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Go Back   Madabout Kitcars Forum > Mad Build Area > Marlin Sportster, Cabrio, Berlinetta and Roadster builds

Marlin Sportster, Cabrio, Berlinetta and Roadster builds Enthused or Confused about your vintage Marlin build? Ask away here or show off your build.

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  #1  
Old 6th August 2021, 12:32
Mick O'Malley Mick O'Malley is offline
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Default Mick O'Malley's Marlin Masochism

Without a huge deal of enthusiasm, I've been scanning the newly listed Kit Cars/Replicas/Projects on Ebay each morning hoping to see something that both blows my skirt up and would fit in the man cave. Something like a month ago a Marina based Marlin Roadster was listed 'Buy It Now' and disappeared on purchase. A week ago it reappeared, the buyer having been somehow unable to arrange collection! I checked its authenticity and MOT history on DVLA's website, had a 'phone chat with the vendor, checked that collection could take place this week, and took the plunge.

When I bought my Mk1 Marlin Roadster a good few years ago there was no access between the houses and my neighbour hadn't built what would become my man cave. My storage solution was to chop a hole in the hedge, put in H section concrete posts with a slide in/out panel and lay what I call my landing strip using paving slabs cut lengthwise.



When I eventually got around to working on it, I dismantled it (it was just a rolling shell without engine or gearbox), carried it to the hardstanding outside my back door, built it there and reversed the procedure. It was my daily driver whilst I built my A352 and I then passed her on



Whilst building my Moss Monaco, I then used the A352 as my daily driver, before passing it on to a new home in The Netherlands.



Thus endeth the history lesson, and apologies to those of you familiar with my previous blogs.

To get the car from Letchworth I first considered using a local, but expensive bloke I've used before. I then thought of asking 'Spitfire Steve' if he fancied the gig, which he accepted at a thoroughly reasonable price, collecting and delivering it yesterday .





She's 1800 B series powered with twin HS4s and a (dismantled) Dolomite 1850 overdrive gearbox. Until I've had a chance to crawl all over her and decide the project's direction, I'll make no predictions...

Regards, Mick

Last edited by Mick O'Malley; 26th August 2021 at 06:44.. Reason: Typo.
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  #2  
Old 7th August 2021, 11:25
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froggyman froggyman is offline
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Your enthusiasm for kit cars is unbelievable! I look forward to following you on another journey with this one.

Last edited by froggyman; 7th August 2021 at 11:26.. Reason: punctuation
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  #3  
Old 7th August 2021, 11:29
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MartinClan MartinClan is offline
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Good luck. As you may have seen on the Vintage and Classic Roadster section I am doing the same. Mine is also Marina based with the 1.8TC engine.
Biggest issue so far were the front uprights and trunions which were completely shot. A "standard" Marina problem....
Cheers, Robin
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  #4  
Old 7th August 2021, 14:31
Mick O'Malley Mick O'Malley is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MartinClan View Post
Good luck. As you may have seen on the Vintage and Classic Roadster section I am doing the same. Mine is also Marina based with the 1.8TC engine.
Biggest issue so far were the front uprights and trunnions which were completely shot. A "standard" Marina problem....
Cheers, Robin
Hi Robin, I've just re-read your blog in V&CR (where I was initially going to post mine). It all came back to me. As a family man in the 80s I had both a 1300 Marina Saloon and, subsequently, a 1700 Ital Estate. On both vehicles I upgraded the trunnions with a kit from a firm in Stoke-on-Trent (which I've been unable to trace today). They were much beefier than the skinny Moggie style originals, over the inners of which they were Locktited. If they're still available I'd definitely go for them

Regards, Mick
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  #5  
Old 7th August 2021, 15:22
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Mister Towed Mister Towed is offline
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Congratulations on the new project, Mick, the Marlin was another kit that was on my wish-list back in the day. I saw quite a few good Marina based examples at kit-car shows with Alfa Romeo or Toyota twin-cams, so a more characterful engine than BL's finest is always an option.

What are your plans with this one? Have you considered taking it in a different direction from the norm, perhaps cycle wings, 16", 18" or 19" wires with tall, skinny tyres, Alfa sign-writing and a burgundy paint job?

