"The Mumford Convertible"

 

 

The 2005 National meeting at Burford, produced a rare sight, not one but three Mumford Marinas.  Due to its bespoke and specialist nature, I think having three together was a first for the club.  All in beautiful condition and all differing slightly as each car was built to suit the customer to some extent.  The picture above is of the three cars posing on the fashion catwalk - on the left is Frank Philips' early TC, in the centre Cliff Talkington's later TC and and on the right is Richard Young's Mk2 - Richard won runner up in the Devon Cup.

 

The Mumford Marina a potted history by Cliff Talkington

Sometime during 1973 British Leyland offered Crayford Convertibles of Westerham, Kent; the licence to produce a convertible version of the Marina.  Crayford built a prototype (now owned by Andy Morris).  However, at the time they were busy with other projects and were unable to fulfil the requirement.  The project might have languished there except for a chance meeting later that year with a man who ran a coachworks in Plymouth Devon, Mr William Mumford, this resulted in the licence being transferred to Mumford.

The conversion was available on any model of Marina Coupe, although the most popular model was the 1.8 TC.  As production records were seemingly never kept, we can only guess at the number produced.  The conversion was available only through the BL main dealership and possibly only on new cars, although this question has never been answered satisfactorily.  I have had many discussions with ex Mumford and BL employees over the years, the total believed produced is around 70 cars, of which only around a dozen (approx.) have survived.

The last cars were produced in 1976 from Mk2 Marinas.  These were built by TorCars of Torrington, Devon a sister company to Mumfords.

 

This is Frank Philips (Life President) own Mumford TC.  Frank tells me that he had to do a fair amount of work to get it looking like this.  But if Frank has done it, then it'll be perfect.

For more about this car click here.

 

This later car belongs to Richard Young.  Richards' visit to the National was a great success, as well as a tidy run down from Sunderland, Tyne & Wear, he drove home with the Runner Up prize for the Devon Cup.  This cup is awarded for the best cars manufactured in Devon.  I guess that this deserves and explanation, both the Mumford convertibles and the SunTor camper vans, were built in Devon - hence the Devon Cup.  Richard's car is possibly the only TorCar Marina now in existence and they don't come much rarer than that.

 

This is Cliff Talkingtons' beauty, painted in an unusual purple colour called Aconite, Cliff assures me that it's a standard BL colour from 1975.

For more about this car click here.

For more information on the Mumford Marina go to: http://www.austin-rover.co.uk/ado28convf.htm