Seems like a good time to be buying if you’re after launch-spec cars. Following on from the eBay sale of a 1987 Rover 825i which piqued my interest, this rather original-looking Morris Marina 1.8 Super, registered in October 1971, it looks like quite a thing.
The early registration date of this example is what drew my eye to it, as does its seemingly low mileage and good cosmetic condition. The MoT history report reveals that it’s certainly seen little action since 2005 and, although it’s not been tested since 2010, the previous times that it has shows all the symptoms of a car that’s been garaged and not used – binding brakes, exhaust leaks etc. – with no comments about corrosion.
Being such an early example, it’s blessed with the right-hand-drive windscreen wiper set-up, and it has to be said, little else. The seller describes it as a 1.8 Super, but the DVLA says it’s a De Luxe. However, we’ve had it confirmed by the Morris Marina Owners Club that it is, indeed, a Super.
The seller (who I have no links with) describes it as being in ‘unbelievable timewarp condition with 45,896 miles on the clock.’ He goes on to say that ‘it starts with a flick of the key and hums along quietly and evenly, while all the interior is there and complete and though the vinyl shows some sign of fade, it is evenly aged and so looks right. Very little wear and the trim is very, very good. The seats retain plenty of bounce, no rips or tears, carpets very good, headlining excellent. Nothing missing.’
My only reservation would be its patchy MoT history and, although it’s exempt from the annual test being older than 40 years old, it could still do with a thorough safety check. The seller acknowledges this, saying ‘I will gladly put it through an MoT test if the new buyer wishes, included in the price.’
That aside, it looks like a clean, original and early example of one of British Leyland’s defining cars, for better or for worse, and could well be worth a look, as long as you don’t baulk at the idea of a Morris Marina for sale for £4750. It’s the 50th anniversary of the Marina’s launch next month, and what better a way to celebrate.