Black Country Bugle
‘The feel of fitted carpet, the convenience of coathooks’ ... did you drive a Morris Marina?
WE continue our series looking back at Leyland models of the seventies with a delve into the Morris Marina section of the 1977 brochure.
Never the most stylish or exciting of cars, even the writer of the brochure struggles to whip up any enthusiasm, beginning his sales pitch with the following words ...
“In very general terms it might be said that the Marina group of models have the same part to play in the motoring scene as those of the Allegro range.
“This is partly true but they play it in different ways; appeal to different tastes. Marina design is straightforward and orthodox. It embodies a fore-and-aft mounted engine driving the rear wheels through a hypoid bevel gear rear axle, independent torsion bar front suspension and semi-elliptic springs at the rear.
“This configuration makes for ease of operation and servicing. It is popular with business and fleet users as well as a great many family motorists.
“Marinas are available in 2-door, 4-door and Estate versions and you choose the degree of economy, performance or range of furnishings and fittings that best suit your needs and pocket.
“In every case, simplicity, reliability and value for money have been primary considerations in the design concept.”
Delving into the specifics of each model, the Marina 1.3 Deluxe and Super Saloons are given the following push: “If you are looking for a practical and economical car to take you anwhere on business or with your family, and bring you back, you will find it right here. “Pleasing, no-nonsense exteriors on both 2-door and 4-door versions enclose a passenger compartment that is roomy enough to carry four people in comfort. The sensibly shaped seats are trimmed with knitbacked vinyl facings on deluxe models and nylon fabric facings on Super models. “Low cost motoring does not imply a low level of finish ... the feel of fitted carpet benath your feet, the convenience of coat hooks, the safety of heated rear window and hazard warning lamps being among the features which can be enjoyed. “
Also featured is the Deluxe Estate, shown here in an underwhelming shade of beige. Its seats could fold down to allow plenty of cargo, but with a 1.3 engine, you’d probably need a downward slope and a tail wind to get going.
Higher up the range were the more powerful 1.8 saloons and estates, as well as the Special, GT and HL, which came with slightly more in the way of trim and extras. As well as vinyl roofs, these three models had extra halogen driving lamps, head restraints, glovebox lamp and a clock – the GT and HL also had a twin carburettor.
With the Marina, low cost motoring does not imply a low level of finish