Weekly Motor Fix: following the ownership history of this rally-star Morris Marina 1.8 TC coupé

23 February, 2016


Built by British Leyland Competition Department, Abington, UK, ‘GC2’ was one of a pair of Morris Marinas built for the 1972 Heatway Rally, along with a pair of Mini Clubmans.

Originally entered for Andrew Cowan and Jim Scott (the eventual winner in a Clubman), this car was driven in the event by Jim Richards, with Jim Carney as co-driver. After winning a special stage early in the event, and running second overall behind Andrew Cowan, suspension problems and a failing gearbox saw Jim Richards forced to retire in midfield. 

Late in 1972 GC2 was acquired by Chris Kirk-Burnnand, followed by brother Barry, who campaigned the Marina in national rallies, club rallies, and hill-climb events. During this time the gearbox, which was not up to the rigors of harsh competition, was eventually replaced with a Hillman four-speed gearbox, and the SU carburettors were replaced with a twin-choke Webber. 

From 1977 to 1992 GC2 passed through a number of owners and registration-plate changes before it was purchased by Bog Hulme in 1992. Bob campaigned the car in sprints, hill climbs, and circuit racing events with the licence number RR9291. Research revealed its origins, and Bob personalized the plate back to 1 GC2 1. 

The car was passed to Andrew Scott in October 1997 and was given a bare-metal rebuild and paint. The roll cage was uprated for side intrusion, and the Hillman box was replaced with a Rover SD1 unit. 

The engine was fully rebuilt (not the original by this time), along with the suspension, brakes, and many other components. 

The current owner, Judith Edwards, whose husband Don passed away three years ago, has finally decided to pass this significant piece of New Zealand rally history to another custodian by offering it for sale. 

Interested parties can contact [email protected] for more information.    

Travelling companion

It’s easy to see why the Morris Minor Traveller was one of the best-loved variants of the Morris Minor. Introduced in 1953, it was equipped with the same independent torsion bar front suspension, drum brakes, and rack and pinion steering as its saloon sibling but, with their foldable rear seat increasing versatility, many Travellers were used as trade vehicles, says Derek Goddard. Derek and Gail Goddard, the owners of this superbly restored example, have run Morris Minors since before they were married in 1974.
“Our honeymoon vehicle was a blue Morris Minor van — it was a rust bucket,” says Derek.

Super Leicht Gullwing

It’s fair to say that nothing much in the classic Mercedes world gets past Mercedes-Benz Club stalwart Garry Boyce so it wasn’t surprising to learn that around 15 years ago he had sniffed out an extremely rare 300SL lightweight Gullwing as well as a 1958 300SL Roadster hiding away in the Waikato. The cars were not for sale but Garry eventually managed to persuade the owner to allow him and his restoration team to take a look at the Roadster. They discovered a very distressed but largely unmolested car. The car was so original that the body had never been off the chassis, meaning most of the parts and fittings were still present and correct, as they had been fitted by the factory.