Opinion : Why Roy Haynes was ahead of his time

In February 1969, Roy Haynes went public about his decision to leave BLMC. It followed the decision to downscale design operations based at Pressed Steel Fisher in Oxford, and centralise Austin Morris operations in Longbridge.

We report on the story, and ponder what might have been…

Opinion: Was Roy Haynes the visionary to save BMLC?

Although he’s most likely to be remembered as the man who led the Design Team that penned the Morris Marina, Roy Haynes’ work at BMC and BLMC went much deeper than that. From the Pressed Steel Fisher studios in Cowley, Haynes masterminded a design strategy based on platform sharing, which could have vastly improved the firm’s profitability in the post-merger years.

Signs of this are littered around BMC and BLMC’s Product Plans between 1967 and 1969, when he made the biggest impact. He feverishly led the ill-fated restyling of the 1100/1300 range under the auspices of Project ADO22, tried to develop the BMC 1800, worked to make a hatchback Mini and also develop more sporting versions of existing cars.

Take Project Condor (below), for instance, which from the perspective of 50 years’ hindsight, looks like a random collection of coupes based on the Allegro, Maxi and Marina, but which clearly demonstrated the way in which his team was thinking – it was the same with the MGB, which he’d seen worked into the stylish ADO76.

The company needed to reduce the number of platforms it offered. In building a range of cars that shared them, but looked different inside and out, a large range could be maintained, but with decent economies of scale. So, there were Triumphs, Jaguars and MGs, based on common underpinnings – all using different engines and featuring unique styling.

Platform sharing before platform sharing was a thing…

Back in the late-1960s, BMC’s idea of differentiating between its wide portfolio of marques was to badge-engineer variants. The BMC 1100/1300 range, for instance, could be bought in Austin, Morris, MG, Riley, Wolseley and Vanden Plas forms – all basically the same, aside from trim and engine differences.

That was fine in the short term but, to keep the spirit of these fine names alive, a better policy should have been implemented. As it was, Riley and Wolseley were possibly toast by that time, given that BLMC had ingested Triumph and Rover, but certainly others were viable going into the new era of Leyland.

So, had Haynes and is team stumbled across platform sharing as a strategy years before the Volkswagen Group had turned the policy into an art form? Would it have worked for British Leyland? Well, clearly, using the best of the existing platforms wasn’t an ideal starting point, but it would have still created a wider range of makes and models with lower start-up costs than the ground-up thinking that took BL on the journey it did throughout the 1970s…

It would have meant tough management and savage rationalisation but, given where we ended up, this fascinating unfulfilled branch in the firm’s history could have been a much more successful plan of attack…

Why I quit BMC, by the man who designed the Cortina

Daily Express, 24 February 1969

Roy Haynes
Roy Haynes, pictured in 2012…

Car chief Mr Roy Haynes, the man who designed the best-selling Ford Cortina, spoke last night of his decision to quit BMC just 16 months after being wooed there from Ford.

He said: ‘There has been a difference of opinion between myself and other directors.’

And he strongly denied a claim by British Leyland that he has left because of a decision to shift the firm’s design centre from Cowley, near Oxford, to Longbridge, Birmingham.

He added: ‘The move to Longbridge is not a happy one, but most people are prepared to work in most places. It goes deeper than that. I am leaving for personal reasons and I don’t want to elaborate.’

A British Leyland spokesman said: ‘We are very sorry to lose Haynes, but his resignation was because of his domestic commitments in Essex and he did not wish to move to Birmingham.’

I understand that Mr Haynes’s wife runs a successful business in Essex, and refuses to move. Until now Mr Haynes has commuted between Cowley and Danbury, Essex, but the extra distance to Longbridge may have made this impossible.

Keith Adams


  1. What were Roy Haynes plans to develop the BMC 1800?

    When thinking about the notion of platform sharing, it brings to mind the initial ADO17 / 1800 prototype being a RWD car derived from Issigonis’s work at Alvis. Perhaps platform sharing could have appeared much earlier in both FWD (hatchback-bodied) and RWD (saloon-bodied) forms instead of BMC being fully committed to FWD, thereby causing conventional RWD customers to switch to Ford, Rootes and others?

    Obviously a RWD Mini is out of the question, though a case could be made for an ADO16-derived (specifically Austin Apache/Victoria type) RWD car, whether in FWD Triumph 1300/1500 to RWD Dolomite form or as more of a loosely ADO16-based Viva/Escort-type RWD car to both the Morris Minor and Austin A40 Farina.

