With sales of the Ford Cortina skyrocketing, BMC decided
it too needed a new mid sized car to replace its rapidly
aging designs. The Marina was, however, considered a direct
rival to the Ford Escort and Holden Torana/Vauxhall Viva.
Unfortunately for the unsuspecting motoring public
the decision was made to use existing running gear
dating back to 1948 on the "all new" Marina
- by reason that the technology was tried and tested.
Tried and Tested it may have been, but the appaling build
quality was to become the main reason anyone would talk
about the Marina - and non existant trade in valuations
were soon to follow.
Launched in 1970, the car was a typical contemporary
design, with a front-mounted four cylinder engine driving
the rear wheels via a live axle.
Using torsion bar
suspension, the Marina had two engine sizes (1.3 and
1.8 liters) and three body styles (sedan, station wagon
Many consider the Marina suffered a cursed life as
industrial difficulties within the British motoring
industry were to lead to compounding reliability and
build quality problems.
And of course this was to pave
the way for the Japanese manufacturers, using thier
systems of "total quality
control", to enter the Australian marketplace.
Buyers deserted the British car makers in droves, the
rest remains history.