I just want to start this by noting that I have a genuine fondness for British cars, even British cars of the 1970s, which I suppose may be thought of as the nadir of British cars. I even owned one, a 1973 Reliant Scimitar GTE. But, they were, of course, crap, and the Austin/Morris Marina is often considered the Crap of the Crap, and this 1972 brochure has at least one part that, to modern eyes, is kinda hilarious, in a crap perspective. Let me show you.
I mean that image up there, of the two Marinas in what looks like an unpleasantly damp field in front of the Tree of Eternal Discomfort, that’s already not great. But then we get treated to this:
I mean, I get the idea; Austin was part of the greater British Leyland juggernaut, which included Land Rover and Triumph and MG and Jaguar, all proudly represented up there, all carmakers with gobs and gobs of character and soul and legendary cars and, yes, some pretty crappy reliability reputations, especially in that era.
So, a cynical jerk with a Cold Start that’s already late could, possibly, see this and think oh man, there’s an endorsement: a car with the quality of Land Rovers and Triumphs, MGs, AND old Jaguars! But without the style or charm? Sign my ass up!
But then I’d see you can shove a Basset Hound in the trunk of one and I’d feel like a jerk.