    Brand rationalisation should have happened soon after the formation of BMC, with Riley and Wolseley being absorbed by Vanden Plas respectively.

    Curious to know how Roy Haynes would have dealt with the upper end of the range with his platform sharing ideas as have visions of something resembling the Australian-built Marina 2.6 E6 were Jaguar, Rover and Triumph to enter into the equation.

  2. I think that the 1800 could have had a replacement developed for RWD using the base of the 3000. Looking at the Kimberly/Tasmin it could have looked contemporary against the Mk 2 Cortina / Hunter but not sure if it would have sold any better

    • The 3-litre was too large to form the basis for an 1800 replacement, besides the latter was originally RWD anyway via the first prototype and could have conceivably formed the basis of both Cortina and Corsair (aka X6) sized models, possibly even a 3rd smaller model had the 1800 not drifted away from being a roughly Maxi-sized replacement for the Farina B.

      • The 1800 may have been a RWD prototype but this was a lot earlier than Roy Haynes and probably did not exist when he arrived at BMC – the 3000 was just about ready to go and with a bit of redesign could have been shrunk down to form the basis of a new midliner.

        • Am open to the idea, just fear such a car based on the 3-litre would likely be too heavy to be adequate midliner to replace the 1800. A RWD X6 derived from the 3-litre (and featuring 2000-2400cc+ 4/6-cylinder engines) is just about doable as a more mainstream alternative to the Rover P6 and Triumph 2000/2500 though BMC had an opportunity to develop such a model earlier on, which would have likely been lighter.

          What does fascinate me regarding this scenario would be whether both ADO16 and ADO17 could have received more conventional suspension, along similar lines to what was investigated for the Mini should it be necessary.

          • I think if Roy had been around for long enough Hydrogas would have been consigned to history – Alec had gone off it and Roy liked simple engineering

          • Even though Roy Haynes appeared long after Gerald Palmer left BMC, it would have been interesting seeing the former succeed the latter with regards to BMC’s post-1960s RWD range had Palmer been able to lay the groundwork before he was fired.

            Whilst Alec is left to focus on the FWD cars, instead of finding himself involved in projects he cared little for (such as RWD cars) and essentially sabotaging them (one example being Alec’s role in sabotaging further development of the C-Series engine despite concern from the Healeys and others).

            The lack of hydrolastic / hydragas suspension on the 9X/X10 family as well as the Austin Ant prototypes does indeed indicate the direction Issigonis was heading in. Just a pity he didn’t follow Dante Giacosa’s example by adopting the end-on gearbox layout.

  3. The decision to use Morris Minor parts in the Marina was one of the worst decisions that BMC/BL ever made. The lever arm front dampers were hopeless, and the lack of a front crossmember made the body increasingly floppy as the cars aged and corroded. No-on ever greased the trunnions, so they broke; as did the rear leaf springs. If the Marina had been launched with a McPherson strut front end, a 4-link back end, and a 1600 E-series and 2-litre B-series, the story could have been very different.
    It wasn’t just the suspension, either: the Marina used the Morris Minor windscreen wiper motor, with its long, expensive, and unreliable rotary cable drive. A mechanical linkage would have been cheaper and better.
    1948 technology wasn’t good enough for 1971, let alone 1984. Platforms have a finite life span!

    • Yes the re-use of Morris Minor parts was only really good as a stop-gap, especially as they ended up having to remake the tooling.

      A decent RWD design should have lasted into the 1980s, the Ford Escort platform wasn’t really ground breaking even in 1968, but was in production until 1980 with a re-skin in 1974.

      Similarly many of the Japanese designs of the time lasted years with keep it simple engineering.

    • Saab had developed the Triumph Slant-4 into a reliable unit so why not use that in low-tune 1.6, 1.8 and 2.0 forms? No need for E-series, B-series or O-series, the money saved could have gone into a good 5 speed gearbox.

      • Partly because the Triumph Slant-4 was on the receiving on of some viscous cost-cutting (that in turn badly affected the V8), along with the fact the Slant-4 engine could not be mounted transversely.

        In Saab’s case it was only until the Type 4 Saab 9000 that the engine was mounted transversely and they still needed cash from GM to make the engine more compact to fit into the small Cavalier/Vectra-based Saab 900 NG.

