1973 Mk1 Marina 1800 Estate

A client of mine phoned me one day to ask a favour. If he gave me $50 would I remove his old Morris Marina please.

I went to his house to view it and was rather astounded to find a one-owner from new car in very good condition.

The clutch was inoperable and he lived at the bottom of a steep drive. I figured I might be able to free the clutch if I could drive it for a reasonable distance, so I devised a plan to return and attempt such.

I also told the owner that I could not possibly take his money and his car - so instead I gave him $50.!

A few days later I returned and started the car with no problems whatsoever. I warmed it up well, stopped it, then started it in first gear. It obliged and drove out of the driveway with no hesitation although I was aware that I could only stall it to stop if necessary. It wasn't.

I drove it a few miles, intermittently depressing the clutch pedal and applying the brakes vigorously. It worked, and the clutch suddenly came free with a thump.

I drove it home and immediately took these photos - albeit with a rather poor digital camera.

It was an extremely well cared for car and knowing what I know now - probably the best ever Mk1 Estate I would ever see in this country.

Although I only drove it another few miles it was most obvious that the Mk1 Marina handled and steered rather badly compared to my usual Mk3's.

The only parts of this car that interested me in the slightest were the stainless steel gutter trims, which I quickly transferred to my daily driver blue Estate.

Having neither a use for the car nor any wish to dismantle it, I gave it away to another Marina person who agreed to give me some parts I could use.

As it happened - he didn't, but many years later, and after his death, he did. You might read about it later in these pages..