SOLIHULL, UK - The unveiling of the new Land Rover Discovery at the end of September will draw a line under the Marina door handle.
The simple black flap handle was launched on the Morris Marina in April 1971, continued in the Austin Allegro, the Triumph TR7, the Range Rover until two years ago, and it survives on the current Land Rover Discovery.
The same UK firm, C. Marshall of Willenhall, West Midlands, has supplied it throughout.
Simple and reliable, the door handle nonetheless came to symbolize cheap and convenient carry-over and cost-cutting by UK motor manufacturers.
Now, after 27 years, Rover is throwing it out.
A new door handle adorns the Discovery. But C. Marshall is not alarmed. The firm supplies other parts to Rover Group.
'It was a simple and reliable component that did a good job over a long period,' said Marshall Commercial Director Gordon Lilley.
'But it may not be the longest lived component in the motor industry. There must be things on the Mini that are older.'