        • But the Marina was rwd so the Slant-4 would have been ok. Yes there was cost cutting, very noticeable in many areas esp on the Dolomite xx

          • Agreed that the Marina would be fine with the Slant-4, Saab themselves later developed a 1.6 H engine putting out 91 hp that ultimately never reached production though have read the initial Slant-4 prototype engines by Triumph and Saab displaced around 1.2-1.7 and put out a rather mediocre 55-80 hp respectively.

            Allegedly a 1.5 Slant-4 was used in the SD2 prototype rather then the usually expected 1.5 SC engine, however it seems Triumph themselves considered developing an inline-4 from the Triumph PE166 inline-6 engine to replace the Slant-4.

    • Absolutely right, especially when BL then had to invest in tooling to put the Minor components back into volume production! – Its even crazier when you consider that at the same time the Marina was being developed BL was turning the 1300/1500 into the rear wheel drive Dolomite. The Marina/Dolomite shared rear axles and gearboxes so why not MacPherson struts and rear coils as well?

      • It was probably due to one man, Donald Stokes. Ian’s history of the company on this website showed that he was the only person allowed to know what each company was doing. If you look at the non BMC products in the car, all there seem to be was the old Herald gearbox which again cost to refresh the machinery. I think if Webster had been given a free hand when he arrived, or Haynes hadn’t been forced out the Marina would have been a far different car.

  4. Lets not forget platform sharing DID exist in BMC times, the Wolseley 1500 and Riley 1.5 were based on the Minor. I believe it was intended as a replacement for the Minor. A very likeable car and Australia seemed to develop its potential with added wheelbase/length etc.

  5. The 1800 would have been easy to develop. A slight front/rear update or the aerodynamica body. A FIVE SPEED (the 4 speed really cripples it). A twin carb B/E 1800 5 speed, an E6 (either 2.2 or whatever it can be bored to) with a 5 speed and an MG version of both with an adapted in house version of the aftermarket supercharged MGB 1800/B and using the same kit a supercharged E6.
    A hatchback version would be good too.

    I know of one current EFI 1800 – so if you really wanted to throw the boat out; A supercharged EFI 5 speed landcrab with around 130/147bhp for the 1800/S and 170hp for the 2200. If I had the money I’d love to do a supercharged diesel – that nets you about 85hp which is already adequate (the single carb petrol already produces this) and with better torque. Even just a 5 speed box and nothing else would make a world of difference.

    There’s really no point swapping the hydrolastic/hydrogas suspension out, the ride (and seats) even now is better than practically every modern car I’ve been in except the active Citroëns, there is zero body lean and you could add a lot more power before it started getting interesting – the only scary thing about the hydrolastic is when the whole suspension unloads on a hump back bridge or a series of bumps – then it can feel like you are driving a 1500kg hovercraft.

    One thing – improve the interior. The Renault 20/30 had remote central lock, electric windows etc at the same time – you could if I remember get electric windows and sunroof on the 16. The Wolseley can’t even manage a cigarette lighter (although the fact you can’t lock yourself out of the car is useful).

  6. The Marina proved one thing: it was a simple rwd car that sold massively to fleets and private buyers who weren’t very trusting of fwd, five speed gearboxes and Hydragas suspension. At the the time, its main opponents from Ford, Vauxhall and Rootes/ Chrysler used similar technology, and the Marina outsold everything except the Cortina. However, by the late seventies, the Marina was an old fashioned car and sniggered at, but simple technology reaped dividends for Ford and Vauxhall, who didn’t embrace fwd until the eighties.

    • The Marina was supposed to sell 300,000 a year but only managed over 200,000 in it’s best year.

      In world terms this isn’t that impressive with Datsun making 400,000 Sunnys between 1973-7, & BMW managed to make the same number of first generation 3 series as Marinas over a similar time period.

      • The Marina’s sales performance isn’t to be laughed at, it was Britain’s second best selling family car in the seventies and managed over a million sales in its nine year lifespan. Compare this with only 700,000 for the Allegro during nine years and it’s probable the Marina staved off a total collapse at British Leyland.
        Yet while the Marina was competitive in the early seventies, by the late seventies, it was completely outclassed and sales were falling against far more competent rivals from Ford, Vauxhall and Chrysler. Also by then, imported cars were eating into the domestic market.

    • The Marina also demonstrates that BMC were a bit premature completely embracing FWD without producing credible RWD cars to retain the segment of pro-RWD BMC buyers, who otherwise switched to its more conventionally engineered rivals. Since the profits made on such cars could have benefited BMC as well as allowed them to further refine the FWD formula from the 1970s (as the layout grew in popularity and gradually won over the public).

