On this day in auto history – April 27th

Tue 27th Apr 2021

It was on this day in 1971 that one of the most divisive, mass-produced vehicles ever to hit the British market was launched - the Morris Marina.

Manufactured by the Austin-Morris division of British Leyland, the Marina was a popular car throughout its a near 10-year production run, so much so that it was only surpassed by the Ford Cortina in the 1973 sales chart, but it was largely vilified by the motoring press from day one.

Heavily criticised for its dour styling, chronic suspension set-up and lack of technical sophistication, the Marina was also noted for its poor rust-proofing which saw it become the most-scrapped car in Britain over a 30-year period.

In all, more than 807,000 Morris Marinas were sold across Britain - a staggering amount for such a demonised car - but it couldn’t keep pace with more stylish competitors from Ford and Vauxhall and few lamented the day when production eventually came to an end in 1980.