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The year is 1982. Adam Ant’s solo record Goody Two Shoes is topping the charts, and the tabloid press is ranting how a forthcoming BBC programme called The Young Ones will cause the end of civilisation. Meanwhile, a holiday in Weymouth awaits, and your home from home is a Morris Marina 575 Suntor. James Ebden’s rather stunning example is a reminder of this camper’ popularity in the ‘70s and ‘80s.
If you stop to think about truly iconic British vehicles, or indeed companies, it won’t be long before the name Morris pops up. Morris Motors was one of the true giants of 20th Century Britain, operating through both world wars and creating a range of successful, iconic vehicles.
News: THE MORRIS 1100 AT SIXTY
On the 15th of August 1962, the British Motor Corporation invited the ADO16, the car that would head the UK’s list of best-selling cars for many years. Company politics meant it was sold as a Morris, an MG, an Austin, a Vanden Plas, a Wolseley, and a Riley.
Put simply, the British Motor Corporation’s ADO16 range is one of the most important family of cars in the history of the UK’s automotive industry. When the original Morris 1100 debuted on 15th August 1962, it was not just the Mini-formula writ large; it introduced thousands of drivers to the concepts of FWD and Italian-styling all at a price within reach of the average suburbanite.
Two years ago, Meirion Woolf brought himself a rather splendid present for his 40th birthday. ‘My parents owned a 1953 “Split Screen” and ever since then I’ve been a Minor fan’ - and so he acquired LEJ 443 J.
Ian Quarry remarks that his 1965 Morris Mini Traveller is often 'smiled at and noticed…'. This is not surprising, as the car that represented 'Wizardry at work again!'
Mr. Burmingham never really noticed the Marina ‘until my dad bought a used 1.3 saloon in 1975.’ That Morris proved so reliable that four years later ‘he insisted on me buying a 1.3 Coupe to replace a rusting Mini’.
No, this is not a misprint, as the Morris badged version is one of the rarest and most desirable models to devotees of the Metro. Virtually any car-based light commercial of the 1980s has a very poor survival rate, but the early Metro van is probably now a more unusual sight than an MG 6R4. Not to mention offering considerably better fuel economy.
Any FE-Series Ventora is now an unusual sight, but Gordon’s example is a car of special distinction. In May 1973, the advertisements stated, ‘Your Vauxhall dealer is offering a limited edition Ventora called the V.I.P. It’s black and it’s absolutely beautiful’. Mr. Morris came by his car in 1987 ‘as I was membership secretary for a while for the VX 4/90 Drivers’ Club’.