      Given many aspects of the Marina were drawn from largely ancient mechanicals by the time it appeared by the early-1970s, could an early-60s Marina in both Viva HA/HB and mk1-mk2 Cortina / Corsair sized forms have been fairly competitive against its rivals (assuming it features 1.1-1.3 A-Series 1.6-2.0 B-Series / B-OHC / reliable B-Series Twin-Cam units)?

      Another question would be the potential impact of an early-60s Marina family of cars featuring independent rear suspension as was originally explored on both the original Morris Minor as well as during the development of the MGB (with both effectively having all-independent suspension), had either of them managed to reach production.

  7. Nate: that’s an interesting thought – a hydrolastic/hydrogas MGB – Although I don’t know whether the ride could be stiffened to sports car springing rates.
    There was a fwd v8 package made for a prototype landcrab v8 – I wonder if that could be made to fit an MGB – or even the Marina. I know in foreign climes they did a factory Marina diesel.
    A v6 could have been made from the v8 which would have been pretty much comparable to the E6 in the 1800. That could have fitted in an MGB or again the Marina – a tuned version could have made good power with better balance.

    • Was referring to an independent rear suspension layout during the development of the MGB (along with the proposed coil spring arrangements investigated during its development that lost out on the grounds of cost management), since some within the company were expressing enthusiasm for a more sophisticated suspension setup (akin to the pre-war all-independent MG R-Type) in order to tackle tougher opposition.

      Sure, there was the hydrolastic EX234 prototype and ADO77 also allegedly featured said suspension. Though the hydrolastic/hydragas suspension layout is either butterflied away or implemented in some form during the 1970s for the 1960s Marina’s replacement.

      Seem to recall the Marina also apparently drew much from the MGB, so perhaps an early-1960s version of the former could have also benefited from the latter’s use of independent rear-suspension (and even the MGB’s independent front suspension), coil-springs, etc.

  8. Baffled unless finances were horrendous why the Marina carried forwards so much from the Minor

    Would a simple coil sprung suspension system (keeping the live rear axle like the Cortina Mk 3) REALLY have been unaffordable or slow to develop? It would have been a perfect base for a cheap MGB replacement too.

    • You need to understand, ADO 28 was only ever meant to be in production for 3 years. It was quickly engineered in two years, using maximum carryover content, as a simple stop-gap product. It was to tide us over until ADO77 was ready. Once ADO77 was mothballed due to the disaster of SD1, ADO28 had to soldier on in a role it was never intended for.

      • The Marina was planned for more than 3 years production. The proper ADO77 replacement wasn’t due until 6 years afterwards, so that’s a decent production life

        • It’s been mentioned elsewhere that the tooling for the carry over parts had to be remade so it probably cost as much as a whole new design to put into production.

          I don’t know if that’s true but considering BL’s poor internal communication it wouldn’t surprise me at all.

          • Extra arguments (if needed) in favour of using Triumph Toledo’s platform (including rear coil springs and proper damping) instead. Both Toledo and Marina could then have been made on the same production line, be it in Cowley or in Coventry.

          • While the Toledo platform was relatively newer than the Minor-derived Marina, was under the impression the Toledo/Dolomite platform could not be stretched any further to be an adequate Cortina challenger (an Escort challenger is another matter though would have overlapped with the Allegro). That is in addition to Triumph themselves planning to replace it with the Puma-deirved Bobcat later SD2.

            What would have been needed is an earlier low-cost clean sheet design precursor to the later TM1 project, which combined the best aspects of both the Toledo/Dolomite as well as the Minor/Marina yet like the Hillman Avenger / Talbot Sunbeam features latent scope for a later FWD conversion (for the ADO16 or Allegro replacement, etc).

            Which then leads to the argument of whether a clean sheet design even a low-cost one really needs to carry over much from the Toledo/Dolomite or Minor/Marina, instead of say an earlier Bobcat-derived instead of an SD2-derived TM1.

  9. Toledo wouldn’t have needed much stretching: wheelbases exactly the same as Marina, which was only 10 cm longer than Dolomite. Not saying this would have been an ideal scenario, but Toledo was readily available and relatively modern and cheap. Under the familiar financial circumstances at the time of the menger, this could have helped to build an adequate conventional RWD model, to sell in numbers and be profitable.
    Would love to know more about Puma and (especially) Bobcat though, seems a bit of a blind spot so far.

