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Not a Caterham but a very rare spot


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My father had several Marina’s - DUT690K, MEA808P, BFP708T and VNR161X. The last one was an Ital which was named after a facelift by designhouse Italdesign.

These were the cars I learnt my mechanic skills on. The first two were 1.8 B series engines and the later two O series with alloy heads and single OHC of 1.7 litre capacity.

The 2.0 Ital was advertised as accelerating faster than a Porsche albeit a 924!

Fond childhood memories of travelling thousands of miles in them and servicing/repairing them with dad.




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The Marina felt like the abandonment of all ambition by BL. And, not surprisingly, they couldn't make a better Cortina than Ford.

At least the front wheel drive successors to the Mini/ 1100/ 1800 tried before failing.



The 2.0 Ital was advertised as accelerating faster than a Porsche albeit a 924!

At the time it was said that the 1.8 TC was faster than the corresponding MGB.

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Colleague had a pale blue 1.8 Marina coupe as a company car in the 1970s. Horrendous old style suspension, but very fast engine. His wife used an (even then) old Morris Traveller as her daily drive. Late one night they travelled to parents in Tamworth on the A5 .... he was tired, so let her drive. Part way there, opened one eye .... looked at his watch ... will be a while yet, judging by the time. Then realised they were almost at their destination. Looked at the speedo and was rather surprised to see a very high number. He asked what speed they were doing .... 40 all the way she said. Problem was, her usual car didn't have a tachometer, so she was sticking to an indicated 40 on the dial in front of her ... which was of course 4000rpm. They set a record time for the journey, which he never managed to better.

Footnote .... a later company car driven by the same colleague was a Princess with a 2.2 litre straight 6 engine and 3 speed auto gearbox. It was dark brown and had brown velour seats. Unquenchable thirst though ... around 22mpg. It was quick too, and could be got off the ground on hump back bridges. I was driving it late one night in the rain, when we first encountered one of those new-fangled telephone dial roundabouts in Swindon ... oops

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I don’t know why (or perhaps I do) this post reminds me of the Rolls Royce Cullinam that was on display at Knockhill yesterday. Leven Car Company were running a promotion event to announce being appointed as Caterham distributors and they also sell Lotus, Aston Martin and RR. Cullinam looks like an easy conversion to a hearse although perhaps a bit of a lift up to get the coffin in. 

Event was was a great success and met a number of members there. Apart from tracking our own cars there were demos from Chris Hoy and Graham Macallister in 7's, Exige, Evora and a very rapid AM Rapide which was driven hard by BTCC driver Rory Butcher who's father happens to own Knockhill (and sister married to Gordon Shedden)

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