The third-generation front wheel drive to come out of the BMC stable was the Morris 1800, first launched in 1964.

As was the way of BMC in the Sixties, the Morris 1800 soon spawned off its derivatives, although some restraint was shown as this time only Austin and Wolseley " doppelgangers" appeared.

Except for its grille, badging, and tiny details of its equipment, the Morris 1800 was always exactly the same car as its Austin clone.

. The only real difference, in this case, was that the Morris had been launched in October 1964, while the Morris first appeared eighteen months later in March 1966.

Te Morris 1800 spawned a mark Mk II versionin May 1968, while a higher performance version (96bhp) appeared in October of the same year.

The Morris 1800 was once again the vision of Sir Alex Issigonis design studio at BMC.

There was no escaping the resemblance to the Mini and the 1100/1300 models, with 1800 once again displaying the Issigonis trademark of bland yet functional styling.

All that was on offer in the way of trim was a full-width parcels shelf with air vents, a passenger's side sun visor, full carpeting, hinged quarter-lights and wheel trim and a rear-seat centre armrest

Despite these possible shortcomings, the Morris 1800 was well received when it first came on the market even winning the Car of the Year award for 1964.

Most of the parts used in producing the 1800 were little more than scaled-up versions of those on the 1100/1300, lending weight to industry speculation that the stable siblings were just too identical for comfort.

Despite their strong external similarities, it was an interesting fact that the two models shared not a single common part.

Throughout its decade-long production run, the 1800 was powered by the same engine, a transverse 1798cc B-Series engine linked up to a manual 4-speed gearbox, with an internal sump layout.

Most 1800 owners who had taken delivery in the pre power-steering days, were not slow to pass on their displeasure to the upper management at BMC. The reaction, to be fair was not long in coming as the 1800 was a notoriously heavy car to handle, especially in urban driving situations.

Another update that came with the release of the Mark II version in 1968 was AP automatic transmission, although only as an optional extra.

Apart from the automatic option, it would be almost impossible to differentiate between the Mark I and II.

Despite being a larger than average car, the 1800 fitted neatly into a niche in the market that BMC's logistics team had recognised.

For reasons that are impossible to explain, the Morris version of the 1800 failed to conquer the market as well as its Austin counterpart.

Just less than 100,000 were produced , around 45% of what the Austin 1800 achieved.


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