  10. Still have doubts about the Toledo/Dolomite’s platform’s stretchability, though like the idea of a Triumph or Triumph-based model using BMC-sourced engines in the same way the 1.5 Spitfire engine was used in the MG Midget. Perhaps the competitiveness of the 58-65+ hp 1275cc A-Series relative to the 61-71 hp (DIN/NET) 1493cc Triumph unit in the same/related platforms would encourage the development of a 2.3-litre PE166-based 1.6 4-cylinder putting out 82+ hp for an updated Toledo (or its replacement) to prevent both overlap (and in Triumph’s case potential embarrassment – Especially given there is apparently little scope left for further developing the 1493cc engine outside of the unrealiable PI Fuel-Injection system).

    What would be interesting in a more ruthlessly cynical way is Toledo/Dolomite forming the basis for a smaller ADO16/1300/1500 FWD replacement model (essentially going from FWD to RWD back to FWD), albeit one that either adopts the BMC-inspired transverse in-sump arrangement or opts for an Autobianchi-inspired transverse end-on gearbox layout.

    Managed to find a bit of info for Puma and Bobcat in the following links below, which suggest a connection with the pre-TR7 Triumph Bullet and Lynx prototypes (possibly giving a clue about its Michelotti styling along with the William Towns Puma proposal) before Puma was merged with the Rover P10 project to create the Rover SD1. Otherwise curious to know to what degree the Triumph TR7/Lynx were related to the Rover SD1 and stillborn Triumph SD2, as seem to recall there being a closer relation with the TR7/Lynx beneath the surface.



  11. Have doubts regarding the stretchability of the platform and its ability to challenge the mk3/mk4 Cortina. That said it is interesting idea having a Toledo/Dolomite or related platform featuring A-Series engines, akin to an inverse version of the MG Midget featuring the 1493cc Triumph Spitfire engine.

    Also while it is easy to envision such a car featuring E-Series and possibly even O-Series engines, it is also said the Triumph I6 would have been too heavy for the Toledo/Dolomite platform (not to mention the heavy B-Series) and might still be the case in E6 form (though a V6 version of the all-alloy Rover V8 might be doable given how fairly common Rover V8 Dolomite conversions are).
    Additionally perhaps the competitiveness of the 58-65+ hp 1275cc A-Series relative to the 61-71 hp (DIN/NET) 1493cc Triumph engine, would prompt Triumph to develop a 82+ hp 1.6 4-cylinder version of the 123 hp 2.3 PE166 to prevent overlap between the engines as well as potential humiliation.

    In theory BL could have been really ruthless and decided to once more convert the 1300/1500 platform from FWD to RWD (Toledo/Dolomite) back to FWD, allowing for the latter to form the basis of an ADO16 replacement. Especially if the FWD layout is updated for transversely installation with either BMC type in-sump or Autobianchi/Fiat type end-on gearbox layouts.

    There seems to be titbit of information on both the Puma and to a lesser extent the Bobcat, however it is known they were developed either together or around the same time as the pre-TR7 Triumph Bullet and Lynx prototypes and could have used either Michelotti or Puma type William Towns styling.

    Having read of the Rover SD1, Triumph TR7 and Triumph SD2 being more related to each other beneath the surface. While the Triumph Puma and Rover P10 were merged to create the Rover SD1, perhaps they are all the remnants of Triumph’s original pre-BL plans for the 1970s?

  12. Agree A- and E-series would have been a good fit with the “Morris Toledo”. I doubt BL needed a six cylinder Marina (whatever it’s base). As discussed earlier, a modular 400cc E-series could have made a 2 litre five-cylinder E-series available as top motorisation (both in Marina and improved (ADO 68/14-like body, end-on gearbox) Maxi – the latter of which in short-wheelbase form could have double-acted as successor to the ADO16 successor, rationalisation being the advisable name of the BLMC game).
    Re. Puma/Bobcat and P10/SD1, you probably know this site’s essay on SD1, P8 and P76. Seems rather unlikely there was a further relationship (other than distant) with the Triumphs. Puma/Bobcat still very interesting though!

  13. Just as interesting (and on topic…) is the question what plan Roy Haynes had exactly to rationalise on five(?) platforms. Any ideas which ones exactly??

    • In modern terms, they were: City car (Mini type), small car (Fiesta type), medium car (ADO77), large car (XJ sized), open/small sports (Midget type).

