Morris marina.jpg
Morris Marina
aka Type aka here, not up there
Production 1971–80
Class midsize car
Body Style 4-door saloon
5-door estate car
2 door coupé
2-door pick-up
2-door van
Length 166 in
Width 64 in
Height Height - type here
Wheelbase 96 in
Weight Weight - you get the point
Transmission transmission + drive
Engine 1.3 L A-Series Straight-4
1.8 L B-Series Straight-4 (1971-1978)
1.7 L O-Series Straight-4 (1978-1980)
1.4 L Straight-4 Diesel
1.5 L E-Series Straight-4 (Australia)
1.75 L E-Series Straight-4 (Australia)
2.6 L E-Series Straight-6 (Australia/South Africa)
Power N/A hp @ N/A rpm
N/A lb-ft of torque @ N/A rpm
Similar Ford Cortina
Ford Escort
Vauxhall Cavalier
Hillman Hunter
Hillman Avenger
Chrysler Alpine
Austin Maxi
Designer Roy Haynes

The Morris Marina was a car manufactured by the Morris division of British Leyland throughout the 1970s, a period of great turbulence and difficulty for the British car industry. It was known in some markets as the Austin Marina, Leyland Marina, and Morris 1.7.

The model has been widely identified as symptomatic of the problems facing the industry at that time, with poor build quality, handling likened to a "skip on wheels"[1] and outdated design. The 1980 replacement for the Marina, the closely related Ital, received similar criticism. The Marina has been described as one of the worst cars of all time.[2][3][4][5]

See Autopedia's comprehensive Morris Marina Review.

Recent Changes

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Styles and Major Options

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Trim1 Trim2 Trim3 Trim4
$Price1 $Price2 $Price3 $Price4
$Price1 $Price2 $Price3 $Price4

Gas Mileage

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As seen on the website, the City/Highway MPG averages are as follows:

Trim1 Trim2 Trim3 Trim4
c/h c/h c/h c/h

Engine and Transmission

  • 1971–1980 - 1275 cc A-Series Straight-4, 60 hp (45 kW) at 5250 rpm and 69 ft·lbf (94 Nm) at 2500 rpm
  • 1971–1978 - 1798 cc B-Series Straight-4
  • 1971–1978 - 1798 cc B-Series Straight-4 Twin carburettor
  • 1977–1980 - 1489 cc Straight-4 Diesel


Please make sure to write information of the vehicle's performance in a third-person point of view. This section should include information about the car's acceleration figures, handling, braking, etc.

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The Marina is one of the cars like the Allegro affected by the 1970s workers strike of the British Motor Company and suffered bad build quality. In one embarrasing instance, the driver's seatbelt (when buckled) wouldn't detach (as Jeremy Clarkson experienced in Clarkson: Unleashed On Cars).


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Main Competitors

Hybrid Models

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Unique Attributes

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This section should include information on the interior's design, build quality, ergonomics, space (head and legroom, front and rear), features, stowage compartments and overall comfortability and livability. Add pictures wherever applicable and keep information in a third-person point of view.

Resale Values

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Resale Value
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North America

The Marina was available in the United States as the Austin Marina from 1973–75 in 2- and 4-door form. It was marketed as an Austin because Morris was a virtually unknown brand in the US and to capitalise on the success of the Austin-Healey marque. The 1973 model still had the normal small bumpers, but the 1974/5 models had large bumpers to comply with new US regulations. It was only produced with the 1800 cc engine and was soon strangled by the emissions equipment required by US law, being fitted with an air pump and exhaust air injection. The US Government soon accused BL of "dumping" cars in the US which – combined with tales of poor quality – made it a very poor seller, and they were not exported to the US after 1975.

The Marina was also marketed in Canada as the Austin Marina, in 2-door coupé and 4-door saloon form, from 1973–78, using only the 1800 engine, fitted with US-style heavier bumpers and emissions equipment. Sales stopped when the 1.8 L engine was replaced by the 1.7 L engine, which was not emissions-certified in Canada. While its simple rear-wheel drive layout and mechanicals appealed to many Canadian drivers, the Marina's body was prone to extremely fast rust-out on the salted winter roads of eastern Canada, which limited sales in later years.


In Denmark, the Morris Marina name was used for a badge-engineered version of the Morris 1100 in the early- to mid-1960s.


