classic car forum header
Classic cars forum & vehicle restoration.
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 
How To Register     Posting Photographs     Privacy Policy     F/book facebook.com/oldclassiccar

The Morris Ital
Goto page 1, 2  Next
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Classic cars forum & vehicle restoration. Forum Index -> Classic & Vintage Cars - General Chat
Author Message
Rick
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Apr 2005
Posts: 19794
Location: Cheshire

PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2018 11:46 pm    Post subject: The Morris Ital Reply with quote

Reading the following, it occurred to me that I've never been in an Ital, and I'm not sure that I ever set foot inside a Marina either.

What did I miss?

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/cars/classic/uks-rarest-cars-1981-morris-ital-13-hl-one-11-left/

RJ
_________________
Rick (OCC Admin)
Various 1920s-1960s - Austin, Morris, Commer, Dodge etc.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Ellis



Joined: 07 Mar 2011
Posts: 1354
Location: Betws y Coed, North Wales

PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2018 12:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Only eleven Morris Itals still in existence? I am sure there are many more tucked away unused or forgotten in garages countrywide. If you believe the "How many left?" site, there were in fact 39 Itals of various guises licensed in 2018.
Not a large number but I would guess the truer figure of extant Itals must be in the hundreds at least.

One of my parents' friends bought himself a brand new Morris Ital 1.3 on his retirement as a Police Inspector in February 1982 and ran it more or less trouble free until 1993. I cannot (unusual for me) remember the complete registration number *DM 444X.
I was to be a passenger in it once but it did not seem in any way unpleasant.

I drove several Morris Marinas including a brand new 1.3 Special 4 door in Tahiti Blue in October 1978 - SJC 777T. It was my cousin and her husband's new car. He was away on a banking course and asked me to go and collect it and take their part exchanged 1975 Austin Maxi to the selling dealer - M&K in Old Colwyn.
I think it had 20 miles on the odometer and apart from being "stiff" and reluctant to rev as a new car did then, it drove well enough.

Marinas and Itals were not BAD cars but a Marina 1800TC was quite an entertaining car to drive - and pokey.
_________________
Starting Handle Expert

1964 Jaguar Mark 2 3.4 litre
1962 Land Rover Series 2a 88"
2002 BMW M3 E46 Cabriolet
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Penguin45



Joined: 28 Jul 2014
Posts: 295
Location: LBA

PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2018 1:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd be very surprised if that number was even vaguely true. The Marina lads are just like any other owners group. http://www.fastmarinamagazine.com/ is a good fun read. No real illusions about the abilties of the cars (they were deeply flawed), but quite a passion for restoring and maintaining the survivors.

Good luck to them.

P45.
_________________
'67 Wolseley MkI 18/85, '70 Austin MkII 1800 The Landcrab Forum.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Vulgalour



Joined: 08 May 2018
Posts: 124
Location: Middlesbrough and Kent

PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2018 5:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Ital is quite rare now, much more so than the Marina that preceded it. There simply wasn't the following for the Ital, the styling isn't as nice as the Marina and the improvements under skin not significant enough to make it stand apart from the Marina.

Having had a bright yellow Ital estate as the family car when I was very small in the mid-80s, I don't remember it being that different to any of the other cars I encountered with the exception of a couple of upper market ones. The black vinyl seats weren't particularly pleasant in the summer, but it was otherwise a fairly ordinary experience. It certainly felt like a nicer car than the saggy old Cortina estate (a MkV, if memory serves) a neighbour had though not as comfortable as the Renault 11 a family friend had.

It was just ordinary, and a little dated, I believe it had the 1700 so it wasn't even particularly underpowered, though I do recall Dad upgrading the front suspension to 'telescopics' since he was unhappy with whatever it came from the factory with.

