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Austin

Austin

By the late 1930s, the famous company founded by Sir Herbert Austin was doing well. Having recovered from a perilous financial situation during the 1920s (saved largely because of the huge success of the diminutive Austin Seven), the firm was well-established as a producer of reliable (if rather conservative) family cars. As the Second World War loomed large, the Austin lineup included the hugely…

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Austin 3 Litre

Fast Facts

  • Produced:
    1967-71
  • Bodywork:
    Four-door saloon
  • Engine:
    Overhead valve in-line six-cylinder 2912cc 124bhp
  • 0-60 mph:
    15.5 sec
  • Top Speed:
    100 mph
  • MPG:
    16-25

Much more than an overgrown ‘Land Crab’, 3 Litre was fundamentally different. For a start it was rear drive, with a six pot (detuned MGC) engine - ideal for long distance fast cruising. Although of the same capacity as the Westminster motor, the unit had been redesigned (the resulting new seven bearing engine was suited the overgrown 1800 than in the MGC where it was too lazy). Interior space is superb, and this model is very comfortable; Hydrolastic suspension (with self leveling) was always highly praised for its abilities while the boot (much larger than that of the 1800) is highly practical too. For all that the car was a flop - and still is as prices show - but there’s no doubt that they make an interesting budget cruiser.

Austin A30/A35

Fast Facts

  • Produced:
    A30 1951-56; A35 1956-68
  • Bodywork:
    Two-door saloon; four-door saloon Countryman estate van pick- up (A35 only)
  • Engine:
    Overhead valve in-line four-cylinder A30 803cc 28bhp; 948cc A35 34bhp; 1098cc A35 (vans) 45bhp; 848cc A35 (vans) 34bhp
  • 0-60 mph:
    23sec - 38 sec
  • Top Speed:
    A30 65 mph; 948cc/848cc A35 75 mph; 1098cc A35 80 mph
  • MPG:
    35-45

True successors to the Austin Sevens of the 1920s/30s, A30s are fun to own and inexpensive to run. The well-received A30 was launched at the 1951 Earls Court Motor Show, and featured modern unitary construction, independent front suspension, an overhead valve engine and a four speed gearbox. The saloons were all capable of carrying four adults and plenty of luggage. The A35 of 1956 had a bigger, more powerful 948cc engine (A-Series), and a larger, curved rear window. Saloon production was discontinued in 1959 but commercial versions were built until 1968. The unusual A35 Pickup is rare and highly sought-after; prices reflect this.

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