      • Thank you for responding! Do you know if any of these were supposed to be related, such as 9X/10X? And was the large car (platform?) supposed to cater for both executive models such as Rovers and Triumphs, and luxury cars such as the XJ?

      • While Fiat managed to base the Autobianchi A112 and Fiat 127 on shortened versions of the Fiat 128 platform, it is difficult to see how Roy Haynes or BL could have achieved the same feat by basing the Mini on a shortened version of the ADO16 replacement.

        Have read of both the wide-body Clubman prototype and even the Metro being based on a shortened version of the Allegro platform (the Clubman reputedly sharing the same width as the Allegro) in an attempt to reduce-costs via commonization, though not 100% sure how accurate the claim is that the Metro is more related to the Allegro than many people realise (notwithstanding the short wheelbase of the Metro and the latter also being 2-inches short of the Allegro in width).

  14. SD1 was basically a merger of the earlier Triumph Puma and Rover P10 projects, also seem to recall there SD1, SD2 and the TR7 sharing some degree of relation to each other with reputedly describing the TR7 and SD2 as being derived from shortened SD1 platforms.

    It is not known what 5 platforms Roy Haynes planned to rationalise down to, seem to recall IIRC in British Leyland: Chronicle of a Car Crash (or in another book) cynically describing Roy Haynes plan as a family of Marina type cars that would be used in Triumphs, Rovers, MGs and Jaguars with one instance of the experimental department allegedly looking at a Marina type car with a Stag V8.

    The A-Series and E-Series engines were what the original Escort-sized Marina was supposed to feature, with only shortsightedness preventing the usage of the E-Series except for Australia. A pity though neither engine was developed properly (by evolving differently from the outset) to be the British version of the Second Series Nissan E engine (albeit initially OHV) and the Volkswagen EA827 respectively in terms of displacement, believe both were achievable by British engineers.

    • You allude to ADO77. This was to be a common platform for Morris, Austin, Triumph, and MG. This was mothballed and ultimately cancelled after the SD1 debacle. There were several consequences of this….it meant the end of Triumph saloon cars, it was why MG never had a successor to the MGB, and why ADO28 had to soldier on into ADO73 and then ADO73 1980 F/L (Ital).

      The V8/Marina you mention was not using the Stag engine. We built several ADO28 coupes with left-over SP250 engines from the Dart. They were a handful, especially on a wet road! I’ve no idea what ever happened to them.

      • In the case of SD1 while being aware of a Daimlerized variant, would it have been possible to develop a more mainstream badged model (e.g. MG, Morris, etc – albeit powered by E6 and O6 and/or the Redcap 2.8 Rover V8) to spread and minimize costs without it overlapping too much with the SD1?

        Theoretically an MG Magnette version of SD1 (albeit with different styling via Michelotti or William Towns) by virtue of brand recognition alone, would have had a better chance of success in the North American market compared to the Federalized SD1.

        Thanks for clearing things up about the V8 Marinas, found the concern a bit unusual since the Stag V8 despite its issues was still a fairly light engine whereas that was not the case with the Daimler V8 (even if the latter deserved a better fate in Daimlers and Jaguars).

        Speaking of ADO77 was wondering if you could clear the mystery surrounding the 90-degree K-Series V6 (no apparent relation to later KV6), particularly whether it was a derived from an existing engine or a clean sheet design? As well as other tidbits from its projected capacity displacement potential / power output to whether it was intended to be an OHV or OHC/DOHC design?

  15. One thing that British Leyland finally sorted out was the excessive badge engineering that existed on cars like the ADO16( which carried six badges in the late sixties). The Allegro, Maxi and Marina came with only one badge, while common sense prevailed with the Princess, when the Austin, Morris and Wolseley badges were dropped after seven months, and Austin and Morris versions of the Mini were dropped in 1970.

    • As British Leyland merged the dealerships together the amount of badge engineering needed decreased.

      At one point even the Austin & Morris names were more or less dropped.

  16. Gosh! What a lot of Marina bashers we are! Of course it could have been better – but I think the idea was to keep costs down by using the parts bin – and not developing new suspension or wiper drives for example. I had several Marinas – a new 1.3 Coupe, an older 1.8 saloon and a late model 1.7 – which I have to say, I had great fun driving. And, when compared with some opposition was quite quick at the time. The only downside was it was white – I detest white cars – apart from my old English white TD. But the Marina sold at the time and it did its job relative to the investment and development time!

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