Oz Marina 2007

EBay Marina

Is this Leyland 's “muscle car”


Conversation taken from the Yahoo Group http://au.groups.yahoo.com/group/leylandp76/

Start

A new record for an unregistered, mechanically unsound Marina Super 6
coupe - $1620. Bugga I missed out.
Steve
Getting rare Steve…..
would the marina six coupe classify as a “muscle car” ??? (If that term can be defined)
Because as a concept it is identical to the holden torana, if not factory developed to race specs like the xu1 was.
The marina six coupe will appreciate quite well in my opinion.
Mick
the six cylinder marina was developed as an alternative to the six cylinder cortina, 6cyl torana and the 6cyl
centura {which wanst released until 1975}.
Leyland decided to stick with the 3 speed manual as they considered that this was adequate to take on the big 3, rather silly in my opinion seeing they already had a 4 speed that would bolt up to the 6 cyl engine what a nice car this would have been and definately a head on contender with the 4spd box as it was it was only a half hearted effort by leyland paticularly leaving that old torsion bar front suspension with slightly heavier torsion bars to accomodate the extra weight.
Muscle car I think not but a nice economical and fast touring car yes, an XU1 contender no but a nice alternative to the big threes equivalent offerings.
A fair bit of the 6cyl marina story is written in the whells magazine from 1974 with the plum loco marina on the front cover.
Andrew
Mick,
there is no doubting its rareness but the Marina, 4 or 6, in the wide world of Classic collectible cars could hardly be described as desirable.
This sale may be an example of the Marina turning that corner.
Andrew, I think you will find that the 3 speed was fitted to the 6 to keep build costs down and therefore sale price down.
Yes they wanted to steal sales from Torana and Cortina but as with many things at Leyland at the time it was a half arsed attempt due to an almost total lack of development money.
Neil Byers, who raced the Marina 6 at Bathurst in 74, can attest to how good it could have been as an XU1 competitor if developed that way.
Just think, P76 SS V8 5litre in Class A and Marina GT6 with triple carbs, 4speed and LSD in Class B or a 3.3litre alloy V6 P82.
Bathurst in 1974/5 could have been an interesting story with 6 figure sales prices on P76s and Marinas today. Thinking about this just depresses me.
Steve
Hi Steve
I am quoting from Wheels magazine January 1974 page 28 and 30 regarding the 3 speed gearbox fitment the test will also tell whether the gear knob frizzle evident in the pre release car is an inherent feature of the 3 speed gearbox as gearboxes go by 1973 standards the marinas is no thing of joy it does the job and is a bit truck like the floor lever is long and slow and must be depressed into reverse position in the upper left hand reach of the h pattern gate
with customary leyland logic the marina 262 does not offer a 4 speed gearbox, not now or in the immediate future.while availability of a 4 speed may not be any great practicle advantage in itself, non-availabilty must certainly be a disadvantage-if only psychologically - when both the Cortina and Torana can be so equipped.
leyland argues that the 262 doesnt need a four speeder .in a sense that it is true for casual driving thanks to the torquey punch of the overhead cam engine, even so there are times when, on steep hill climbs or preparing to overtake conditions seem a bit slow for top gearet to fast for second and an in between 3rd gear would be a natural
a 4spd box would also enable the car to use a final drive ratio of higher than the standard 3.7:1 ratio.with the a78l13 cross ply tyres on the existing diff gives about 29km/h {18mph} per 1000 rpms in top and the engine seems extremely busy beyond 110km/h.
No where in the article is it mentioned that cost cutting, was the reason the marina 6 never came with a 4 speed, at the end of the day the transmissions would have been with in cooee price wise to manufacture the 3 speed may have in actual fact may have even cost more due to the fact that they had to manufacture the gear shift assembley to suit the car which wasnt familiar with any of the other cars that they were manufacturing at the time although it was very similar to that found in the Valiant Charger
Andrew
Hi Andrew,
As you can see from the Wheels report a 4 speed would have been a distinct advantage so logic tells us that Leyland in its vehicle evaluation of the Marina 6 would have come to this same conclusion, they were experts in car manufacturing after all.
So why despite the shortcomings of the 3 speed box and the fact that Holden and Ford were equiping their Toranas and Cortinas with 4 speeds would
Leyland persist with launching a new model with such an obvious negative selling point.
Toranas of the period were equipped with the venerable M20/21 "aussie box" whereas the Cortina 6 was fitted with the same Borg Warner 4 speed as the Falcon, Valiant and P76 albeit with different internal ratios and extension housings to adapt them to their individual models.
Remember Leyland were buying, not making, their gearboxes from Borg Warner so the purchase price of a part from an external supplier has a direct influence on the end price of the finished product.
The 4 speed box from Borg Warner was a brand new product.
The XA or XB Falcon was the first Falcon to come equipped with the 4 speed box on 6 cylinder models, V8s had them but they were US sourced top loaders.
Chrysler was forced to use the 3 speed until the VJ model Valiant which coincided with the availability of the
Borg Warner 4 speed.
Leyland of course was able to build the P76 with a 4 speed option as it was available in 1973 but only just.