I'd expect there to be about 11 road legal ones at the time the article was written, though I'd be surprised if more than 50 cars actually survive. By the time we got to the 90s, most of the cars had reached the end of their useful life, succumbed to the usual entropy, and had absolutely no worth and were simply disposed of. People don't recall them fondly, they weren't exceptional in any way, just competent, and the lack of chrome seems to have kept them from getting that all important cult status.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Keith D



Joined: 16 Oct 2008
Posts: 888
Location: Upper Swan, Western Australia

PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2018 7:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think the Ital ever got to Australia, but the Morris Marina certainly did. My father bought one new when they first came out, about 1972 I think. It was plagued with front suspension troubles and the Lucas alternator was a disaster, being replaced countless times during it's warranty. I drove the car on many occasions and I cannot remember anything remotely exciting about it.

They were available here in two body styles, 4 door sedan and 2 door coupe and with a choice of 4 power plants. 4cy.-1500cc OHC, 4cy.-1750cc OHC, 4cy.-1750cc OHC with twin carbys and a 2600cc OHC 6 cylinder called "Big Red".

In the day they were never serious competition for the Japs and there are virtually none left on the roads here today.

Keith
_________________
1926 Chrysler 60 tourer
1932 Austin Seven RN long wheelbase box sedan
1950 Austin A40 tourer
1999 BMW Z3

You are either part of the problem or part of the solution
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
mikeC



Joined: 31 Jul 2009
Posts: 1377
Location: Market Warsop, Nottinghamshire

PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2018 9:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the 1970s I had a 1.3 Morris Marina as a company car. It didn't inspire enthusiasm for it, but it did its job without any trouble and I have no bad memories of it. It's replacement was a 1.6 Ford Cortina Mk IV, which was an absolute disaster - trouble from the word go, and still unreliable when I left the job in 1980! Following my experiences with the Cortina and a later Sierra, I will never have another Ford ...
_________________
in the garage: 1931 Austin 7, 1953 Lancia Appia
recently departed: 1967 Singer Chamois, 1914 Saxon, 1930 Morris Cowley, 1936 BSA Scout, 1958 Lancia Appia coupe, 1922 Star 11.9 ... the list goes on!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Ray White



Joined: 02 Dec 2014
Posts: 2658
Location: Derby

PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2018 12:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I also had a new 1.3 Morris Marina as a Company car. It was a green 4 door saloon with fully padded door cards!! At first I was pleased as punch - it was my first new car and I was glad not to have to use my Mk1 A55 Cambridge for work.

I soon realised that it didn't have the same build quality as the Austin but it was just as reliable. I covered over 100,000 miles in it and that included two camping trips to the South of France. It NEVER let me down.

Eventually, the rear wheel arches succumbed to rust and it began to take on a down at heel look. Every morning, come rain or shine, it would start and go.

After a while I began to resent the Marina (my Boss only ever replaced a car if it became unreliable) and as other colleagues were driving newer cars my Marina became the butt of many jokes and leg pulling.

When it was eventually exchanged I was rewarded with a stylish Lancia Beta 1600 with a very distinctive herring bone interior. A great car to drive - a driver's car - but it developed many faults (including needing a new engine) and on one occasion a c/v joint failed while on holiday.

So the Marina was a very ordinary but worthy car - although I would obviously have preferred the 1800 TC - but the 1300 was essentially a Morris Minor in disguise.


Last edited by Ray White on Sat Nov 24, 2018 8:35 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
alanb



Joined: 10 Sep 2012
Posts: 313
Location: Berkshire.

PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2018 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The company I worked for in the late 70s ran two door 1.3 Mariina's two door 1.3 Escort's and a few two door Avengers. To start with everyone wanted the Marina but after a while everyone wanted the Avengers as they were quicker, quieter, and more comfortable than the Escort and Marina and also handled better than the Marina.
_________________
old tourer


Morris 8 two seater
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
peter scott



Joined: 18 Dec 2007
Posts: 5875
Location: Edinburgh

PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2018 1:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ray White wrote:

So the Marina was a very ordinary but worthy car - although I would obviously have preferred the 1800 TC - but the 1300 was essentially a Morris Minor in disguise.


