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Classified ad of the week: Marina coupe
Power. Prestige. Beauty. The Morris Marina has none of these things, but thanks to various botched piano deliveries, it’s become something of a Top Gear icon.
So, to celebrate the new series, it might be a nice idea to get yourself this fine example of the sexiest model in the line-up - the fastback version of British Leyland’s answer to the Ford Escort and Cortina, artfully slotting between the two models by offering neither the power of the latter nor compact dimensions of the former.
Developed with the sort of aplomb we’ve come to admire from British Leyland, the thrusting saloon had a fairly awkward birth. Firstly, the company decided to build it at its Cowley plant in Oxford, which hadn’t been updated since the 1920’s. And that meant costly upgrades, which left little in the coffers for expensive fripperies like modern technology.
That meant the Marina came fitted with Morris Minor-derived suspension, and an old BMC engine. The coupe also had the same front doors as the saloon, which looked a bit… derivative. Consequently, Morris couldn’t sell the mechanically identical fastback as a treat-yourself premium thing, so it ended up being cheaper than the standard car.
The low cost of the original seems to have permeated into the car’s 21st century values too, so this example, described enticingly by the vendor as ‘very rare’, ‘superb’, and ‘beautiful’ will set you back just £1995.
What d’you get for your money? Some MOT history, the factory tool kit and even ‘a box of some spares’. Additionally, we’re told that the interior is ‘superb’, with no sags in the headlining or seats, and that the carpets are ‘virtually as new’. They add, ‘she [is] a lovely unspoiled example with a beautiful patina of age’.
Anybody willing to save it from wayward Steinways?