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Morris

William Morris began making cars in 1910, having started out repairing and building bicycles. William Morris was not a great engineer; making a profit was his driving force. After two failed early partnerships he trusted no-one, he never asked for advice and he was unsociable. His extreme right-wing political views alienated many of his contemporaries. He introduced modern mass-production techniques to British car manufacture, building popular family cars for two generations, along the way taking over many of his suppliers, as well as competitor firms Wolseley and Riley. Early car designs included the Morris Oxford Bullnose of 1913, the Cowley from 1915, both replaced by flatnose cars from 1927. The Morris Minor from 1928 gave some competition to the Austin Seven, and it was replaced by the Morris Eight in 1934. There were bigger cars as well; the Six, Isis and Twenty-Five topped the prewar range, which had a complex mix of Oxfords, Cowleys, Fourteens and others in the middle. The Morris Eight series E and the Ten series M were made before and after the Second World War. New postwar cars included the legendary Issigonis-designed Minor MM, the Oxford MO and the Six MS. The Nuffield Organisation lost its independence in 1952 when it merged with Austin to form BMC. The Morris name was still applied to cars made by successor organisations, including Farina-line Oxford saloons, Morris Mini-Minors, Morris 1100s-1300s and even Morris 1800 'Landcrabs' (later replaced by the ADO71 'Wedge'). By 1971 British Leyland wanted a simple, cheap car to replace the Minor, and to compete with the Cortina and Viva. The result was the Morris Marina, facelifted as the Ital in 1980. British Leyland, rationalising their store cupboard of brands, killed off the Morris marque in 1984.
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