Marlin - John Bennett

Builder: John Bennett

Year Started: 1990

Year Finished: 1997

Type: Kit


Engine: Marina 1.8 ltr... Front Mounted

Length: 3700mm                  

Width: 1550mm

Height: 1120mm                  

Wheelbase: 2460mm

Track: 1340mm                    

Brakes: Disc Front/Drum Rear

Seating: 2                             

Kerb Weight: 750kg approx.


1983 Marina was purchased as a donor car from a UK scrap yard stripped of its running gear, a task which involved rolling the vehicle over to remove the suspension components, much to the consternation of not very tolerant UK neighbours. The engine was exchanged for a reconditioned unit.MarlinBennett2 The prop shaft was cut to length and rebalanced and the front suspension was modified to incorporate Mini dampers and new struts as recommended by Marlin. The Marina engine was brought up to MGB standards by replacing the single carburettor manifold by a twin unit. The Marina gearbox was modified to accept a triumph overdrive unit, a necessary modification to make long distance cruising possible with reasonable engine revs. The original front torsion bar suspension has proved satisfactory as have the rear leaf springs. The car was professionally sprayed. The windscreen surround/roll bar was chrome plated before the roll bar was welded to the chassis this car is the only one with this modification which much improves the car's appearance. The car was registered in England in 1997.


As the roads in England have become seriously overcrowded, in November 2007 John decided to export the car to New Zealand where he is able to spend several months each year. Getting the car on the road in New Zealand has presented many obstacles starting with Customs and Ministry of Agriculture regulations. Having overcome these initial obstacles the car was a long way from meeting compliance regulations thanks to of Ken McAdam who took the matter in hand over the winter of 2008, strengthened the chassis, fitted a dual braking cylinder, manufactured a collapsible steering column and got the car through its compliance tests. John now has a much safer Marlin which is New Zealand legal and is giving him much pleasure as he drives it through NZ's wonderful countryside.

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