Welcome to the Morris Marina Owners Club and Morris Ital Register

Since 1985 the MMOC & IR has supported owners of the Morris Marina, Ital and all of its derivatives. From its humble beginnings in the letters pages of Practical Classics the club is now into its 30th year.

Frank Phillips and Clive Higgins founded the Morris Marina Owners Club, incorporating the Morris Ital Register, in 1985 with the intention of recognising the place of the Marina and Ital in all of its derivatives in motoring history. The club currently has well over 300 members across the globe who enjoy the benefits of membership.

Whether you wish to be an active member, want to join for access to spares or just for the reassurance that help is at the end of a phone; by joining you are ensuring the survival of this popular and successful model.

An introduction

The Morris Marina entered the British motoring scene in April 1971, the aim being to offer inexpensive and practical motoring for both fleet managers and family motorists.

The Mk1 Marina 1971-1975

At launch there was the option of 1.3-litre or 1.8-litre (single or twin-carb) engines wrapped in either two-door Coupe or four-door Saloon body shells; trim levels ranged from De Luxe (DL), Super De Luxe (SDL) to TC (twin carb). In September 1972 Vans and Estates joined the line-up with 1.1 or 1.3 litre engine for the vans and 1.8 engines in the Estates and by May 1973 special edition fever was setting in with the production of 2000 Saloon-based 1.8 litre Jubilee models, with tinted glass, laminated windscreen, opening quarter-lights, coach line, vinyl roof, cloth seats and a pair of auxiliary lamps. Five months later most of this was added to the TC's spec sheet as standard.

Some early 1.3 cars and all early commercials were supplied with drum front brakes and no servo; disc brakes and servo assistance could be fitted as optional extras. If properly maintained, the drum brake setup is adequate for a 1.3 car. Very early 1.3s and 1.8s had the same suspension setup that the motoring press complained about at the time the car was launched. Whilst no records exist for the changeover point to the improved front suspension geometry, it is generally recognised that the changeover point occurred during late 1971.

The Mk2 Marina 1976-1978

In October 1975 the Marina 2 arrived, with disc brakes at the front on all versions and modified suspension, including anti-roll bars all round on the Saloons, Coupes and Estates. Styling changes included fatter bumpers and a revised grille centre, while Coupe and Saloon versions of the TC became the GT and HL respectively. In April 1978, 2050 examples of the LE Coupe were built, featuring a sunroof, vinyl roof, special interior trim and metallic paint with decals.

The Mk3 Marina 1978-1979

Five months later in September 1978 a revamped Marina debuted (Mk3), featuring styling changes front and rear to the bumpers and rear lights. From here on Coupes were only available with 1.3-litre engines. The 1.8 B series engine was dropped in favor of the new 1.7 O series engine, which was pretty much as powerful and a lot smoother to drive. The sporty twin-carb versions were dropped along with the B series engines, with the 1.7 relying on a single 1 3/4" HIF SU carb.

The Morris Ital 1980-1984

In July 1980 the Marina was replaced by the the Morris Ital, it was a Marina featuring revised styling and a slightly more pokey A-series engine (called the A-plus). The Coupe body shape was dropped. In 1982 the lever arm dampers were replaced by telescopic front shock absorbers.

International Success For a Brand

Australian & South African Marina fans also had the choice of a locally made E series 1750 4 cylinder and 2623cc six-cylinder models, with three-speed auto or manual 'boxes and 111 bhp. If this sounds too racy in Europe you could track down one of the 3870 diesel Marinas, with 1489cc and all of 38bhp! These were manufactured in the UK and in Malta for a while, exported as knock down kits and built up on the island. Cars were exported from the UK around the world including USA, Canada, New Zealand, and throughout Europe. Many of the sales in the Nordic countries coming off the back of local success in rallying.

Dedication and Transparency

Hi and welcome to the Morris Marina Owners Club and Ital Register official website. Within the site you will find lots of information on your favourite 70s car, classic car shows - indoor and outdoor and rallies, road runs, local area meetings, club regalia, re-manufactured parts, spares info, and details of, most importantly, how to join us.

If you go anywhere in a Marina or Ital and listen to peoples' memories of their cars and the thousands of miles of reliable motoring you can't fail to be impressed. Now with the increasing interest in the classic car press; the Morris Marina & Ital is I feel, an accepted icon of classic bread and butter 70s motoring.

The Marina & Ital were highly successful vehicles in the 1970 & early 1980s, British Leyland sold 1 million Marinas in less than 10 years - how long did it take the Morris Minor? The attrition rate has over the years has been alarming, we estimate that there are less than half of one percent of the entire production of Marina & Itals left. As a club we can secure the future for the surviving examples of this part of the British car industry.

The most important thing within this club is you the member and with the club now running with full transparency, we on the committee, want you to feel welcome and part of a growing, thriving community. The club prides itself on a very friendly and supportive attitude towards its members, employing a totally transparent organisational structure. This is a club for all Marina & Ital owners, not just the Concours car owners.

We believe in value for money as well, our colour A5 magazine is the envy of many other larger car clubs. It is delivered to you quarterly, also we operate a spares advisor/parts search scheme helping you to keep on motoring!

"The club magazine with something for every Marina & Ital owner"

If you have any questions, please call me on 01451-831174.

Andy Walsingham.

Joining the Morris Marina Owners Club & Ital Register

Benefits of joining the club include access to technical advice, established relationships with key parts and service suppliers, access to club remanufactured parts, a quarterly colour A5 magazine and discounted insurance through the club's insurance scheme.

At shows in recent years we have seen a strong number of all the marks and we are seeing excellent examples being shown by members. The club is committed to preserving as many cars as possible and is always on hand to give advice and assist with a whole host of services. Whilst we are not able to offer a 'Car Check' service to cars that are being bought by members we are always happy to assist with the location of parts, details of specialist suppliers and advise on what to look out for, and also how to spot any troublesome areas. Club membership also includes a high quality quarterly colour A5 magazine and discounted insurance through the club's insurance scheme.

More people are now restoring Marinas and Itals, and the club has begun a program of re-manufacturing numerous spare parts including body panels and cooling system hoses in order to assist with preservation of these vehicles.

Mission Statement

Inform

The relevance to the Morris Marina and Ital in our motoring and social history is significant. It was a car created for a purpose - to be a fleet market vehicle that could also offer cost effective motoring to Mr. Average in the 1970s and early 80s. As a club we INFORM members, non-members, the press and other organisations of the cars, their history and what we do as a club to promote their standing in British and International motoring history.

Preserve

For a car that was once sold in its millions, the Marina and Ital was classed as “The rarest car in Britain” by The Sun newspaper. As a club we want to PRESERVE the cars by helping owners find the right parts for their projects, get the correct information to restore them and promote the Marina and Ital as a usable classic car for every generation.

Drive and Enjoy

DRIVE and ENJOY it! Whether on sunny days and holidays or as a daily driver, we promote the use of our cars all year round. Do you use your car for motorsport or is it modified? The Marina had a decent track record on the international rally and track circuit throughout the 1970s, and the club is a great advocate in promoting all types from standard to custom to kit cars. So why not get involved!

Insist on

The MMOC & IR Club Magazine

Understeer means quality articles
With owner interviews and creative
photography showing off members cars and telling
their stories. A magazine of the cars, for the
membership.

Understeer means informative features
With accurate ‘How to’ guides written by
enthusiasts and the motoring press. We have
content to please all the models that the MMOC & IR
support.

Understeer means reference archives
With over 40 years of photographs, documents and
personal accounts of driving the Morris Marina and Ital cars.
We are well placed to advise and inform you about your car.