I'm sure it'll turn out great whatever you decide to do with it.
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  #6  
Old 7th August 2021, 20:39
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MartinClan MartinClan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mick O'Malley View Post
Hi Robin, I've just re-read your blog in V&CR (where I was initially going to post mine). It all came back to me. As a family man in the 80s I had both a 1300 Marina Saloon and, subsequently, a 1700 Ital Estate. On both vehicles I upgraded the trunnions with a kit from a firm in Stoke-on-Trent (which I've been unable to trace today). They were much beefier than the skinny Moggie style originals, over the inners of which they were Locktited. If they're still available I'd definitely go for them

Regards, Mick
The uprated Trunions are available from the Marina Owners Club. They are quite expensive but cheaper if you join the club first.
Cheers Robin
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  #7  
Old 7th August 2021, 22:59
Dpaz Dpaz is offline
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I like the 'B' in my Marlin roadster. it seems to me to typify the car, a pre-war Alfa. Also, I do tend to cruise rather than blat about, unless there is a twisty hill! My new project is a Rickman Ranger Convertible 1800 diesel. Which I bought so my wife and dog can come with me. It needed a little tidying in the electrical department, until I found a load of twisted connections with sticky tape. These are being soldered a heat shrunk and the seats changed. All good fun!
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Old 9th August 2021, 08:40
Mick O'Malley Mick O'Malley is offline
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Default Happens every time...

I should have kept my powder dry and gone for this instead . Ho hum, Lacta alea est and all that.

Regards, Mick
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Old 9th August 2021, 09:16
Lucky@LeMans Lucky@LeMans is offline
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Good luck with your new project Mick ! There were several pre war Alfa's at Prescott yesterday for inspiration , definitely the way to go these days.
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Old 24th August 2021, 15:29
Mick O'Malley Mick O'Malley is offline
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Cool Godiva - sort of.

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Originally Posted by Mister Towed View Post
a more characterful engine than BL's finest is always an option.......and a burgundy paint job.
Many thanks for kind words chaps, much appreciated .

I've only given my new toy a quick once over so far, and first thoughts are that the wiring needs a good sort out, both in the engine bay and behind the somewhat staid dash (which is ripe for replacement) and I'm not enamoured with the colour. As in the above quote, a much darker red, perhaps even darker than on the Monaco, would complement the 'Alfa 6C' looks. Anyway, each morning I've been scanning Ebay for Ital/Marina/MGB/Dolomite gearboxes, as well as for a more interesting engine/box, but without success. However, this morning, serendipitously, a little gem appeared for sale in one of my FB groups at a very attractive price. I PM'd the Bristol based vendor with my 'phone number and struck a deal. It turned out that we'd met at 'Gloucester Goes Retro' in '18 & '19 where we were both exhibiting our cars. Small world!





It's from a 928cc Talbot Sunbeam, and what really appealed to me was its clear Coventry Climax heritage. I've often dreamt of having one powering a car of mine, but my lottery tickets refuse to co-operate . I've never transplanted an engine and box before (unless I count the MG1100 one I dropped in my Minivan 'Traveller', fitting Imp wheels on the front to correct the gearing) so it adds interest to the project. I'm getting the cross member as well so it shouldn't be too difficult - famous last words!

Regards, Mick
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  #11  
Old 24th August 2021, 17:32
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MartinClan MartinClan is offline
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A great find! I have also dreamed about a Coventry Climax engine.
I have been thinking about alternatives to the old B engine which is awfully heavy. So far everything I have come up with has been too expensive. Even the old A series cost-a-packet in RWD form. I will be watching with interest.....

Cheers Robin
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  #12  
Old 25th August 2021, 08:18
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That's a nice addition, my first thought on seeing the motor and gearbox was early Lotus/Coventry Climax.

As it's a bored out version of the Hillman Imp engine it is pretty much a 40hp Coventry Climax motor.

It's going to look and sound great, will give enough go to be enjoyable and has some interesting tuning possibilities.

Good luck with fitting it, I hope it's not too much of a challenge.
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Old 25th August 2021, 09:03
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Mister Towed Mister Towed is offline
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Your new engine has brought back a few memories for me, Mick, as I had a green Chrysler Sunbeam 1.6 GLS when I was 20.

I had a head-on crash in it after a year of trouble free ownership, when a drink-driver in a Morris Marina pulled out of a junction into my path on my side of the road.

