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  Morris 1500

 

By 1965 it was obvious to BMC management that the Morris 1100 was loosing some sales to it rivals. They were able to offer their customers larger, more powerful engines. BMC were comfortably in full production so a replacement was bound to be in the pipeline.

In 1966 BMC Longbridge (UK) had already built the first prototype of the new model. Besides having a larger engine it would also use a tailgate similar to that used on the Renault 16.


The new Morris produced at Longbridge for the Australian market.


By 1968 the 1100 replacement was being finalised, and testing was underway. The new range was use UK Mk2 shells as a basis. The Nomad versions would use the revised local rear end styling, while the saloons would used the cropped tail fins seen on UK versions. The power unit would the same one as used in the Austin Maxi, the 1.5 litre Over Head Cam E Series engine with a cable gearbox.

Other modifications for the Australian market would be added such as the bulge in the bonnet (to take the OHC engine), and larger front grille.

1969 saw the launch of the new models. BMC had three new models to show for its efforts:

 

The Morris 1500 OHC

The Morris 1300 Automatic

The Morris Nomad

The Morris Nomad Automatic

 

Although the 1300 retained the smaller engine of the family it shared the same body as the Morris 1500 OHC, and differed only that all 1300 models were supplied with the automatic gearbox.

The Nomad also featured a double bed, something with was optionally available in the UK on estate versions of the 11/1300 only.


The Morris Nomad - adding space to space! The hatchback suites the ADO16 well, why did BMC/BL miss out on such an opportunity in UK, did they fear it would kill the Maxi?


New for 1970! BMC launched the O/D5 gearbox, and manual models could be ordered with either the normal four speed box or the new five speed gearbox. The saloon models were also available with a "Luxury pack" which included: bucket front seats, moulded carpets, wood finish dashboard and gear leaver knob. Also included were a full set of stainless steel strips fitted to the outside of the car.

Production of the 1500 ceases in 1971 to make way for the new Morris Marina. As with any car Leyland produced, there was always a large stockpile that needed to be shifted. In 1972 BL put adverts in the press telling customers they can "Save Hundreds". Early 1973 saw the final 30 cars leave for their new homes.

 
 :: Additional information
 

Total number of cars produced:

24,931

 
 

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