Most of these photos for Sunday are taken outside my front door, somewhere along my street.
It’s not that I don’t go anywhere else. I do but I seldom, if ever, see an unusual or interesting car to photograph. I even stop into look at old garages to see if there are rusting treasures hidden from plain view. There aren’t. All the interesting cars in Denmark are either on my street or in a suburb of Copenhagen. This specimen appeared last week. The car is a Morris Marina 1.3 coupe.
The front half of the car and the back half of the car seem to be unrelated. If you read about the troubled history of this car, you learn that among all the many thousands cuts that caused the death of this as a decent car, chief among them was the use of the saloon doors on the coupe. Originally the designer, an ex-Ford bloke, wanted the saloon as the standard
car and the coupe to be a sporty image builder. BL were keen to cut costs and so the coupe gained a set of short doors from the saloon and the faster engine and better suspension went out the door. They decided that the two door should be the base model and the saloon the slightly better one. So, some looked at the fastback shape and expected a sportiness that was never there. Roy Haynes, the designer must have been the loneliest man in the world during this time.
You can read a fairly clear summary of the Morris Marina story here so I won’t repeat it. It is the meta-story is what draws me. Like the Jaguar XJ-40, the SD1 and the Triumph Stag and the Triumph Acclaim, the Marina´s is the tale of astonishing managerial ineptitude. Another one. The car itself is staggeringly uninteresting. It has no identifiable character externally (shades of Essex Fords?) and the mechanicals are raided from all over the BL empire so the car has no intrinsic character either. The story of how BL arrived at this dull, dull machine is where the fascination lies.
Despite all that, someone loves this Marina. It’s been resprayed and the original plates from the early 70s (white letters on black). That’s also amazing. I was lucky to get a photo of the car as it is usually concealed by a huge nylon cover.
All this on my street. Nowhere else in Jutland.