20th Sep 2003, 13:31

My Dad bought 5 Marinas in the seventies, and in the early eighties, thoughtful chap that he is, bought me an old 1300 as a first car.

Pretty much anything that could go wrong with that car, a 4 yr old 4 door with only moderate mileage, did.

The brakes gave trouble, it was thirsty, used up oil, the wheels were badly pressed and forever in need of balancing, the stupid little pin at the bottom of the gearstick snapped, the hydraulic clutch was unsortable, the steering wheel wouldn't stay straight etc etc. I could go on.

Leyland had no right to put cars on the market this poor. It's management should have been a lot less complacent. And its workers a lot more cooperative.

But for all that, I don't think `good riddance too bad rubbish.' The current lack of a Brit. contender in the world market place saddens me. When Leyland went under, it took a good deal of our cultural heritage with it and left us economically bereft. It's a great shame. The Italians and the French wouldn't - and didn't - allow it to happen to them.

29th May 2005, 13:18

I used to own 2 Morris Marina's 1.3 and 1.8, and for all the troubles I had, they were probably the most decent car's I have ever owned. I've had 2 Montegos which were utter rubbish, I've had a Rover 213 which had a great engine, pity about the poor bodywork. I then purchased a Peugeot 106 what an absolute nail! I would never buy one again. I now have a Daewoo Nexia which is just a money pit. Every car I have had has been absolute rubbish apart from my Morris's, so I will defend this classic little car. My mate and his wife have 3 of them and he has never had a major problem with any of them. My Marina's took me all over England, Scotland and Wales and never once let me down, I only have to go up the road in my Nexia and that's it for the day she ain't going any further! What the hell, going to buy a Corsa next, there's got to be a decent car out their for me somewhere. I do miss my Marina's though.

30th May 2008, 04:09

Ahhh, the Morris Marina. My first car, bought in 2000. 'Doris' was a cream-coloured, automatic, SUPER, 5 door sedan dating back to 1975 (or 1976, this is in hot debate). I have mostly great memories about this car. I write this review with love, and a little regret, having driven many other cars in my time since. It should be noted that immediately before acquiring the Marina for the princely sum of NZD$750 in Auckland, New Zealand, I learnt to drive on a 1972/3 Hillman Avenger which had virtually none of its original parts (including the front seats), and the next car I drove, some 5 years post-Marina, was a 1973/6 Hillman Hunter. I now drive a 1998 Toyota Carib, and am seeking my next Toyota.

The marina was, for the most part, a pleasure to own. Once I topped up the oil, filled the tyres to the correct psi, had it properly tuned, and learned how to parallel park, I had no troubles with stalling, drifting off centre, or anything, really.

I drove it up and down the North Island more than once without incident - once cruising on what really must have been the mere odour of petrol still lining the sides of the petrol tank, for a good 30-40kms on the open road (at speeds of up to 140km/hr). It was comfortable, and not that loud for a vehicle of its vintage. The cat slept in his box on the floor in the front footwell when I drove from Auckland to Dunedin in it.

One of its more interesting features was the two small round 'air conditioning' vents on the front of the dash. The idea was that they would go 'pop' and open up (with the air pressure presumably) when you hit about 30km/hr, and let the air through. More often, though, to the tireless amusement of both myself and my best friend, they would go "BANG!!!", often just as you hit 100km/hr, and make you just about fill your pants in fright.

Doris the Morris and I eventually parted ways in 2001 in Dunedin (in NZ's South Island). After a stellar and virtually trouble-free 6 months of continuous service, Doris succumbed to a blown gasket of some sort and some very perished rubber hoses (causing her to emit tons of black smoke if and when she would start). This was courtesy of our first Dunedin winter, average temperature approximately 2 degrees Celsius. She was eventually given away to a complete stranger, in return for a piece of chipboard with a poster on it, an old, dead typewriter, and two pairs of socks. She had 40,000kms on the clock at that time, which was absolutely remarkable - almost unbelievable, really.

I have just seen her for sale online and still here in Dunedin, for NZD$1200, unregistered and unwarranted, rather rusty, with 200,000kms on the clock, many parts replaced, and accompanied by an assortment of spare parts. Hilarious. I view on Saturday.

18th Oct 2008, 09:02

So the Marina was not so good? In my humble opinion they were as good as the owners skill in maintaining them properly. Very regular checks on the plugs, points and filters keep these cars economical and reliable. I get around 40 MPG from my 32 year old 1300 van and love the dated feel to the drive of the Marina. Still does 90 too!

17th Dec 2008, 09:15

Truly a dinosaur amongst dinosaurs.

We 'boys' played with a Marina in our yoof. It was ghastly!

The handling was slightly sharper than a super tanker's and the wallow factor was considerably more. Brakes? If memory serves, it did have discs on the front, but I may be wrong. Skimpy tyres added to the joy of aiming the car rather than steering it.

It was pretty reliable though and shared the same engine as the MG GBT. Very easy to work on.

The old Marina wasn't 'good' but it was quite roomy and the boot was big enough to fit a teenager in. This sort of behaviour is not condoned or recommended by the author. It is a very dangerous practice and is primarily the preserve of 'boys'.