Citroen C1, Peugeot 107, 108 & Toyota Aygo Owners Club. (Discount code for CityBugStore: C1OC)

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2019 2:56 pm 
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While out today saw a blast from the past, Morris Marina, but what made me chuckle was the owner had black duct tape over the name badges on the back of the car :oops: , were they really that bad!

My only experience of British Leyland's finest was sister's original Mini, that was a great car when it was on the road, unfortunately ours was riddled with rust and the mechanicals were just as bad!


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2019 3:26 pm 
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What was worse than the Marina was the facelifted Marina called the Ital!

I gave up with Austin-Morris, British Leyland, Austin-Rover, or whatever name they called themselves at the time after my third MG Metro Turbo (before that I had 2 Minis and an MG 1300). From new in less than 18 months it destroyed three batteries and three exhausts, all replaced under warranty but I got fed up being close friends with all the mechanics at the local dealership!

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2019 4:22 pm 
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i had the marina never had any problems with it in fact a great car 1.8 model tons of minis look after them and they looked after you mother had the 1300 mg that went on forever, all the above inc the imp it was maintenance if you didnt keep on top of it they would bite you hard later i had a well maintained princess sold it for a profit as they where getting rare
the only cars and this was over the last 10 years i had problems with are renault every w-end out doing some thing to them went onto a honda hrv and apart from basic maintenance my tools gathered dust in the workshop for 4 years . lots of other cars cortina/anglia and more, in those days as said they will bite if you dont look after them


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2019 4:31 pm 
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Yep, I remember the Ital as well, this was deffo a Marina as it had the thinner rear lights.

God you were a glutton for punishment with all those BL beauties, the wierd thing with our Mini was my Uncle and Aunt had a M reg Mini Clubman that was ok, no rust at all, but later found out apparently BL started using cheaper/thinner steel at some point in mid-70s!, hence our 1977 Mini didn't like the rain!

Funny you mention MG Metro Turbo, an old mate had one those back in the day, I popped round to see him one day and he had the engine in bits on his kitchen floor!


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2019 4:40 pm 
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bugsb wrote:
i had the marina never had any problems with it in fact a great car 1.8 model tons of minis look after them and they looked after you mother had the 1300 mg that went on forever, all the above inc the imp it was maintenance if you didnt keep on top of it they would bite you hard later i had a well maintained princess sold it for a profit as they where getting rare
the only cars and this was over the last 10 years i had problems with are renault every w-end out doing some thing to them went onto a honda hrv and apart from basic maintenance my tools gathered dust in the workshop for 4 years . lots of other cars cortina/anglia and more, in those days as said they will bite if you dont look after them


Agree with you, keep them maintained and they will last you well, unfortunately we looked after our 1977 Mini but it still blew an engine, but our similar vintage 1978 Ford Escort Mk2, we had that for over 25 years, a lot less rust and no major mechanical problems, a great car.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 7:15 pm 
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Ha, my first car was a BRG Morris Marina. Pretty reliable, but had weird problems with the condenser. The engine would just die for no apparent reason, and then inexplicably restart 20 minutes later. The answer was to swap the condenser at every service and the problem didn't occur. Wrote it off on black ice due an altercation with a lamp post!


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 11:06 pm 
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Ital: Styled in Italy, built in Britain.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wkoEQeJu7x8

I loved how they sold the Ital on its Italian styling, implying that it was some sort of Italian design-house thoroughbred - but we all knew that it was just a facelifted Marina. I mean, OK, Giugiaro did nominally have an overview involvement with it, but no real input. That "honour" went to the British in-house designer at Leyland: Harris Mann.

But, hey, obviously renaming an existing car to pretend it is a new one "works" because it wasn't the last time they'd do it. I'm looking at you Princess/Ambassador. At least they did face-lift it. Latterly, as BL/Rover retired and sold off brands, their remaining cars swapped badges all over the place. Just about all of them eventually became "Rovers" at one point: Rover Mini, Rover Metro/Rover 100, before Rover eventually became little more than a re-badging house for Honda cars with an occasional "sporty" MG model.

I can feel the love in this thread for the Marina but, for me (assisted by a few other contemporary models) the Marina/Ital particularly encapsulates much of the dull, unimaginative, underwhelming and desperate nature of the cars that helped sound the death knell of so many one-time great British car companies. Many once-proud marques were consolidated into one inefficient mess of a semi-nationalised conglomerate and run into the ground as a result of a whole host of technical, political and financial incompetencies. At the time, the Marina and friends seemed to symbolise the organisation that had become byword for industrial chaos, inefficiency and unreliability.

The Marina, Princess, Allegro and the other, later "last desperate gasp for oxygen" BL/Rover group cars were, in many ways, the embodiments of what was going wrong behind the scenes (and sometimes far more publicly); with many BL cars regularly listed in "worst car ever" lists (and with good reason). For far too long, so many of their models were dogged by boring styling, primitive technology, unreliability and being generally "naff". While foreign competitors seemed to be getting better and better, the British motor industry was bogged down in all sorts of nonsense and contented itself by churning out stale, drab cars bought by your old stuffy uncle with a tobacco-stained moustache and tweed cap or his blue-rinsed and permed wife both driving everywhere at 40mph.

What a sad, embarrassing mess of an assisted self-destruction it was to watch. So many truly great car brands ending up as sad badge-only reflections of their former glory.

All in my opinion, of course. ;)


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2019 10:14 am 
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My longest lasting memory is how EVERY BL/Rover car I owned showed signs of rust within 18 months, but every car made by another manufacturer I've owned since then has been rust free - even the 1985 Renault 5 GT Turbo was rust free when I sold it 9 years later, and my current 2008 C1 is rust free after 11 years.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2019 12:23 pm 
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Too true, think my dear old Dad would of happily torched the Mini, but it was my sister's first car so heart ruled the head, the amount welding, body panels, paint, engine and other mechanicals that car was technically re-built, 2 years old when we got it and had it for 10 years. To be fair it was a hoot to drive, much like our 107, which happily is rust free and been mechanically perfect after 10 years fault free ownership.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2019 12:42 pm 
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To be fair, all cars rusted far more in those days - though BL cars may well have been amongst the worst. Vauxhall, Lancia, some Fords and many others all had quite well deserved rust reputations. In general all cars simply didn't last as long as they do now and any car of say, 7 years plus would have at least some arch bubbling (or similar). A patch to the sills was almost a yearly occurrence at MOT time. Cars of 10+ years old still being in good condition was a rarely witnessed thing. Nowadays, 10 years old will still get you a potentially very nice little runner as cars these days are far better rust proofed and otherwise more mechanically sound too.

A friend of mine still has a real Mini (one of the last few) and a couple of years back £6000 was spent cutting out and replacing the rusty bits. The car looks great now but I do wonder how long it will be until the rust comes creeping back. I'm sure I could see something starting to bubble in that little triangular panel behind the front wheel the last time I looked at it. ("Back in the day" my own Mini and those of my mates all had rust problems there - and elsewhere.)


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