The Morris Marina, sold there as the Leyland Marina (in saloon and coupé forms only) instead used the OHC E-Series motors, in 1500 cc and 1750 cc forms, the 1750 in two different rates of tune. Additionally, as an ill-advised competitor to the Holden Torana and Ford Cortina 6 models, the Marina was also offered with a 121 hp (90 kW) 2600 cc engine.

This indigenous Marina variant was capable of 0–60 mph in under nine seconds. The Australian Marinas were built from CKD kits sent from Cowley in England, but used high levels of local content, including different running gear, axle, interiors, seals, seats, uprated dampers and mounts, uprated wheels and a higher grade of fit and finish. The Marina Six used a separate front sub-frame to support the weight of the Big Red engine and different front struts to try and improve handling. Leyland Australia were known for their own development and a version of the Rover V8 was converted into a V6 and test fitted to a Marina saloon, allegedly running in a race at Mt Panorama. A replacement was in development in 1974. Production of the Marina in Australia was between 1972 and 1974, when Leyland Australia's Zetland factory (home of the Leyland P76) closed.

New Zealand

The Morris Marina was a popular car on the New Zealand market, imported by the New Zealand Motor Corporation. Imports began with built-up British sourced saloons (in 1.3 and 1.8L forms) in 1971, but local assembly of Australian sourced (E-Series engines) models began in 1972 after the release of the Marinas there. In 1974, before the demise of Leyland Australia's manufacturing operations, local assembly switched to British sourced models again in saloon, estate, van and pick-up forms. Batches of fully-built UK-sourced cars also came in in 1973 and 1974 when the government allowed additional import licences due to the inability of local assembly plants to keep pace with demand for new cars.

In 1979 the Marina received a facelift and the BL O-Series OHC 1.7L engine, however at the time the 'Marina' name was perceived as negative by the New Zealand public - hence the Marina name was dropped completely, the car being renamed Morris 1.7. The Morris 1.7 had high equipment levels and even included front spoilers and driving lights on all models. The related van and pickup models were renamed Morris 575.

Production of this car ceased in 1981, and the car was replaced locally by an expanded range of NZMC Honda products.

Design quirks and oddities

Despite its heavy criticism from the media and motoring press, the Morris Marina was a very popular car in Britain and was among the country's best selling cars throughout its production life, peaking at second place – only surpassed by the Ford Cortina – in 1973.

Marina production lasted almost 10 years, and in that time no less than 807,000 were sold across Britain, though it was less popular on export markets.

A survey conducted by Auto Express magazine in August 2006 revealed that just 745 of the 807,000 Marinas sold in Britain are still on the road - fewer than one in a thousand. This made it officially the most-scrapped car to have been sold in Britain over the previous 30 years.[6] This was surprising even for a car which had ceased production 26 years earlier.

In Clarkson: Unleashed On Cars, Jeremy Clarkson got a red Marina coupe and used it as a 'ball' in a game of conquers with cars he hates such as a Vauxhall Astra, a Ford Sierra and a Vanden Plas 1500 (or an Austin Allegro as Jeremy called it).


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See Also

image (between 170-190 pixels)

British Leyland

Triumph | Lanchester | Woleseley | Alvis | Rover | BSA | Standard | Jaguar | Morris | Austin | Vanden Plas

P3 · P4 · P5 · P6 · SD1 · 25 · 75 (post-P4) · 45 · 400 · 200 · 100 (post-P4) · 800 · 600 · CityRover · Estoura · Streetwise

Include notable internal links here

John Kemp Starley and William Sutton Corporate website A brand of the SAIC group



  1. Kennedy, Carol (2003). From Dynasties to Dotcoms: The Rise, Fall and Reinvention of British Business in the Past 100 Years. Kogan Page. p. p. 115. 
  2. Fourth, according to "VW Beetle is named 'crappest car'". BBC News. 2004-09-14. Retrieved 2007-07-14. 
  3. Wheeler, Brian (2005-04-07). "The politics of building cars". Retrieved 2007-07-14. "[T]he cars produced in that era, such as the Austin Allegro and the Morris Marina, are now widely regarded as some of the worst ever built." 
  4. Dowling, Joshua (2000-06-30). "First among the worst". Sydney Morning Herald. "The failed Morris Marina was a close runner-up [to being the worst car ever sold in Australia]." 
  5. "Porsche's Cayenne caned". The Sun Online.,,2-2005560578,00.html. Retrieved 2007-07-14. 
  6. Reuters (2006-09-01). "Marina and Cortina vie for "rarest" car". Retrieved 2007-07-14. 

External Links