I read with interest your correspondent’s letter with regard to the Morris Marina in the January issue of Motor Sport (Buy British and follow the VSCC, page 67). My profession takes me some one thousand miles a week in a Leyland Cars Marina 1.8 Super Mark 2, the car having now covered a troublesome total of 46,000 miles. Surprisingly mine is one of the best in the Company’s fleet, yet consistently requiring front shock-absorbers every 8,000 miles and these not covered by second year “Super Cover”. The gearbox has been rebuilt at 38,000 miles suffering from the normal Triumph Vitesse problem of collapsed layshaft bearings the Marina gearbox being the latest derivative of the Triumph design. It has had a new clutch, front discs and other parts too numerous to list. Brake pad replacement is necessary every 6,000 miles and every Leyland Dealer admits they can do nothing about bulkhead distortion which occurs every tune emergency braking action is necessary, resulting in the brake pedal being flush with the floor and the car continuing at will. The Mark 2 Marina is surely the result of Leyland Cars requiring it higher “mark up” from their mass-produced car by cutting down drastically on specifications across the board. Is there little wonder the whole thing rattles all day long, is so noisy at 71 m.p.h. it is impossible to listen to the radio and the seating rates as the most uncomfortable in any car. The poor handling is improved slightly by fitting 165/13 Michelin XZX tyres. The car is in my opinion dangerous from its fatigue factor, worrying braking ability and had reflection of the illuminated dials in the direct line of view through the windscreen.
In its favour it has good straight line acceleration, a useful boot and good Triumph design steering-wheel stalks. Mycolleagues tell me the Estate version handles better as David Thirlby comments, no doubt because of its better weight distribution.
I shall not be sorry to see this now badly rusted car pass on and return to a solid, reliable, quiet and comfortable Chrysler Hunter Super Series VIII, also Government sponsored but money better invested.
Thank you for an excellent magazine.
Lemmington Spa J. C. CLACK