Morris 1500 and Nomad



In 1964, a locally built version of Morris 1100 was launched in Australia and was sold alongside the Mini and Austin A40. By August 1967, the 1100 was joined by the 1100S, which had the 1275cc engine of the British 1300 models.

The Morris 1500 replaced both these cars in 1969. It had been developed in Britain for the Australian market using an 1100 bodyshell and the 1500cc E-series engine from the Austin Maxi. The automatic version used the 1275cc engine and was called the Morris 1300. Like the 1100, the 1500 used hydrolastic suspension. As in the 1100, the gearbox was in the sump but, unlike the 1100 it had synchromesh on all forward gears. The brakes were servo-assisted, being 8.3 inch discs on the front and 8 inch drums on the rear. Hydrolastic suspension was carried over from the 1100. Parking lights, indicators and tail-lights were bigger than those of the 1100 and the older style of projecting door handle was replaced with a recessed type.

Bench seats were fitted at the front, in spite of the gear lever being mounted centrally on the floor. Instrumentation consisted of a 100 mph speedometer (from the Austin 1800), fuel and temperature guages and warning lights for oil pressure, battery condition and high beam. A heater/demister unit was standard.

Another variation was the Morris Nomad, a six-light 1500 with a hatchback. Externally, the Nomad bore a strong resemblance to the Maxi, but the similarities ended there. The Maxi used some panels from the 1800 and was a fairly heavy vehicle. The Nomad, on the other hand, was very much a member of the ADO16 (1100) family. The Nomad was slightly taller than the 1500 and was about 60 pounds heavier, with most of the extra weight being accounted for in the addition of the rear tailgate door, which was a one piece affair that was held open using compressed gas operated struts.

Reporting on the release of the Nomad in the July 1969 issue of Modern Motor, it was said that "the Nomad reminds us very much of that very practical vehicle, the Renault 16, and it at last becomes obvious why back in 1966 BMC imported the first Renault 16 into Australia for evaluation, even loaning it to local Renault executives".

The 1500 and Nomad were discontinued in 1973, and were replaced by the Morris Marina.