The Missing VDP Marina

The club had the very good fortune to meet with Harris Mann-the designer of the Ital at the 2014 NEC Show.

Over the following year we attempted to move towards BL clubs working together in the future.

The story behind Harris’s designs for a Vanden Plas Marina or ‘Posh’ Marina to use his own description.

After leaving Ford then Pressed Steel Fisher, Harris Mann’s first job at Cowley was working on prototype Morris Marina variants.

During a one year period, Harris worked alongside Roy Haynes in a 70/30% partnership, with a futuristic theme running into other British Leyland models such as the Jaguar and Rover aspects.

Roy Haynes resigned as the production design teams prepared to move to Longbridge under Harry Webster.

This left Harris and his team with the Marina variants and Allegro designs.

But from the mid-seventies, around the time of production of the MK 3 Marina, he was also looking at, to use his own word, ‘sweeten’ the design of the Marina.


Face lift

Face/front and cosmetic changes in the design-looking to upgrade in line with Harris’s other futuristic original designs as seen in the Allegro/Metro/Princess, along with other originals.

The completion of the concept (two design sketches) of the VP Marina, or ‘Posh’ Marina, as Harris describes it, ready to his satisfaction, fell just after the end of production of the MK3 Marina.

This as plans were made towards the beginning of production of the Morris Ital in 1980 to 1982 at Cowley, the Ital then moving on to production at Longbridge from 1982-1984, with the last Morris badged vehicle-the Morris Metro van marking the very end of the Morris line.

As Harris indicated, 18 months to 2 or 3 years may separate design concept to production.

The rest is history-the production line model Itals went ahead and the VP Marina concept shelved and placed to Harris’s design archive-until now.

We would, along with Tom Morley, the organiser of the BL Autumn Rally 2016, like to invite you along as clubs or individuals, to the above. 

BL Autumn Rally

Sunday, 25 September, 2016

At the Milton Keynes Museum of Rural Life. 

Further Reading:

Concepts and prototypes: Morris Marina - AROnline

Concepts and Prototypes: Morris Marina - ADO77  

Raising money whilst having a flutter!


What better way to raise funds for your car club than an old school 100 club.

That’s what we have done here at the MMOC&IR; our members, their friends and families simply pay £24.00 per year and get entered into monthly draws. 50% of the subs go to the clubs funds and the remaining 50% is awarded as prizes each month.

  • 50% of the month’s net payments shall make up the prize fund. The prize fund will be paid out each month as 3 prizes (60% first prize, 30% second prize, 10% third prize).
  • The remaining 50% of the net payments will be allocated to Morris Marina Owners Club fundraising account.
  • Only one prize can be won per number per draw.

A great way for members to support us whilst having a bit of a flutter!

Anybody over 16 years of age can become a member of the 269 Club. The 269 Club shall not be limited to 269 members. The more numbers we sell, the bigger the prizes!

Members can log onto to get a 269 application pack and see who has won each month.

If your car club wishes to do something similar but needs some advice, please use the contact forms on this website and we would be more than happy to help.

Do you Understeer?


Spring 2016 Understeer

 After a long couple of weeks compiling the latest Club magazine, we are nearly ready to post it out to members. 

The Club magazine is going from strength to strength and this quarter is no different. 

We have interviews, project profiles and even an exclusive from Harris Mann, designer of the Morris Ital.

So, do you Understeer? If not why not join the Club: Join securely online!