Thursday, 24 May 2012

Delivery-mileage Morris Ital

I don't know how he does it, but The Doctor's found another showroom-fresh timewarp, this time in the shape of Morris's last model.
The Ital, built from 1980-84, was basically a lightly-reworked update of the decade-old Marina, with engines ranging from the 1275cc A-series (yep, just like you'd find in a Mini) to the 2.0-litre O-series, with power going to the rear wheels. The 1981 example we see here is the Mini-powered base model, slightly elevated by receiving HL trim. It's got just 355 miles on the clock, and has a lovely story behind it - a man ordered it new as a surprise present for his wife to replace her ageing Morris Minor. She was somewhat underwhelmed and, although agreeing to persevere with it for a few hundred miles, she just preferred her classic old Minor. 'Fine,' he said, 'it'll stay in the garage until you drive it.' He kept it well maintained, taxed and MOTed in case she changed her mind, but she never did. So this is a one-owner-from-new Ital in mint showroom condition, that's never really been outside. It may be a widely unloved footnote to the history of the British motor industry, but it's also a once-in-a-lifetime find, and a proper eighties time capsule.
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