1976 Morris Marina Reviews

1976 Morris Marina 1.8 Super 1.8 petrol from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1976
First year of ownership1989
Most recent year of ownership1996
Engine and transmission 1.8 petrol Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.5 / 10
Distance when acquired81000 miles
Most recent distance140000 miles

Summary:

Better than a Ford Escort for starters!

Faults:

Lower link in front suspension went on nearside

Clutch slave cylinder fault

Propeller shaft center bearing rubber mounting split

Overheating problem due to sticky thermostat

One track rod end needed replaced

Had a problem with main earth, which caused earthing through the speedometer cable!

Some trouble starting due to faulty condenser.

General engine wear due to poor maintenance.

A certain amount of rust.

General Comments:

Considering the car had done a high mileage when it was bought and had never been serviced properly in it's life, my Marina was an exceptionally good and reliable car.

The car was about 13 years old when I acquired it and it was still going despite poor maintain by it's previous owners.

The British Motor corporation designed many things which have been copied by other manufacturers in later years, for example the stroboscopic timing system used in many modern cars.

The only thing wrong with BL was that strikes interrupted the production of cars and many cars were deliberately sabotaged by those who built them.

Why are we so down on British workmanship, we taught the world how to make things and we won the second world war largely due to the talents of British people.

Anyhow, back to Marinas-An overdrive, improved front suspension, rear springs from the van & some extra soundproofing would have made a blooming brilliant motor! But then what are we comparing the humble Marina with? The cars of this millennium?

Oh and incidentally my 1.8 super still did 95 mph when it was running on 3 cylinders!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th June, 2003

4th Nov 2003, 06:37

Many of the problems encountered by Marina owners were in a lot of cases avoidable. To qualify this statement I list the following points.

Front suspension lower joint failure. Mainly due to chronic lack of greasing (also not ensuring the grease travelled up through the threaded Trunion.

Excessive oil consumption/leaks. Poor engine breathing/venting of crankcase due to blocked gauze in timing cover breather.

Propshaft joint failure (early models grease again)

You get the idea.

1976 Morris Marina super de luxe coupe 1.3 from Netherlands

Year of manufacture1976
First year of ownership2002
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission 1.3 Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.3 / 10
Distance when acquired65000 kilometres
Most recent distance70000 kilometres
Previous carMorris Minor

Summary:

I just love this car!

Faults:

Clutch slave cylinder seal.

The fuelgauge.

Water pump.

Inertia seat belts lock in summer.

General Comments:

Clutch slave cylinder seal is going. I just keep topping up! Keep everything lubricated properly! 3000 Miles interval. Good looking and a very nice and comfortable car. The engine, is smooth and reliable, always starts first time. No oil leaks at all! Choke knob feels flimsy. Always think it comes off. Lovely gearbox, but lacks 5th gear. Finding the reverse gear takes some practicing. The fuel gauge worked intermittently due to punctured plastic floater. Repaired this when the fuel tank had to come out (off) for rusty and leaky underside. The clutch can be quite vicious and unexpected. Crazy positioning of radio aperture in dashboard. Not properly visible from LHD driving position. Electric switches do hesitate sometimes.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th August, 2002

11th Oct 2004, 00:43

How very nice! So there's another one still around in the Netherlands!

I very recently required an 1800 TC Coupe, delivered new to his proud (?) Dutch owner who unfortunately passed away several years ago. That was back in June 1975....

It's still with MOT, some work on the body (mainly the RH sill and front wing), but with sound engine and gearbox, although the carburettors are not behaving like they should be.

I had some e-mail contact with someone owning a orange 1.3 coupe like the one you have now last year. Since there are not that many around any more: the same car???

30th Jul 2006, 20:29

The radio position was just one of those peculiarities.. right hand drive Marinas also had a radio facing the wrong way and the wipers set up for the LHD position.

3rd Sep 2006, 08:43

Australian Marinas had the wipers the correct way round for RHD. I don't understand why they were set for LHD in UK. They did tend to lift off the screen atover 80 km/h though.

Australian Marinas had a few improvements: better brakes, different engines (E-series 1500 and 1750) better seats, different wipers, slightly better rear suspension. In 73 they released a 6 cylinder 2.6 litre version with uprated suspension front and rear, and better brakes, 3-speed manual trans. (or 3-speed auto). Also a unique Australian grille on 74 models - vertical chrome bars with the Leyland symbol. Post 74 Marinas were badged as "Leyland Marina" not "Morris Marina".

I had a 6 cyl manual one for a while, I quite enjoyed it, but it really wasn't much of a car.

1976 Morris Marina L 1.3 petrol from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1976
First year of ownership1988
Most recent year of ownership1989
Engine and transmission 1.3 petrol Manual
Performance marks 4 / 10
Reliability marks 1 / 10
Comfort marks 4 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 4 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
3.3 / 10
Distance when acquired68000 miles
Most recent distance77000 miles

Summary:

This is why we have no car industry left

Faults:

Rust

Burned as much oil as petrol

More rust

Fuse-box fire

More rust

Left oil puddles after 20 minutes standing

More rust.

General Comments:

A dire car from an era which marked the beginning of the end of the British car industry.

Bodywork rotted to nothing, engine burned and leaked oil like an old boiler and a wire fell out of the back of the fuse-box and caused a moderate electrical fire which filled the inside of the car up with thick acrid smoke. Unfortunately it went out by itself.

Yes it was an old, cheap first car, but friends who wisely bought old Escorts and Vauxhalls never had anything like the same grief with their cars.

A shameful relic which should be buried forever.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 26th June, 2002

8th Jul 2003, 09:40

Had a few Marina 1.3 saloons back in the early eighties. Cheap and fairly reliable sheds to drive around in. Shoddily made, but hey they were Leylands. Really comfy cars to drive though.

Drove one to Glastonbury Rock Festival. It dropped a piston just outside Shepton Mallet. It didn't have much life left in it anyway so I took the reg. plates off it and left it there by the road. The scrapyards were always full of Marinas I recall and getting spares was easy.

My step-dad had a Morris Ital... a more 'modern' boxier shaped Marina with rectangular headlights. It was an utter nail and to quote step-pappy...the worst car on the road.

It was a classic 'friday afternoon' car. After that he never bought British again. Last seen driving a vehicle from Nippon.

I'm really glad that Leyland/Austin Rover is no more... these cars were an embarassment to Britain. My own personal worst car was a Rover 214 as well.

Average review marks: 6.7 / 10, based on 3 reviews