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Marina oddity


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24 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   Ratdat

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Posted 02 March 2008 - 10:20 AM

I was trundling down the road in the Rover the other day when I clocked something that made me virtually pull an emergency stop. At first I thought I's seen a Mk1 Hyundai Pony but on close inspection it turned out to be a Marina coupe but a really odd looking one. It had large square tail lights instead of the usual rectangular ones and they were definately factory. It wore a Marina badging. I couldn't get a close look and where it was couldn't even get round to look at the sides properly or the front. From what I could see it looked like a normal Marina coupe at the sides but I could only see one rear quarter. Annoyingly I didn't have a camera on me but I'm hoping it'll still be there when I pop back. I wondered if this was a foriegn market one or something... sound familiar to anyone?

#2 OFFLINE   pogweasel

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Posted 02 March 2008 - 10:26 AM

Any idea what age it was?

Had someone converted a Marina Koop to "Ital" spec?
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#3 OFFLINE   Ratdat

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Posted 02 March 2008 - 10:32 AM

No, definately not. The tail lights were almost exactly square, not rectangular at all. The bootlid was slightly different too from what I can remember. Like a fool I didn't take note of the reg. I'm so curious about it I might have to go back to take a look tomorrow. It was in the yard of a little garage but they were shut at the time so I could only peer at it through the fence.

#4 OFFLINE   Mr_Bo11ox

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Posted 02 March 2008 - 10:40 AM

sounds most intriguing..... the pressures on to get some pics!

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#5 OFFLINE   Ratdat

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Posted 02 March 2008 - 10:58 AM

I'm going to go check it out this evening and see if I can get some pics through the fence. I need to know! I can't find any reference online about it.

#6 OFFLINE   reallyloud

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Posted 02 March 2008 - 11:11 AM

Just wondering whether its an Austrailian or South African Austin Marina - not sure if they ever sold the coupe out there, but the austin-rover site had this handsome specimen.

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also found this, an ozzie land crab sedan.

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Either way a picture would be splendid to see.

#7 OFFLINE   STUNO

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Posted 02 March 2008 - 03:32 PM

Just happens I posted an Aussie Marina's rear end on my taxi thread a few minutes ago. Don't think the coupe would have been different if it was sold in Aust.Austin Kimberley as above did have square lights but I can't see how they would get to a Marina coupe in England.

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#8 OFFLINE   r.welfare

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Posted 02 March 2008 - 05:22 PM

Hmm...I know there are some US-spec "Austin" Marinas in this country - Kim Henson (contributor to Practical Classics in the late 90s) had one. It had bigger bumpers for sure but don't know what the tail-lights were like. I think they were like the facelift job ('78 on).I seem to recall reading somewhere that because BLMC withdrew the Marina from the 'States pretty quickly (1974 seems to spring to mind) they built a load of RHD coupes in US spec and sold them cheap to employees of Cowley to use up the US-specific parts - a bit like Audi did in '76 when the 80 and 100 were fitted with massive US bumpers.

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#9 OFFLINE   Ratdat

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Posted 02 March 2008 - 08:32 PM

I knew Kim Henson through my Austin A35 meddling back in the late 80's and used to see him about every now and then when I lived down in Christchurch as he lived over in Parkstone. I remember that US spec coupe he had. It was Harvest Gold or a similar colour and was the rear end was pretty much like a UK one apart from the bumpers.I didn't get time to go this evening as I had visitors but I think I'll take a run out there in the morning as I MUST know!

#10 OFFLINE   STUNO

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Posted 02 March 2008 - 09:27 PM

Checked out a site www.austinmarina.com and US spec ones seem to have the same tail lights and both UK and US bumpers. Probably early and later models.Yes ratdat you must go now :lol:

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#11 OFFLINE   Pillock

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Posted 02 March 2008 - 10:45 PM

Can't really think of any BL products that had square rear clusters..... unlikely to be a parts bin special? I've seen Sunbeam and Horizon lamps plastered onto many different vehicles though, they're a nice shape for retro-fitting it seems! Might it have been a regular Marina coop with oddball DIY lighting?

