Random Thoughts... [Automotive Edition]

captain_70s

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Well, I finally did it. I drove a Morris Marina...

MeandMarina.jpg


A 1971 Mk1 1300 SDL.
So that's an early car, pre-suspension improvements that came with the mk2 cars in '75.
1275cc engine, the smallest available.
Super Deluxe trim, one step up from the base model.

My thoughts in brief.

The engine was sweet and happy to deliver, I was genuinely shocked to find it only delivers 60bhp and that the speedo wasn't wildly over estimating. Despite an identical final drive and one-to-one top gear to the Doloshite it felt far happier cruising at 60-70mph. Gearbox was nice enough, fairly precise but the throw was hilariously long compared to the Acclaim, although the Dolly is similar.

The suspension is an archaic design, front torsion bars and level arm dampers with leaf springs at the rear. Bumps and bad road surfaces were absorbed with acceptable effect but the handling left little to be desired. I imagine if you were pressing on understeer would be present, unlike the Dolly which tend to go into a gentle four wheel slide on the edge of traction but in normal style driving I didn't really encounter anything lethal.

What wasn't great was the steering, it was very light but had miles of play despite being a rack and pinion setup like the Dolly. One of the front lever arm dampers was also knackered so the front of the car was getting bounced around a fair bit, and I've no idea what sort of condition the rack and U/Js were in.

The brakes were marginal, although judging by the squealing and heavy pull to the right under braking (added to vague steering this was quite the sensation) I don't think they were in the best of health. I reckon with a quick service they'd be more than adequate.

The fit and finish ranged from poor to bad. The car had been stored away from 1981 to 2015 and is cosmetically challenged with a lot of old bodgery to the bodywork. It's sold enough though with rust being surface based or cosmetic rather than structural. The SDL spec wheel trims and wheel arch chrome were a nice touch.

The interior was nice, thick vinyl on the seats and doorcards and a soft-touch type dash. Control surfaces were also decent enough although some of the toggle switches were a bit plasticy, instrumentation was easy to read although you needed to go up a trim level to get a tachometer.
One issue was the single speed heater blower motor, it was hilariously loud. The Dolly also has a loud blower motor but as it is two speed you can at least set it to "low", the flipside being it doesn't shift nearly as much air even on the "high" speed!
There was also plenty of space (both for legs and heads) inside and the boot was huge, better than the Dolomite and far better than the Acclaim in all regards.

Overall it was decent. The car in question had driven over 200 miles that morning and then did another 200 back home, it is a daily driver and plods all over the country so it's far from mint, the owner will be having the brakes looked at and the knackered damper replaced as soon as they can.
It did highlight the fact why my Dolomite was considered a more premium car at the time, fit and finish was better and interior materials slightly plusher. Certain aspects of the Marina such as the single speed heater blower and the rubber plugs in the holes for the LHD windscreen wiper-setup really do highlight it's "basic transport" roots.

On a fast A-road or motorway I'd say the Marina would be an ideal long distance hauler, absorbing the horrendous road conditions and seating 4 people in comfort. The Dolly is better suited to spirited driving, the steering and suspension is so much more refined but the cabin is cramped and the upright seating position gives me a sore back while the engine makes my ears bleed on the motorway. I can really understand why these dated so badly as well, they weren't exactly the height of dynamics in 1970 and 5 years later less so...

ca09c00f-6c88-413c-98ee-ecdebd540ca5.jpg


Would I have one? Eh, probably not. An estate might be a fun parts hauler but my next daily driver is probably going to be a Volvo 740 (which are bigger, cheaper and more relaxing to drive) so that'd be fairly redundant! I probably would have snapped one up a decade ago when a decent one was £600, but now you're looking £3k+ and there are better cars available at that sort of price point...
 

Perc

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Fun fact: Marina wipers "are the wrong way around" because early buyers started complaining about wiper lift at speed. They simply put LHD mirrors on the RHD ones and vice versa, and moved the problem to the passenger side.
 
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captain_70s

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Fun fact: Marina wipers "are the wrong way around" because early buyers started complaining about wiper lift at speed. They simply put LHD mirrors on the RHD ones and vice versa, and moved the problem to the passenger side.
brain.jpg


The Dolomite is the same, I think for the same reason. I'm not sure they even bothered flipping the wipers for LHD markets on Dolomites though...
 

Perc

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I meant "LHD wipers", not "LHD mirrors". FFS.
 

gaasc

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So I was on Google Streetview the other day and I found the image stitching did this.

Annotation 2020-06-07 162425.png


I think the extended wheelbase MDX looks really well. Shame about that door handle
 

CraigB

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I'll look past the MDX. What the hell is with the 5'8" and under clothing shop?
 

93Flareside

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Is there a record of cars that have pop up headlights? I want to look for cars that only have pop ups in classifieds like autotempest.
 

CraigB

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G-man has it correct.
 

Tram13

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Out of curiosity: how comes Peugeot forbade Porsche the 901 moniker, but Ferrari got away with 308/208 (and 206 for the Dino brand before that)?
 

Matt2000

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Out of curiosity: how comes Peugeot forbade Porsche the 901 moniker, but Ferrari got away with 308/208 (and 206 for the Dino brand before that)?
Maybe they had just stopped being dicks by that time, it's funny that they eventually went on to use 206, 208 and 308 but have never used 901 (that I can find evidence of). Either that or they were too scared to go up against Ferrari in a legal battle.

Just buy a Mk. III supra and be done with it
I think he would prefer a Ford Probe or a Fiero. Maybe a Volvo 480 :LOL:

I'll have a Charger Daytona or a 944.
 

93Flareside

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Maybe they had just stopped being dicks by that time, it's funny that they eventually went on to use 206, 208 and 308 but have never used 901 (that I can find evidence of). Either that or they were too scared to go up against Ferrari in a legal battle.



I think he would prefer a Ford Probe or a Fiero. Maybe a Volvo 480 :LOL:

I'll have a Charger Daytona or a 944.
Fiero, maybe, 944 or 968 out of those options.
 

killpanda

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The family Ford C-Max is at the body shop for some paint touch-ups before we sell it on, they've lent us an Opel Meriva for a couple of days while it's being done.

Damn, what a pile of shit. That thing is plastic fantastic, everything feels horrible in there. The only positive I may find is that the engine (some sort of turbo diesel) feels alright, but it's so noisy in there. Although I guess I haven't driven a small diesel in a while, I guess my old Fiesta wasn't that much quieter in retrospect.

One thing that's noticeable though, the seats are super high and the gear stick super low so you have to stretch your arm to shift gears. But again, the C-Max's one is quite high on the dashboard so maybe I'm just used to that now.


On other news, my parents should take delivery of their brand new Ford Puma in the coming couple of weeks, so that should be nice!
I've driven the ST-Line one at the dealership, and while the suspension was too hard for the type of car that it is, the car in itself is really nice. Quite modern interior with lots of useful tech, and I don't mind the outside as well, although I think I'm on the minority with that opinion after looking at reviews online.
 
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