Caravanner Special: 1971 Morris Marina 1800 TC

If you’ve ever watched the movie Snatch, you likely know that there’s a general disdain for the folks who gather together around campsites, tiny camper trailers in tow, before leaving pounds of trash and burnt out firepits behind them as they take off for the next caravan meet-up. They’re like gypsies, who prefer to camp in trailers than live in permanent structures. This barn find Morris Marina here on eBay strikes me as the kind of car they’d own, and also goes to show you that over-the-top styling wasn’t limited to U.S. vanning culture in the hippy-dippy 1970s.

The front end’s got chains, a heart, extra lighting, horseshoes, and a fake cowl induction hood. Out back, we’ve got giant antennas, rear window lovers, a cheap rear spoiler, more horseshoes and chains, more auxiliary lighting, mudflaps, and a set of period appropriate aftermarket wheels (the name of which escapes me at the moment.) This Morris is perhaps one of the wildest ones out there, and I’d love to know the history behind it.

I mean, this is basically a 1970s Ford Econoline owned by a vanner compacted into economy car form. There’s acres of shag carpeting, lambskin seat covers, fuzzy tassels on the A-pillar, and fogged up windows. What is that thing on the passenger side window? It looks like one of those period pieces that allowed you to keep the window open when it rains, or something. A vintage Ventshade, if you will.

Basically, whatever the British equivalent of Autozone (a Halfords, perhaps?) was, the previous owner cleared out their supply of cheap modifications to make this humble Marina seem far more bad-ass than the factory ever intended. I mean, look at the steering wheel – more chains! And tassels! And of course, auxiliary gauges, can’t let the lighting have all the fun. This one is a quandary, but impressively, there’s already 18 bids.

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Comments

  1. John

    Why the L88 hood

    Like 2
  2. CapNemo CapNemo

    Smells like Taco Bell to me.

    Like 2
  3. TimM

    I took a taxi in India that looked just like this car!! Wait a minute it is this car it’s only missing the chickens in the front seat!!!

    Like 3
    • Al

      What no chickens!

      brooock, brooook!

      It’s a 4-door not a 2-door coop.

      Like 6
  4. Mike W H

    Your disdain for 1970’s vans is pretty uncool, bro.

    Like 3
  5. TimM

    I’m not sure if your directing at me but I love it!!! It does remind me of a taxi I took when I was in India!! All the taxis there look like that inside and he did have a chicken in a cage in the front seat!! My wife and I were there visiting her cousin that married a girl in India from a town named Morbi which wasn’t far from the Arabian Sea!! The way people live there makes me proud to live in America!! Everything isn’t a joke you know and I appreciate all cars foreign and domestic!!!

    Like 5
  6. CanuckCarGuy

    This one has somewhat of a Mad Max vibe to it…not quite my cup of tea, but props to the creator of the chain adornments for their patience.

    Like 1
  7. bobhess bobhess Member

    Like the man said but ours was in Thailand.

  8. luke arnott Member

    The Marina was an AWFUL car,like it’s successor the Ital.Can’t recall the last one I saw on UK roads.

  9. Kurt

    Same mechanicals as a Cortina?

    • luke arnott Member

      No, the Cortina was a Ford.Morris was part of British Leyland.

      Like 1
    • Dave77

      No the cortina mechanicals were far superior

  10. scottymac

    Wolfrace wheels?

    • Matt Watson

      Yes, looks like Wolfrace Slots.
      Also, what look like Vauxhall FE VX4/90 headlights and MK1 Escort/Capri rear light clusters between the Marina units

  11. subungal

    indicator switch is handily stored on the drivers seat. This is to be waved outside the window in the direction of the turn required.

  12. Sheffieldcortinacentre

    & you thought it was impossible to make a turd look worse.
    Thankfully top gear did a good job of riding the world of some of these shame they missed this one.
    They should have all received knighthoods for Thier endeavour.

    Like 1
  13. Karl

    All the tassel stuff piles of crap that do nothing this has India written all over it!

  14. Rich.

    The only necessary added extra is a gallon of diesel mixed with old engine oil.
    And a match….

    Like 1
    • Ward William

      That’s fitting. It looks a Tibetan monk’s car so self immolation is a no brainer.

  15. Alan Brase

    I think another aspect of this sale might be lost on viewers not from the UK. The value here is the REGISTRATION NUMBER. Tags themselves are made by vendors often with shops outside the local MOV .The number is transferable.
    The seller mentions this: “Decent Reg Plate as well”
    Some bid short or unique registration numbers to astronomical prices, like 20,000 pounds Sterling for 4-5 digit ones.

  16. Jubjub

    Would be great to use in period films.

  17. Bob C.

    I remember an Austin Marina being sold in America back in the early 70s. It was in the low price range like the Beetle and Corolla at the time.

  18. Hasse B.

    I remember seeing like four or five of these on swedish roads back in the eighties, both the early ones with the split grille and the first facelift with the bar across the front end. The second facelift renamned Ital was never sold here.

    While the other BMC/BLMC cars of this size (and of course the little Mini) were good sellers up until the japanese invasion took their over their market place, the Marina never caught on at all. Besides poor build quality, there was too many cars just like it to compete with.

    Fun fact: the chief engineer was later recruited by Hyundai to construct their Pony, which bears striking resemblance to the Marina in most specs and designed by Ital Design who kept it all very close to the Marina hatchback. The Pony used a Ford Cortina mk II rear axle, that was avaible sort of in-house because they started their car production with building the Cortina (pronounced and written as “Kotina” in korean, or so it´s been written on the web) licensed by Ford, not sure if those were CKD kits or pressed in South Korea.

  19. Ward William

    I would gladly pay 50p to drive that to the scrapyard.

  20. Bill McCoskey

    Various comments above reminded me of a joke my English friend Dave told me:

    A young girl was walking home from school when a car pulled up and the driver offered her a ride and some candy. She ignored him and kept walking. He tried again and offered a new doll in addition to the candy. She ignored him once again and kept walking. He tried a third time, offering her a cold soft drink.

    At this point she turned to him and said:

    “Daddy, I told you if you bought a Marina I wouldn’t ride in it!”

    Like 1

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