#12 OFFLINE   Ratdat

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Posted 03 March 2008 - 04:02 PM

I went back to check it out today and although there was still nobody there, the car was no easier to see and I snapped a pic. Closer up it is definately a diy job but somebody put a lot of effort into it! Behold! a Marina hatchback! Those tail lights look like they are off a Metro.

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#13 OFFLINE   retrogeezer

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Posted 03 March 2008 - 04:24 PM

That must have been a fair bit of work to make it into a hatch. Shame it looks like a late FSO Polonez from the back!
RIP Julie & Maisie

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#14 OFFLINE   Mr_Bo11ox

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Posted 03 March 2008 - 04:48 PM

Crumbs, thats remarkable, what a project to convert a saloon to a hatch! I wonder how wobbly the bodyshell is.Fair play to the geezer for carrying it off OK like.

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#15 OFFLINE   r.welfare

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Posted 03 March 2008 - 04:52 PM

Woah WTF! That's mad. I reckon the rear hatch is taken from a Capri, perhaps? I recall Crayford did hatch conversions on the Princess, but not the Marina - Metro lights give away the fact it's a DIY affair. As do the doctored Metro badges!

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#16 OFFLINE   reallyloud

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Posted 03 March 2008 - 04:57 PM

I've seen this car somewhere before, not sure where though. I'm just wondering whether there is any historical importance to it or just a hatchet harry job.

While we're showing pics of oddball homemade cars, I came across this oddity a few years back in Ross-on-wye.

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#17 OFFLINE   blimp

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Posted 03 March 2008 - 07:34 PM

I just did a search for 'marina hatchback' and what comes top is thisSeems its been spotted before on Flickrand its been discussed on retro rides where someone said

God I am glad to see that still exists! It was a private modification and uses a Metro slam panel and light panels with a modified Capri hatch and upper hinge system and was done during the late 80's early 90's.As an aside, have a look at the Mk1/2 Hyundai Pony 3-door for where the idea came from (seeing as the Marina was the model from which the Pony was developed!)It first appeared when I was editing the Marina Owners Club magazine for the first time round ('89 - 93)



#18 OFFLINE   Spottedlaurel

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Posted 03 March 2008 - 07:37 PM

Intriguing. You have to wonder why they didn't just go out and buy a Capri 1.3 though.Good work on revisiting it for the photo Ed!

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#19 OFFLINE   Mike D

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Posted 04 March 2008 - 08:23 AM

Oxford Street?That looks a fairly well executed conversion. Local Reg. too.

#20 OFFLINE   STUNO

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Posted 04 March 2008 - 08:53 AM

Thanks for that ratdat , that was intriguing ! A Marina the way they should have been. Now if they can shift the B pillar back an inch or two and get the door proportions right it should sell well :D

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#21 OFFLINE   Ratdat

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Posted 04 March 2008 - 11:17 AM

Oxford Street?That looks a fairly well executed conversion. Local Reg. too.

yeah it was Oxford St, curiously at the same place I picked my Cherry Europe up from.If BL had have done this and made it a 5 door hatch they'd have been onto a winner.

#22 OFFLINE   retrogeezer

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Posted 04 March 2008 - 11:45 AM

If BL had have done this and made it a 5 door hatch they'd have been onto a winner.

What, like a Maestro... :lol:
RIP Julie & Maisie

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#23 OFFLINE   pogweasel

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Posted 04 March 2008 - 11:59 AM

I was thinking MAXI. :wink:

#24 OFFLINE   Ratdat

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Posted 04 March 2008 - 12:09 PM

That's just it though. They did well with the Maxi and came up with a very modern family car but with the Marina they revert back to making traditional saloon and a half baked coupe that's neither sporting, sleek or practical. It's a nice enough car, but I'm not sure what real purpose the Marina coupe served.

#25 OFFLINE   pogweasel

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Posted 04 March 2008 - 12:15 PM

Marina Koop is really the BMC/BL version of the Ford Crapi though. Obv it doesn't look as good but you can see what they were getting at, especially with the TC version. The marina was always about tried & tested compared to the Maxi's techno-whizz design, and as such appealed to those who appreciated what they knew and understood. My grandad had a Marina 1.8TC Koop, bought new to replace a fin-tail Oxford, and you can see why: more of the same in an updated box.




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