1981 Morris Marina Mk3

As with all things in life - those that come in a very serendipitous way are most definitely more significant. I was once asked to check this car out for its elderly owner as he had contacted the Morris Owners Club for advice, and I was the resident Marina expert.

The car was an honest example, but had various scars and a hideous big-end rattle, so much so that I asked the old chap to please turn it off. I thought it was about to do something most unpleasant. I promised to pass on all details of the car to any interested parties - but in fact - I was probably the only club member who actually was interested in Marinas in any way at all.

Fast forward.

A local garage who were being most agreeable about giving quick wof checks for my classic motorcycles had acquired a Marina and needed some parts for it. Same car. It had sat in a field for some time and was even more down at the mouth.

I supplied all the parts for $130, but the vehicle was later sold on as-is.

Fast forward.

A friend phoned me. Some lad had arrived at his premises on the way to the scrap yard in what he considered to be a Marina too good to scrap. They gave the lad $200 and he left happy. Did I want it.?

Actually - I was trying to downsize my Marina collection and did not really - but I went for a look because you never know...

Same car. I paid the $200 and got all my bits back. However - I did now appreciate that it was without any structural rust whatsoever, so parked it on my lawn for 2 years while I thought about it.

At some point I decided to resurrect it, which required changing engine, gearbox, rear axle, rebuilding the steering rack, plus attending to a myriad of neglected items as apply to all Marinas - because nobody loved them.

With the addition of a 2 litre engine and a very nice gearbox, the thing was off like a slightly scalded cat, and gave hint of somewhat sprightly performance for anyone game enough to prod its pedals vigorously. Which I was. So it got to look like this.

I have since had some paint matched to the original shade and shall begin to give it a bit more pride in its appearance. Handling and performance are far and above anything Austin-Rover ever endowed it with - so that is rather pleasing.

If I can successfully facelift it to a suitable degree I may be sufficiently motivated to apply other indecencies.

So that's nice...

Update August 2016.

This car suffered an accident while Sue was driving it - a woman made a right turn in front of a stationary bus and slammed into the front right corner. Insurance wrote it off.

I began repairing it but then the panelbeater found major rust involving 3 seperate panels in each front guard. That plus the fact that the plates had to be surrendered to the Insurance Company before I bought the wreck back meant it was going to cost way too much to get it back on the road. I decided to use it as the donor car for repowering my white van.

That is how it looks today..