When I first obtained my driving license way back in around 1971, I used to drive a Mini 850 cc car. It belong to my friend “Yankee”, the proprietor for the driving school which taught me how to drive. This small British made car was very nippy and powerful, although small.

I remember once, 10 large adults squeezed into this small car as we went to Kapar town one night. The Mini that I had the chance to drive was red in colour and the registration number which I can still remember clearly was BAM 4293.

I also owned a few Beetles or Volkswagen cars. Second hand Volks are amongst some of the cheapest cars around. They actually cost only a few thousand dollars. I remember owning a few VW, a red one bearing the registration number 8028, a white one, 9873, an older model whose number was 7225 and a few others.

The Volkswagen was a nice car to drive. The only drawback about this car was it had very poor horn system. Although a good and fun car to drive, the earlier Beetles was powered by a 6 volt battery system and as a result, it gave lots of starting problems to owners as a whole.

One British made vehicle I had the opportunity to own and drive for quite a few years was the Moris Marina 1300 cc car. This car I believe was manufactured by the Morris-Oxford car company of England. This car, I still remember, was originally owned by my cousin brother, Henry Lim.

My wife and I bought it over for RM6000 from him after he had used it a few years. On the whole, we were rather happy with this car. Gear system of the Marina was smooth and easy to engage. Its steering was fairly light and responsive. Spare parts for this British car was quite easily available in the market

After using the Morris Marina for a few years, this car was finally sold to my sister, Molly and she used it for a few years. Eventually, this car was sold to my buddy, a fellow driving school instructor, Encik Sharin Mat of Jalan Bukit Kuda, Klang. I hear that presently, the Marina is no longer used by its owner. It is now being used to rear chickens instead. I gather the Marina has seen its better days. The Marina I remember was produced in 1976. If readers would like to know, its registration number is BAS 6371.

Over the years, I have had the opportunity to drive many other models of cars, Proton Satria, Proton Saga, Opel, Datsun SSS, Kancil, Mini Cooper 100 and the list goes on and on. It is as we said, endless. However, I am not shy to disclose, I have yet to have the opportunity to drive a Volvo, a Mercedes and a BMW. I hope one day, I would have a chance to drive one of them.

Driving many models of cars which I have mentioned earlier has enriched my experiences and knowledge about cars. Which, amongst the many cars I have driven is the best? It’s a difficult decision to make. After considering the pros and cons each car possesses, I am of the opinion that the Morris Marina 1300 appears to hold top spot. It’s only my opinion. Other readers are entitled to their opinions too.

Amongst the good points of the above car are:

i) It is easy to start.

ii) It has very responsive and light steering.

iii) It has a light but sturdy body

iv) Very good acceleration power.

v) Good petrol consumption.

vi) Large booth.

The above are all a feather in the cap for British automobile makers. To them, we say “hurrah” to the British automakers for having produced a beautiful, yet cheap and affordable model of a car, the Morris Marina 1300.