I will try my best to provide detailed info on various cars and what is like to live with them, I have already produced a few for Jaguar-car-forums, I will do my best to be unbiased, but it will be hard for some cars. I will re-produce press releases and copy from other motoring news.

Monday, 23 May 2016

Fancy drifting in a Morris Marina, well, this 18 year old does and it can really shift.

An 18-year-old car enthusiast has ensured that at least one of the 1.2 million Morris Marinas and Itals built can cut it on today’s streets and if needed, on track. Patxi Beasley’s ‘Mutant Marina’ retains the predictable lines that was familiar transport for many families in the 1970s but underneath the fading Brooklands Green paint and period dealer stickers resides an altogether different beast.

Affectionately known as ‘Myrtle’, it’s now a hybrid of Ford and British Leyland.
By planting a Ford Mondeo Zetec engine and Sierra gearbox in the 900kg car as well as redesigning the suspension set up, a criticism often levelled at the Marina by contemporary road testers, together with fitting modern Falken Sincera tyres, Beasley has created a lively alternative to the Corsas and Fiestas that most young drivers opt for. 

Much maligned in recent times, former Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond once described the Marina as ‘drab and dreary’ but the tweaks make this example, one of around 300 Marinas left on the road, a very different car to the ones produced during British Leyland’s most turbulent times.
“Everyone seems to go for the same cars and I just wanted something different. This came up and with a few tweaks, it made a lot of sense!” says Patxi Beasley who is an apprentice at an independent Land Rover garage. “Slotting in the Ford engine has made it more reliable and now I can use it every day.”
The upgrades have made the Mutant Marina Myrtle an unlikely drift car with Falken’s multiple drifting champion James Deane recently enjoying a slide in the 120bhp car at Rockingham. “It’s lacking a bit of power compared to my 750bhp Nissan S14 so you need to keep it nailed,” says Deane. “I started drifting in a Sierra and it takes me back to that. It’s old school but cool, though I’ve got no plans to ask Patxi to borrow it, well not just yet!”
  • Morris Marina 1800cc Super
  • Ford Mondeo Zetec engine and ECU
  • Ford Sierra Type 9 gearbox
  • Lowered with switch to coil over rear suspension
  • Welded differential
  • Falken Sincera tyres
  • Upgraded cooling system