The 3 speed Borg Warner box had been avalable for many years prior to 1973 so the cost of these boxes would have been cheaper as BW would want to recoup development costs ASAP on the 4 speed plus remember supply and demand suggests that the 4 speed would be in high demand from Ford, Chrysler and Leyland. Cost variances at the manufacturing level are multiplied out to the Retail level as Manufacturer and Dealer both attempt to make a profit on each car sold so a say $35 difference in cost of a 3 speed to a 4 speed may blow out to a retail price difference of maybe $200 and in a market segment wher cars sell for $2500 to $3000 a $200 retail price difference is very significant.
Sorry for the long winded response but I hope it makes my thoughts clearer.
Oh and by the way there is NO WAY Leyland or any other car manufacturer/importer would say to a national motoring magazine that it fitted an inferior part to its car to cut costs.
The spin doctors/marketing men would have invented a plausable reason for doing it.
I love a good discussion.
Steve
Im not sure where you are getting your information from???????
Andrew
Hi all
I have heard on several occasions that a marina six is quicker than an xu1 (in a straight line) which is a bit hard to swallow untill another story I heard was it was a NSW police special adapted by the factory with 4speed gearbox and twin carbs off the kimberly, and this was supposed to be quicker than an XU1 up to 80mph, this sounds more plausable. if this is true i might know of one cheers
Carle
It could be argued that the Marina was one of the most successful Australian Built muscle cars of the type.
Given its very impressive Rallying record up against the XU1's of the day with Tom Barr Smith and a fleet of 3 factory Marina's regularly pushing out the Holdens for the converted teams prize in most of the big rallies of the day.
John
Hi All
I have never seen any information from the factory or ex employees that supports a factory performance intention with the Marina, either in 4 or 6.
No doubt some staffers had an idea but it was not a company intention.
Leyland's reluctance to go down the performance route with it Australian Products can be seen by the reluctance demonstrated in releasing a car to Evan Green for the World Cup, leaving his team a matter of weeks to prepare
for one of the toughest events going, now if the car had been released early significant development could have been done.
Private development of the Marina 6 no doubt could have made it go well, I have a GT6 Triumph and it is a good example of what can be achieved with a 6 cylinder but despite it being quick the XU1's are a different kettle of fish.
Mark Ellery
I couldn't see a police force fitting the bolt on extras you mention when they could go and buy fast highway patrol cars from the manufacturers ie mini cooper, xu1s, falcon 500s with gt running gear etc.
If what you say is true I would like to see some physical evidence of it.
Andrew
I agree with you Andrew having owner a Red Six and tried the P76 4 speed will not fit without significant modifications to the floor pan.
John
Leyland certainly did have a race program for the Marina however remember Leyland UK was more interested in rallying than circuit racing hence the experimental Marina V8 that ran in the same World Cup Rally in 1974 as the John Bryson/Evan Green car.
Lynk was also developing a V8 for Leyland before the P76 came out as the Marina's were being used extensively for rallying prior to the P76 During the 1974 SA Rally Championship Tom Barr-Smith brought his Marina 6 home into 2nd place behind a 911 Porche beating in the process several XU1's in the process.
Then again in the same year in the Rally of Canberra (Don Capasco Rally) a team of three Marina 6's in virtually standard form for won the teams prize for Leyland beating non-other than XU1 driving Colin Bond/George Shepheard and Peter Bock/Fred Gocenta in a Holden Kingswood V8.
Mind you after the Evan Green success in 1974, they all saw the light and quickly adopted the P76 as their preferred car for rallys and the XU1 no longer figured as Holden tried (unsuccessfully) the L34 but quickly went to the smaller and more nimble Gemini with an experimental "starfire 4".
John
Thanks John
The factory rally program is new to me, the Race programme by , Byrnes I think was independent of the factory.
The Leyland UK V8 I was aware of, was the Tom Barr - Smith effort a factory team.
If my failing memory is correct the 911S would be Des Rainsford and Graham West.
The had a good year considering that the 5AD City State Holden team gave them a serious look over.
In the 74 SA Series did TB-Smith use both the Marina 6 and the P76 or just the Marina.
Was the TB-Smith programme factory or was it private, if Private why did the factory go to SA to run it rather than in NSW.
Thanks again mate
Mark
Tom Barr-Smith used both in that year his P was a Deluxe V8 4 Speed, which went on to greater things not only in his hands.
Apart from the fact the Barr-Smith, Taylor and Lou Rayner were all from South Australia and good mates I'm not sure why the Leyland Rally Group were based in SA, as for being "official factory" there is no doubt that this team enjoyed unprecedented factory support as does Walkinshaw's HRT and Prodrive's FRT today not everything needs owned by the factory to be factory, perhaps Leyland was ahead of its time.
The other issue may have been that to have a official "factory" program would need the OK from British Leyland and they already had there own competition department hence the limited support given to Green/Bryson until they got to the rally after which they received a lot particularly when the Marina died.
The other companies that had close ties to Leyland at the time were Lynx, Repco and GS Motor Bodies.
Your right with Porsche it was Dean Rinsford and Dr. Graham West.
Are you going to be at Geelong next year? It would be good to have a chat.
John

Last updated
July 2007
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