Leyland Marina: re-engineered for down under

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Leyland Marina: re-engineered for down under

Post by mab01uk »

A question that is often asked by Marina enthusiasts is why-oh-why did the Australian and South African versions of the car use the Maxi E-Series engine, instead of the B-Series, as used in the UK.
So, why was the E-Series engine chosen?

Why, then, did the Australians use the E-Series for the Marina instead of the B-Series? After all, using the existing engine would have meant little local development work for the Australians. According the Merve Sheather, the main reason was economic: ‘The reason we adopted the E-series engine was really one of cost.
‘We required a new transfer line as the ‘A’ and ‘B’ series machinery in the Unit Factory [where all the engines were assembled, hot run, and then sent to CAB 1 for assembly into the vehicles] was very worn and the MD and Board could not justify a costly refit.
‘Both A- and B-Series were not expected to meet Australian Design Rules, as the Australia Federal and State governments were closely tailoring our regs to USA (California) regulations, a little less but the smog/sunlight factors were fairly common to both countries, as concerned emissions. There were no comparisons with car volumes on road, just tail pipe outputs.’
A case of Australian expertise
Merve continued: ‘We had been very successful with exporting Mini Mokes with 1275cc (A-Series engines) to California, USA – they were twin packed for export, one a’top the other), with polystyrene under the wheels where they touched the top of the guards of the Moke underneath. This was very cost effective for export, and won an export award. Canopies were made of vinyl in ‘Op-pop verve’ black and white like a tigers strips, and ‘Orange Bali’ which looked a bit like a fruit salad in colour, very effective.
‘This was really our experience with making the 1275 cc A-series comply with emissions, and it was looking very expensive with exhaust injection air pumps. There was a real need to redesign the cylinder head into a cross-flow alloy, something like the Abingdon competition 1275cc head.
‘With less cash being available with the coming P76 production, the A-series engine used in anything other than Mini/Moke Minivan was becoming real history.’ So effectively, rather than having to stomach the cost of putting the B-Series through the same procedure, the Australians took the ingenious step of using the newer engine…

Marina 2600 !
According to Phil, the six-cylinder Leyland Marina (pictured in South African Austin Marina form) was an interesting drive. ‘The Marina Six actually went like the clappers in a straight line, in manual form they were fitted with an Australian Borg Warner three-speed floor shift.
‘With so much torque in a light body you didn’t need four-speeds....

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Re: Leyland Marina: re-engineered for down under

Post by Polarsilver »

Last week i was looking at a Marina 2 Door Coupe .. the Orange with white stripe Leyland Rally Car with the 1257 Engine that did the RAC .. apparently it has 125 bhp rear wheel drive. today still in Original Rally trim this Marina Coupe 2door Rally Car now looks to me so much better than back in the day .. not for sale but what a Lovely thing :)

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Re: Leyland Marina: re-engineered for down under

Post by surfblue63 »

Marina ST at Goodwood


The usual pose for a Marina by the side of the road replicated at a recent car show

It's like what my painter friend Donald said to me
"Stick a fork in their ass and turn them over, they're done"

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Re: Leyland Marina: re-engineered for down under

Post by bmcman.ie »

some of the later models used the 1.7 'o' series engine from the princess. :)

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Re: Leyland Marina: re-engineered for down under

Post by morris-miner »

I wonder why the ST version has the correct position of the wipers when all the home market cars I've ever seen or worked on had them in the LHD position !!

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Re: Leyland Marina: re-engineered for down under

Post by Costafortune »

bmcman.ie wrote:some of the later models used the 1.7 'o' series engine from the princess. :)

Indeed they did, and they went quite well. There was a 2 litre as well but only as an automatic. Years ago I drove an 1800 Marina Coupe that had the Leyland ST suspension mods (telescopics and something to increase the negative camber) and it handled pretty well.
They were never as awful as the mags said if you drove it sensibly. Any heroics and they could be a right bastard.

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