Thursday, October 18, 2018

1973 Austin Marina

I've written about these in the past. I've taken some of the text from a 2009 post.

That's an actual ad for an Austin Marina. If you enlarge the graphic (click on it), you'll see that the first line says, "Because it is comprised of proven components like those in the best of British Leyland, the Marina is one of the most experienced new economy cars on the market today." In other words, this was a parts bin special.

Right up front I'll say that I'm well aware of the horrible reputations these cars have. That hasn't stopped me liking them and wanting one...

The Marina was called the Morris Marina in most of the world. BL, knowing the the Morris nameplate had no value in the US, badged it the Austin Marina in North America.

BL introduced the Marina to the U.S. in 1973. They pulled it from the market in 1975. They sold around 23,000. That's not a great number when you consider that this was during the fuel crisis and we were ditching our land yachts for anything we could find that got decent gas mileage.

There are some good points to the Marina. It was relatively comfortable and smooth riding for a small car. The engine is basically the same engine found in an MGB. While it's no rocket, it's a durable engine that takes well to a certain amount of modifications. A Weber carb and a mild cam will make a world of difference.The body design has aged well.

All 2 door Marinas sold in North America were given the GT badge. GT meant that it had a tach, some fake wood-grain and a body stripe.

This car looks to be in very nice condition. The body looks excellent and it has a set of American Racing Libra wheels, which look spectacular. Unfortunately, the seller didn't post a alot of pictures and none of the interior or the engine bay.

Like many of the cars I have written about, most of its initial problems have been solved by the owners. A Marina now is as reliable as any 45 year old car. Parts are fairly easy to come by and very cheap.

Go to any British car show and you will see dozens of MGs, Triumphs, Jags, etc. if you brought this, it would most likely be the only one. That alone makes it cool.

Located in Knoxville, TN, click here to see the Craigslist ad.

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