ideas, history, culture.

Sign-up for the Age of Division newsletter.

Morris Marina rings the death knell

The Big Car YouTube channel's take on the Marina and how it helped destroy the British car industry.


Big Car is another one of those examples of why YouTube can be such a good thing.


Not unlike Dylan’s Travel Reports, the Big Car videos are informative, entertaining and enlightening all at the same time.


Where Dylan’s Travel Reports focus on the (mainly) rail-based transport experience, the Big Car videos are all about the fascinating wonder that is the modern era motor vehicle. In the Big Car universe, this translates into videos on individual marques, models and the stories of motoring success and failure that have defined our lives. We may not have driven all or any of the cars featured on the Big Car channel, but we will all, very probably, know about most of them.


In this video, which is typical of the approach that Big Car takes, the 1970s volume-seller Morris Marina is brought into focus, as is the framing of the car within the tragedy of the British Leyland car company. It’s a fascinating story of how the country's motoring industry operated in a crucial period during the Morris Marina's commercial life and how this led to the demise of both.


You may find yourself wondering why the United Kingdom does not have a regional or international car manufacturer, compared, say, to France (Citroen, Peugeot), Italy (the mighty FIAT), Germany (VW, obviously) or Spain (SEAT). The fact that many of these brands are conglomerated with others is beside the point. The UK does not have a major car brand to conglomerate with anyone or anything.


This video tells why this is the case and how we got to be where we are (i.e. nowhere), calling to account the failures of British manufacturing management, workers, government strategy, and the inability of manufacturers through their arrogance to understand how consumers actually operate (i.e. in their best interests). Like all of the Big Car videos, it tells this story with humour, expertise and a certain love for its subject matter.


As a YouTube channel, Big Car is a huge success, and this video is a demonstration of why that is.