More about Marina

Browse pages
Current page

1

Current page

2

Current page

3

Current page

4

Current page

5

Current page

6

Current page

7

Current page

8

Current page

9

Current page

10

Current page

11

Current page

12

Current page

13

Current page

14

Current page

15

Current page

16

Current page

17

Current page

18

Current page

19

Current page

20

Current page

21

Current page

22

Current page

23

Current page

24

Current page

25

Current page

26

Current page

27

Current page

28

Current page

29

Current page

30

Current page

31

Current page

32

Current page

33

Current page

34

Current page

35

Current page

36

Current page

37

Current page

38

Current page

39

Current page

40

Current page

41

Current page

42

Current page

43

Current page

44

Current page

45

Current page

46

Current page

47

Current page

48

Current page

49

Current page

50

Current page

51

Current page

52

Current page

53

Current page

54

Current page

55

Current page

56

Current page

57

Current page

58

Current page

59

Current page

60

Current page

61

Current page

62

Current page

63

Current page

64

Current page

65

Current page

66

Current page

67

Current page

68

Current page

69

Current page

70

Current page

71

Current page

72

Current page

73

Current page

74

Current page

75

Current page

76

Current page

77

Current page

78

Current page

79

Current page

80

Current page

81

Current page

82

Current page

83

Current page

84

Current page

85

Current page

86

Current page

87

Current page

88

Current page

89

Current page

90

Current page

91

Current page

92

Current page

93

Current page

94

Current page

95

Current page

96

Current page

97

Current page

98

Current page

99

Current page

100

Current page

101

Current page

102

Current page

103

Current page

104

Current page

105

Current page

106

Current page

107

Current page

108

Current page

109

Current page

110

Current page

111

Current page

112

Current page

113

Current page

114

Current page

115

Current page

116

Current page

117

Don’t let’s waste too much time over it, because I dealt with Morris Marina disappointments last May. But, as explained elsewhere, I have been re-sampling the controversial Marina since its front suspension was altered to obviate excessive (some went so far as to say dangerous) understeer, causing pre-July cars to be called in.

The cure has been reasonably effective, although the light steering still has pronounced initial understeer characteristics. The suspension copes well with smooth roads but control diminishes over rougher surfaces. I changed from an Austin Maxi to this Morris Marina in heavy rain and, having to cope with London’s forever-rush-hour traffic, the Triplex hot-line demisting back window was never more essential it works quickly if only over the upper half of the glass.

On this should be made quite clear from the start. The Maxi was infinitely more enjoyable to drive fast than the Marina. The work done by Sir Alec Issigonis and Lex Moutlon has by no means been wasted and for maximum cornering power and safety the “conventional simplified” car offers no comparison. As ordinary transport the Marina is a nice little car, but not for rallying or quick road work. This second one I drove possessed the same features I outlined in the previous Marina test report, and retained the “spring-loaded” heater volume lever which meant that one had to adjust it too frequently. I drove more than 280 miles before the fuel gauge suggested some more petrol; the engine may be antiquated but it has a negligible fuel and oil thirst. The test car was a 1.8 coupé and only on opening its bonnet did I realise it had but one SUit was not a TC as I had assumed. I had noted previously that when wound up the acceleration wasn’t at all bad, which proves something or other. (You can also tell a 1.8 from a 1.8 TC by the rather crude wheel trims which conceal the wheel nuts on the single carburettor job.) The actual petrol thirst represented 33.8 m.p.g., oil about 2,800 m.p.p. (the Group 1 Maxi did 28.5 m.p.h.) and the accessibility of dip-stick and Lucas battery couldn’t be bettered.

The lines of the Haynes-styled body are nice, but rather slab-like from the rear and after the convenience of the five-door Maxi the Marina’s two doors and low roof were rather frustrating. The bad idling and jerky throttle-opening of the TC were absent, however, and absolutely the only thing that fell off this smart and useful Morris in more than 1,400 miles was a “keep” for the cubby-hole lid, which is lockable but a beast to open, as it has a press-button but no handle.

Marina has improved and this Dunlop SP68-shod coupé served me as faithfully as many other Morrises have served so many other people down the years. The coupé version sells for a modest £952.W.B.