- my father had a Volvo and my mother a Toyota. No way on God's fine earth would you ever buy a British car in the 70's, if you had experienced other marques !

I can even remember going out somewhere- maybe 9 boys crammed into the headmaster's marina and being told not to put to much weight in the footwells- they were showing daylight and rotting through. That's BL for you in the 70's.

Zirconia

33,313 posts

232 months

Wednesday 13th November
quotequote all
Passed my test using one (1.3) used along with a Triumph 1300 (superb compared to the Marina) and Metro something (rev counter never went above 600 and doors bounced back open).

It was awful.

WestyCarl

2,222 posts

73 months

Wednesday 13th November
quotequote all
My first car (mum's cast off) was a Marina 1.8l Coupe.

Loaded with some mates it could outrun fiesta 1.1's (which were the other affordable 1st car of choice) biggrin However with knackered shocks and crappy tyres it was lethal, at least in the hands of an 18yr old thinking he's a racing driver.

On the plus side it was quite strong, never once, when pulled out of a ditch by a lcoal famer did it not get me home biggrin

A few years ago I contacted the Morris Marina Owners club to see if I could rent one for a weekend reunion with my old mates, nobody was interested which is probably for the best.


PMacanGTS

288 posts

19 months

Wednesday 13th November
quotequote all
My dad had one. I think the colour was ‘Caramac’, with a brown vinyl roof. He followed that by buying a black Ital. I’m still scarred by the experience.