The Sunbeam was built like a tank and pretty much destroyed the Marina - I suffered a concussion and a fractured ankle but the pissed driver and his girlfriend were lucky to survive. The Marina caught fire with them both unconscious inside it and the wreckage was completely engulfed in flames within 60 seconds of the crash. If I hadn't been able to pull them out that would have been it for them.

That was in 1983, when attitudes to drink-driving were still that it was completely harmless and that it was bad luck if you got caught. Quite a few people I worked with at the time (in rural Scotland) believed that their driving was better when they'd had a few drams and that their frequent crashes into other vehicles, parked cars and into ravines in the middle of nowhere were just the hilarious post-script to a good night out.

It wasn't just the Scots who shared that attitude, but, coincidentally I have just found this 1977 review of the 1.0 Sunbeam for the East Scotland Motoring Week magazine:

https://driventowrite.com/2016/03/18...eam-road-rest/

So, the author downs half a bottle of wine and two single malts with his lunch before embarking on his test drive, then blames the car when he nearly has a head-on crash, loses control and ends up skidding off the road.

Yes, a bit of a handful that Chrysler Sunbeam, especially if you've had a skinful.

He does like the engine though.
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Old 25th August 2021, 10:33
Mick O'Malley Mick O'Malley is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister Towed View Post
That's a nice addition, my first thought on seeing the motor and gearbox was early Lotus/Coventry Climax.
My first thoughts exactly. Very light and compact compared to the B Series lump. If it's good enough for ACBC it certainly is for me!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister Towed
It's going to look and sound great, will give enough go to be enjoyable and has some interesting tuning possibilities.
Agreed. All that shiny aluminium in a dark coloured engine bay will look so good. As for sound, if it's half as shiver inducing as the Fraser Imps I used to watch at Brands Hatch in the 60s I'll be well pleased. Tuning? I'm tracking twin 1.25" Strombergs and an Imp Sport cam...

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Originally Posted by Mister Towed
Good luck with fitting it, I hope it's not too much of a challenge.
No predictions, but with a similar layout and a fairly roomy engine bay it should be eminently doable. Plus, it's no fun if it's easy.

Regards, Mick
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Old 25th August 2021, 10:50
Mick O'Malley Mick O'Malley is offline
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Default Imp Soundtrack.

Wow!

Regards, Mick
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Old 25th August 2021, 11:17
Lucky@LeMans Lucky@LeMans is offline
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Wow ! Bathurst is one one the greatest race tracks in the world ! How many revs was that on the down hill section, you see why its called Conrod straight !
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Old 26th August 2021, 22:33
Dpaz Dpaz is offline
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IIRC The FWA Coventry Climax fire pump was 1100cc The FWB was 1500cc. I had both as working fire pumps, the FWA was a hand start and the B was electric. They were beautiful engines but very expensive to repair and quite tall compared to a X flow Ford. I sold them to a man building a replica Lotus 6 when I stopped needing them. The B would have been good in my Roadster. I was told that they were best suited to running flat out, which I once did for 5 hours on a pipeline job, no problems.
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Old 27th August 2021, 08:41
Mick O'Malley Mick O'Malley is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dpaz View Post
IIRC The FWA Coventry Climax fire pump was 1100cc The FWB was 1500cc. I had both as working fire pumps, the FWA was a hand start and the B was electric. They were beautiful engines but very expensive to repair and quite tall compared to a X flow Ford. I sold them to a man building a replica Lotus 6 when I stopped needing them. The B would have been good in my Roadster. I was told that they were best suited to running flat out, which I once did for 5 hours on a pipeline job, no problems.
I read somewhere of CC fire pumps running continuously for days on end without problems during the blitz. There was a series of articles in the Historic Lotus Register quarterly magazine detailing how to convert fire pump engines for automotive use, not the easiest job. There are always a few for sale at the Beaulieu Autojumble. I'll keep an eye out there tomorrow week and post how much their optimistic vendors are asking...

Regards, Mick
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Old 15th September 2021, 07:01
Mick O'Malley Mick O'Malley is offline
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if it's half as shiver inducing as the Fraser Imps I used to watch at Brands Hatch in the 60s I'll be well pleased

'Frimp'.

Regards, Mick
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  #20  
Old 23rd September 2021, 10:23
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Bit of inspiration from Goodwood Revival for you.

Enjoy!





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