The Marina had a very similar front suspension to the Minor but the 1300 didn't handle as well as the Minor and the 1800 was enormous fun or positively lethal depending on your point of view.

Peter
_________________
http://www.nostalgiatech.co.uk
1939 SS Jaguar 2 litre saloon
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Minxy



Joined: 22 Sep 2010
Posts: 199
Location: West Northants

PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2018 1:06 pm    Post subject: Re: The Morris Ital Reply with quote

Rick wrote:
Reading the following, it occurred to me that I've never been in an Ital, and I'm not sure that I ever set foot inside a Marina either.

What did I miss?



RJ


........nothing to be honest, in my opinion they were dreadful but I think penguin sums it up nicely they deserve to be saved and fair play to the enthusiasts.
_________________
Hillman minx convertible. Lanchester LD 10
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Ray White



Joined: 02 Dec 2014
Posts: 2658
Location: Derby

PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2018 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

alanb wrote:
The company I worked for in the late 70s ran two door 1.3 Mariina's two door 1.3 Escort's and a few two door Avengers. To start with everyone wanted the Marina but after a while everyone wanted the Avengers as they were quicker, quieter, and more comfortable than the Escort and Marina and also handled better than the Marina.


I think just about anything handled better than the 1.3 Marina which if nothing else kept you honest.!

Actually, they were O.K. (sort of) when new but quickly deteriorated to banger status.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
BigJohn



Joined: 01 Jan 2011
Posts: 846
Location: Nr. Lancaster

PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2018 5:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I bought a 3 year old Marina 1.8tc in 1980, the garage had to fit a new petrol tank because I filled it up and it stunk of fuel, the top of the tank had rusted away.
It was a good load lugger, but the front seats, cloth and reclining, very posh, were uncomfortable on a long run and the frames broke. Whoever was responsible for the ergonomics of the dashboard must have been on drugs, the radio was angled to the passenger seat.
It handled like two drunken heifers riding a tandem, I had traded in a Renault 4TL thats road holding was brilliant once you stopped being alarmed by the body roll. I regularly drove a North Yorkshire rural road to the nearest chip shop, on it was a small S bend with a wide grass verge. The Renault would just flick left, right, left and go round it. The Marina, well lets say I collected my number plate on the way home......
Mechanically the Marina was a complicated as a spoon. It pulled well, was reasonable on petrol, and quite spacious.
All in all the Marina was a maid of all work but excelled at nothing in particular. It was average.
_________________
1974 Mk1 Escort. 1992 Mk1 Golf Clipper Cabriolet Auto.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
consul 57



Joined: 09 Nov 2017
Posts: 136
Location: somerset

PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2018 6:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i overtook one on the M5 in devon a few weeks ago, it looked quite tidy, also one used to appear at the brean car show a few years back, it was an estate one, but the owner was not very talkative?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Ray White



Joined: 02 Dec 2014
Posts: 2658
Location: Derby

PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2018 7:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

consul 57 wrote:
i overtook one on the M5 in devon a few weeks ago, it looked quite tidy, also one used to appear at the brean car show a few years back, it was an estate one, but the owner was not very talkative?


I suppose there is always the possibility that someone might have unkindly said something to him? Sad
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Penguin45



Joined: 28 Jul 2014
Posts: 295
Location: LBA

PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2018 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Ital had vastly imoroved front suspension to sort out some of the handling issues.

P45.
_________________
'67 Wolseley MkI 18/85, '70 Austin MkII 1800 The Landcrab Forum.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Classic cars forum & vehicle restoration. Forum Index -> Classic & Vintage Cars - General Chat All times are GMT + 1 Hour
Goto page 1, 2  Next
Page 1 of 2

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
Forum T&C


php BB powered © php BB Grp.