2015 - I bought an unfinished race car project - the builder was known to me, but he had died before completing his project. The car had changed hands several times and ended up with a man who was keen to see it finished, but lacked the enthusiasm to do it. He thought I might as I had several of the same type of car.

1975 Morris Marina Coupe - by Leyland, Australia.

Initially I split the deal with a friend who was to fit a Rover V8 into a Marina Coupe, and this body was much better than what he had. I kept the engine and gearbox for another project I had.

Several years later, neither of us had made any progress, and it was made known that he was going to quit the body. I felt that perhaps I should grab it back and reunite it with its original powerplant, seeing as I had not used it as I had planned. So that is what happened.

End of September 2017 we got together, drank some beer, dropped the car onto its wheels and surveyed proceedings. It was so good, and yet it was so basic that mountains of work would be needed to put it on the road. But that was what I planned to do.

Money changed hands again, and two days later I called around to transport the car to my place. He was at work, so I manhandled it myself after correcting a major steering alignment issue. Fortunately my hired trailer had a winch..

The transition journey went very well. The bodyshell is very light and did not place much stress on either trailer or tow car. In quick time I was offloading in my driveway.

I climbed inside it at this point, and releasing the handbrake, allowed gravity to do its thing. The trailer deck was supported otherwise it would have flipped up as the rear wheels left the ramps and gouged the underside of the body. Not having that.!

A modest amount of pushing and pulling saw the car placed in front of my shed amongst a number of other Marinas. It must feel right at home...

It was a bit of a no-brainer to decide that the best course of action would be to fit the original engine and driveline which had already been removed from this car. In the time that the engine had been in my care I had discovered several local engine specialists who had been involved in the rebuild process, and they had been able to give me the information I needed to complete it's assembly. While everything had been attended to I am still unsure how radical the camshaft profile may prove to be, and whether the non favoured 3 into 1 exhaust manifold will perform as well as an LCB type, but it certainly will not sound like your average MGB, which is what the engine is from.

Engine is complete other than its external plumbing.

This is progress to 20th July 2019.