Austin / Morris 1300 GT. Sporty and desirable ADO 16 models

ER Classics Desktop 2022

In 1962 BMC launched a fairly revolutionary small family car for the general public. That was introduced to the ADO16 series. Alec Issigonis and Pininfarina had a great influence on the beautiful design. It debuted with the brand name Morris, to be built later in all kinds of variants. Innocenti, MG, Riley, Wolseley, Vanden Plas and Austin also built the car, which appeared in various capacities. Like the tasty Austin - and Morris 1300 GT, which debuted in 1969.

The 1300 GT versions of the ADO 16 were a response to a prevailing trend. During the late 1200s and early 8s, many manufacturers of smaller family cars developed a sporty variant. This resulted in a playing field that included the NSU XNUMX TT, the Opel Rallye Kadett, the Vauxhall Viva GT, the Ford Escort GT and the Renault XNUMX S. BMC had since merged into British Leyland. The merged group presented the twin Austin and Morris 1300 GT at the London Motor Show in October 1969.

1275 cc A engine, two SU carburettors

This beautiful one Teen 16 GT versions got the 1275cc-A engine with 2 SU HS2 carburettors. That was the same configuration that was also used for the MG 1300. The chassis adjustment was simple and ingenious. The ride height of the 1300 GT versions was lowered with a simple intervention. The engineers lowered the fluid pressure of the Hydrolastic suspension system. And what made the 1300 GT versions within this class distinctive at the time was that they had front-wheel drive. There was the entire BMC ADO 16 series also equipped from the outset.

Immediately recognizable

The Austin and Morris 1300 GT, which were exclusively available as a four-door version, were both immediately recognizable on the outside by the black plastic-coated roof, the wide and attractive metal strip along the sides, the black grille with some strips across the width, the sporty wheel covers. and the GT badge on the grille and rear pillars. In terms of color scheme, the buyer could choose from three shades: Bronze Yellow, Glacier White and Flame Red.

Great interior

Within the interior, too, the copper was courted in Longbridge (Austin) and Cowley (Morris). Take the furniture. The preformed and abundant foam rubber gave the seats a sportier character. In addition, the seats were covered with a beautiful vinyl combination, whereby the seating area consisted of ventilated and beautifully profiled strips. The front seats were also adjustable in length, and also had adjustable backrests. The rear passengers could also use a centrally placed armrest.

Feast for the driver

It was also a treat for the driver. Behind the quilted leather (and still slanting) steering wheel with three perforated spokes adorned three beautifully rimmed round sports meters. A racy tachometer was of course not missing. The clock cluster was located within a top and bottom upholstered and vinyl-finished dashboard. The finishing of the inside of the doors - with nicely profiled map pockets - was also good, it looked British and comfortable.

Serious specifications for its time

Whoever sails apples, who eats apples, one must have thought in Great Britain. The 1.275 cc with the 2 SU carburettors produced almost 70 DIN-HP. The compression ratio was 9,75: 1. The technical specifications of this cast iron A-engine enabled the 1300 GT versions of Morris and Austin to reach a top speed of just under 160 miles per hour, and that was a serious value in this class. To curb through the, performance, the Longbridge and Cowley factories fitted front disc brakes. The rear deceleration was provided by drum brakes.

“The first GT with Hydrolastic”

Desirable. Then. And also now as a classic. That qualification applies to both the Austin and the Morris. Incidentally, the Morris disappeared from the scene in 1971. Then the Marina was introduced and the sympathetic ADO 16 welcomed a third generation (Mk III). The Austin ran longer, until 1974. In both cases you got a beautifully finished and spicy performing ADO 16 variant, which was put on the market during its production, among other things, as “the first GT with Hydrolastic”. Anyone who wants to buy a fairly unique 1300 GT in good condition today should take into account prices that start from € 10.000. And in return, a retrospectively very well equipped and performing car gets in return.

We would like to make a report with the Austin 1300 GT or the Morris 1300 GT and its owner / owner. If you own a copy and would like to mark it, you can of course contact us. Thanks for your comment.  



