BMC 1100/1300 : Australian variations
Morris 1500 and Nomad
The Australian market featured a number of interesting variations on the ADO16 theme which we didn’t get on the home market. The most fascinating was the five-door Nomad, which might have kick-started the hatchback family car market years before the arrival of the Volkswagen Golf… or negated the need for the Austin Maxi.
In 1964, around a year-and-a-half after its UK launch, a locally-built (but otherwise fairly standard) version of the Morris 1100 was launched in Australia, where it was sold alongside the Mini and Austin A40 Farina. In August 1967, the 1100 was joined by the 1100S, which actually had the 1275cc A-Series engine of the UK’s 1300 models.
Both these models were replaced in mid-1969 by the Morris 1500. This was effectively a hybrid car developed (in the UK) specifically for the Australian market and using a lightly-modified MkII ADO16 bodyshell but with the 1500cc E-Series engine of the Austin Maxi. Transmission choices were initially four-speed manual, although the Maxi’s five-speeder was added later. Interestingly, the AP automatic version of this car retained the 1275cc A-Series engine, as was thus known as the Morris 1300.
However, the most intriguing of the Australian ADO16 models was the Morris Nomad, a six-light version of the 1500 with a Maxi-like rear-end – including the all-important hatchback. The 1500 and Nomad were updated over the years to comply with the progressive requirements of the Australian Design Rules (which governed car safety), before being phased out in 1972/73, in favour of the new Morris Marina.