The converters : Mumford Marina Utility

Mumfords of Plymouth offered several variations on the Marina theme: the convertible, a natty caravanette version, and this – the Utility.

The all-year round Marina

Side view of the Mumford Utility. The estate-from-cdv conversion was quite a popular phenomenom during the 1970s, and it is not difficult to see why when one views the low purchase price and sheer capaciousness of the format. The Mumford Utility was one of several available at the time, including the Vauxhall Viva HA-based Bedford Beagle: compared with that, the Morris version was the epitome of grace, pace and space!

The luggage area was - quite simply - huge... even accounting for the fact that the rear seats are in place in this photograph.
The luggage area was – quite simply – huge… even accounting for the fact that the rear seats are in place in this photograph.

Essentially, a glassed version of the Marina van, the Utility offered some advantages over the factory five-door estate version, not least, a larger load area. The basic design was enlivened by side graphics, but it was undoubtedly a commercial variation, as the plain-jane looks attested to.

Offered in 7 and 10cwt payload forms, and the option of 1098 and 1275cc engines, the Utility range was large, and focused on the lower end of the market. The load space quoted by Mumfords (with the rear seat folded) was a huge 88 cubic feet… To make the interior less of a noisy place, a full-length headlining was also incorporated – to what end it achieved that goal remains to be seen.

With thanks to Andrzej Bijowski for forwarding the information in this article.

Keith Adams


  1. I drove one of these in the early 80’s – it was the spare company car ( I think one of the directors had bought it a few years ealier and palmed it off on the company ) – whether it was just this particular car or not, it was very strange to drive! The company was based in Plymouth, and my brother-in-law was on the service desk of Mumfords, who by then had become Fiat dealers. I migrated to an Astra 1600 Mk 1 Van (A reg and new) which was a much, much better driving experience!

  2. I got a lift from Derby to London in one of these, circa 1981. It was light brown with a yellow flashing light on the roof, and IIRC was ex-Forestry Commission. Speaking of wood, I got a lift in a Marina coupe about the same time, with wood trim screwed onto the rear quarter trim panels.

    • We had a 10cwt that got a very bent wheel. Dealer said 10cwt used a different wheel to the 7cwt and the cars, seem to remember he said it had a Salisbury rear axle rather than the Banjo (?) One.

  3. Don’t remember this vehicle but do recall the Bedford Beagle… slogan was “Don’t poodle about – better buy Beagle”

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