Ford Cortina v. Morris 1100

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Sir,
It would pay Ford to get a psycho-analyst to the estimable “W. B.” He must surely have been frightened by a model-T at an early age. And I, a Ford driver of some years standing, knowing their strength, reliability, and honest value for money, was almost influenced by him. Morris 1100 indeed!

I had a test run the other day in its expensive relation, the M.G. 1100, and was never so disappointed. The steering was heavy, the gear-change woefully imprecise, the acceleration about the same as my undoctored 105E Anglia, the cockpit cramped, the seating wrong somewhere, the, pedals too close to the steering column. Worst of all, it handled “heavy”—like a 15-cwt. truck. Maybe it was just this particular car, but it was a main dealer’s demonstration model, so this is unlikely. It has first-class suspension and very little else, except “W. B.’s” unbalanced commendation. It will be interesting to see how long those gearboxes and long-stroke engines last. My guess is very little over 35,000.

The petrol economy is nothing special either, compared with the Ford range. Except for going round right-angled bends at 40-plus, I’d back the Anglia Super (£598) against the M.G. 1100 (£717) any time. And anybody who goes round square corners at 40-plus should be severely Marpled.

Another thing. The M.G. 1100 really costs anything from £30 to £80 more than £717. You will find, as I did, that the Trade have you on the short and curly in the matter of trade-in prices. Indeed, they told me (politely, of course—they are nice people, these car salesmen) that I could go and jump in the river—there were enough nits to buy every 1100 as it came in, without bothering about trade-in prices.

I’ve settled for a Cortina GT. It handles beautifully, leaves the M.G. 1100 still sorting out that wretched gearbox, and is very little harder on petrol for all its superb acceleration (28 m.p.g. over 2,000 miles against 30 m.p.g.).

I have not yet driven a Morris 1100, but shall have a go at a friend’s when its defective rear suspension is put right (it was delivered like that).

Meanwhile, I suggest that anybody thinking of either of the 1100 should test-drive one, together with an Anglia Super or Cortina GT; then look at the relative prices, as modified by the trade-in allowances. Those long delivery dates will soon come tumbling down.

John MacPherson.
Edinburgh.

***
Sir,
After owning a Morris 1100 for 10,000 miles, the demand for these cars is quite understandable, even considering the low trade-in prices one receives when buying an 1100.

The result of producing a larger “Mini” with hydroelastic suspension, etc., has produced the best design by Issigonis, which inspires enthusiasm as the miles rise.

The Ford Cortina is compared with the Morris 1100, somehow, but many magazines (except Motor Sport) are afraid to say what a better car the 1100 is than the Cortina.

The latest test from Which? explains the point. Written by amateurs, who prefer the vintage suspension of the Cortina to that of the 1100s, they also remark that the Cortina has more room than the 1100—but it must be remembered that the car is 1 ft. 10 in. longer and gains only 1 in. more rear leg room over the 1100, which is wasteful design. To make their point clear, they quote the Morris 1100 boot capacity 2 cu. ft. below its real capacity!

Although the 1100 is “supposed” to have a dated engine, it was 5 m.p.h. faster and was 3 m.p.g. more economical than the Cortina—which is much lighter than the 1100. There is no mention in Which? of the 1100 even having front-wheel-drive. Five minutes of reading the correct facts in Motor Sport is better than reading 20 minutes of errors in Which?.

The Morris 1100 will outsell the Volkswagen provided it is backed up with first-class spares and service. For here is the Morris—1100—the car that always comes first!

M.A. Vawser.
March.

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