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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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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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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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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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Old 7th August 2021, 20:39
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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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  #6  
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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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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  #8  
Old 13th October 2021, 18:12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mick O'Malley View Post
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
Hi Mick
Have you made any progress checking if it will fit OK? I am now quite keen to go this root myself - should I ever be able to find a suitable engine and gearbox...

Cheers, Robin
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  #9  
Old 14th October 2021, 08:16
Mick O'Malley Mick O'Malley is offline
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Unhappy You want how much!

Hi Robin

I've not even collected it yet, so no progress. I'm still trying to sort out the gearchange problem on the Monaco.

This appeared on Ebay, somewhat optimistic methinks, or I was incredibly lucky!

Regards, Mick
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  #10  
Old 14th October 2021, 09:26
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Good spot. I have been searching Ebay with no result. I must revise my search criteria.

But as you say. Rather optimistically priced especially as the condition is unknown. Would you mind sharing what you paid? PM me if you don't want to make it public. It would be good to have as a negotiation point....

Cheers, Robin
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  #11  
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, 17:32
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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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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, 10:33
Mick O'Malley Mick O'Malley is offline
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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...

Quote:
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 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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Old 17th October 2021, 15:03
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mick O'Malley View Post
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...
Regards, Mick
Don't forget Imp engines were fitted on a slant. You may find the carbs are at the wrong angle if on an upright engine.
Cheers Robin
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