Launched as a replacement for the Oxford range, the Marina made its first appearance in 1971. The Marina featured an all new body with modern styling and reasonable interior space. The Marina came with either four door Saloon or two door, four seater "Coupe" bodywork, from 1972 an Estate variant was also available.
Mechanically the Marina made use of Morris Minor derived suspension, rear wheel drive and either a 1.3 A-series or 1.8 B-series engine. Both engines were reliable units but could hardly be described as being the last word in excitement! The Marina soon found itself a victim of the poor build quality and industrial action that gripped Leyland during the 1970's, not only that the 1.8 gained a reputation for its poor handling characteristics. The Marina was eventually replaced by the "warmed-up" Ital in 1980.
During the last two years of its life the Morris Marina was able to enjoy the improved O-Series engine as well as the old, faithful 1.3 A-series version. The new range topping Marina used a 1.7 litre version of the O-series which, although not available in sports trim, was capable of delivering 95mph performance.
These last Marinas featured revised front grilles with built in driving lamps and a under-bumper mounted front spoiler. No two door Coupe's were available and the cars (both 1.3 and 1.7) were discontinued to make way for the Ital in 1980.