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  1. My dad bought a dark green Austin 1300 in 1976 when I was 11 years old. But before that, I was already very fond of this model, which you often encountered on the road at the time. You stumbled across these cars in England in 1980, it was England's best-selling car between 1962 and 1971. You also saw the Hillman Hunter frequently, as well as the Sunbeam Vogue, Singers, etc. derived from it. The English roads in those years were a true open-air museum, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Austin and Morris 1100/1300 were treated as last week's TV magazine during those years. They were underpowered and already rusted on the folder. The English car industry has a very rich history that is very worthwhile to delve into. Thanks to an advertisement in AMK, I bought my Morris 1300 in 1993 from a retired florist in Almelo. Almelo De Riet station was adjacent to Weggelaarstraat 9, where the Morris - still from its first owner… - was neatly parked. The tires were soft, the red charging current light remained on, but the car drove like a charm. 4000 Old-fashioned guilders was still a considerable amount in those years, but the car made a good impression. Three days later the purchase was arranged in Vriezenveen, and the same afternoon I drove the king back to Noord Holland in my Morrisje. When I got home, I was shocked to see that there was still six weeks of MOT on the car. And on the way to my first club meeting in Blaricum, the rear subframe started to let go on the Ring Amsterdam. Thank God everything could be renewed in a club context, and the Morris received a major overhaul and a new MOT at the same time. We have been inseparable for nearly 30 years now. With the Morris 1300 I only make tourist pleasure rides in the area, at 80 km / h the engine is already making 4000 rpm, so I avoid it like the plague. Because it is always indoors, the condition has not or hardly deteriorated in 30 years, only it does get dusty in the garage. Easy to rinse with a bucket of water and a sponge. 87-06-MZ, or as a do it yourself garage owner said “Easy Sat”. And so it is. With the electric petrol pump, draining petrol that has become unusable is so easy. Fresh peut in it, and even after a year of downtime it starts on the first try. Driving these cars on quiet roads is a great pleasure, the engine is very smooth and the comfort superb. I never bought the Morris for the money, but after 30 years even that argument turns out to be in favor of these charming cars ...

  2. There is no club of these kinds of cars (I think) and no hard core of enthusiasts. But I found and think it is a very attractive model with very nice performances for its time. I am pleased that this site (and the magazine I rarely buy) is paying attention to it. There is much special from our past that we can share well and with pleasure. Keep up the good work!

    • I always get these reactions when I drive my 1970 Morris 1300 around. My grandfather and uncle had had driving lessons in it and my father drove them for 5 years. In the early 70s you saw these cars just as often as the Simca 1100 and the Peugeot 504. 2,5 million were made between 1962 and 1974. More than half were sold on the British Home Market, the other 40% over exported all over the world in various designs. Of all the English variants, there may be 2.500 all-in, including cars that have been dormant in barns for years. Indeed, they are almost completely extinct. I already saw reports of cars in deplorable condition, which people are trying to get back roadworthy.

  3. I have owned a Morris 30 GT in new condition for 1300 years, driven once in all that time.
    The color bronze yellow from 1st owner.

  4. I myself had a Morris 1100 (2 doors) but in our family there was also an Innocenti 1300 with, very pleasantly, an upright steering wheel. This was possible because the steering rod with two universal joints did not have to be aligned on the wheelhouse (rack and pinion). The entire ADO16 series had excellent road holding, but with tough use it was rather premature to renew tires (Dunlops of course) and CV joints.

  5. Once in 1978 had a British green with 1300 cc, drove like hell and was a go-kart on the road. a family fun car and with the famous “walnut” wooden dashboard with the large central clock. I would love it back and want it and take better care of it than I did then.

  6. I also had a MG 1300 MK II, ran 180 on the counter until the head gasket was blown, my own fault of course, I was only 20 years old and it can't be fast enough. ha ha

    • Keeping these types of cars in good condition for a long time without expensive unnecessary repairs requires an adapted driving style. If you are in a hurry, this is simply the wrong car! They were designed at a time when traffic was much quieter and humanity was still almost alien. The New Driving: Ideally suited for these cars. The long-stroke engine can be shifted into fourth gear at 45 km per hour. Letting the car roll out quietly if you already know that you have to wait for a red traffic light is also not a bad idea. I've been driving my Morris for 30 years without a single major repair ...

  7. In it the family had an ordinary 1300
    Reed very well, unfortunately by a few German students in Ghent total loss without personal damage
    An uncle had a MG 1300 GT with those 2 SU Carburettors
    Had a lot of fun with it too

    • THE Austin Balanza - affectionately called the Landcrab in her home lance is the bigger sister: BMC ADO17

  8. I had one, a red one whose engine was swapped with a regular 1300 with a single SU. It ran on LPG and with an installation from that time it was always readjusted. Anyway, it was cheap to drive. Build quality was only lala. British Leyland was now British elend. Sheet metal was sensitive to rust, as was the hydraulic system, so you always had to be a bit of a plumber. Finally sold for little, later the car went to Wallonia. Whether it still exists?

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