1922 - 1939
Austin backed his cars in motor sport, and while he had very few successes that would change in 1928 when his son-in-law, Captain Arthur Waite, took out the 1928 Australian Grand Prix in a supercharged Austin 7 known as "Slippery Anne". Other nick-names were bestowed upon the Seven, some referring to it as the "...finest Meccano set yet produced". Despite its lack of roadholding and hopeless brakes, it was well put togther and long lasting
1932 - 1939
Launched in 1932, the Austin 10 would become the companies best seller for the remainder of the decade, then continuing in production (albiet with significant revisions) right up until 1947. Conservatively designed, the Austin 10 used a pressed steel body built on a cross braced chassis. Foot to the floor, going downhill and with a slight tail wind, the 10 could easily reach 55mph
1948 - 1952
The A90 Atlantic was first built in prototype form in 1947 being the first British car to be designed for the U.S market. Upon its launch in 1948, it became an overnight sensation
1948 - 1950
On the outside, the Austin A70 Hampshire featured a modern, yet functional streamlining embodied in the design. The front wings swept back along the sides and merged into the all-enclosed rear fenders resulting in a very attractive appearance which we think looks ultra-cool these days.
1950 - 1954
Affordable and popular they may have been, but the middle and larger sizes of the Austin range were hardly high-performance cars. Perhaps the word performance should not be used when describing the A.70, however it is fair to say that the Hereford took on an entirely different character from that associated with this famous make up to 1939.
1951 - 1953
The Austin A40 Somerset was launched in 1951 and had a short production run of just two years. It was similar in appearance to the smaller A30 saloon car, but was built on a separate chassis unlike the A30 which was Austin's first unitary construction car
1951 - 1956
The Austin A30 saloon car was introduced in 1951 and featured a newly designed 803cc four cylinder overhead valve engine which later became known as the A series engine
1954 - 1957
With the merger of Nuffield and Austin it was not surprising that BMC's Austin A50 Cambridge closely resembled the Morris Oxford Series II, not only in power unit but also in body lines. The engine was the same but, due to its slightly lower weight, the Cambridge had superior acceleration. Road-holding, however, was not so good.
1954 - 1968
The first Austin Metropolitan sported the 1,200 cc A40 engine, but in March 1957 this was replaced by the A50 unit, making it the cheapest 1½ litre car on the U.K. market. A further distinction was that it was the only model manufactured in the UK that came with a built-in radio as standard equipment
|A35 and A35 Countryman|
1956 - 1968
Mechanically the A35 was fairly standard, with independent/coil springs front suspension, a beam axle and semi-elliptic leaf springs at the rear, and worm type steering. While the new engine gave the A35 better performance, much of the improvment was actually the result of different gearbox ratios, which were better spaced.
1956 - 1959
The A105 model of the Austin was a livelier version of the A95. It was more powerful than the stock A95, and in deluxe version was fitted with an automatic transmission. The increase in output over the A95 amounted to 17 horsepower, thanks to a higher engine compression combined with twin S.U. carburettors (instead of the single Zenith used on the A95)
1957 - 1959
The A55 Austin Cambridge was manufactured from 1957 through to 1959, and was replaced by the Farina A55 Cambridge model. Externally the A55 was much like the older A50 but with a slightly longer tail, hooded headlights and fancier chrome-work on the sides. The Austin engineers uprated the engine by raising the compression ratio from 7.3 to 8.3 to 1; this giving the 1489cc B type B.M.C. motor 51 bhp @ 4250 rpm.
1958 - 1962
The Austin Lancer and Morris Major evolved though three series (I, II and Elite), with the first incarnations being badge engineered clones of the contemporary Wolseley 1500 and Riley One-Point-Five models then on sale in the United Kingdom. These models were wholly produced at BMC's Zetland plant in Sydney, Australia and were unique to that country, having around 98% local content. Many examples were also exported to New Zealand
1958 - 1967
The A40 "Farina" is the best and most fondly remembered A40 in Australia. First introduced in 1958, it would remain in production until 1967, after which time over 340,000 had been manufactured. The wonderful and innovative body style came courtesy of Pinin Farina (thus the name), and the best feature was undoubtedly the revolutionary “hatchback” style, a world first.
1962 - 1966
The 6 cylinder Austin Freeway sedan and station wagon, and Wolseley 24/80 were released in April 1962. These cars were developed by BMC Australia to counter the growing popularity of the new 6 cylinder rivals from the US, namely the GM Holden and Ford Falcon.
1965 - 1970
When introduced, the 1800 was far from ordinary. It soon became affectionately known as the “landcrab”, in reference to the elongated and low slung body style. Voted European Car of the Year for 1965, BMC were certainly on a winner with their new “large” car
1967 - 1971
The Austin 3 Litre was a substantial car, expanding upon the successful formula of front engined rear wheel drive, whilst incorporating many design features which had made the Mini's, 1100's and 1800's so outstanding. Significantly, it was also the first Austin production car to have all-independent suspension and rear wheel drive
1969 - 1981
The Austin Maxi was a medium sized 5-door hatchback car from British Leyland for the 1970s. It was the first British five speed five-door hatchback. The Maxi (code name ADO14) was the last car designed under the British Motor Corporation (BMC), and was the last production car designed by Alec Issigonis
1973 - 1975
We know it as the Morris Marina in Australia, but in the USA it was sold as the Austin Marina. At the cars release the Chairman of British Leyland was Sir Donald Stokes, who was quoted as saying that his company was not in business to make cars but to make money. They got one part of the formula right – they sure didn’t make cars
1973 - 1983
Designed as a replacement for the wonderful Austin 1100/1300, the Allegro promised much, but delivered little. A victim of the ailing British car industry of the time, the Allegro featured poor design, insipid performance, appalling build quality, non existent re-sale value wrapped in a design that not even a mother could love.
1975 - 1981
Originally starting out as design code ADO71, then marketed as the Austin/Morris/Wolseley 18–22 series, then renamed "Princess". Technically a new marque created by British Leyland, the name had previously been used as a model on the Austin Princess limousine from 1947 to 1956. The car later appeared in revamped form as the Austin Ambassador, which was produced from 1982 until 1984 and only ever sold in Britain.
1980 - 1987
Seven years of planning, design, replanning, redesign, and more than £275 million went into British Leylands Austin Mini Metro. Although not as revolutionary as Alec Issigonis' Morris/Austin Mini was in 1959, the then new front-drive model from the nationalised British factories was nevertheless an attractive little family car
1983 - 1994
The Austin Maestro was a very important car. In fact, it was the key to the continued existence of British Leyland itself; the Metro was the first step along the road to recovery, but complete salvation could only be achieved if the more profitable Maestro became a success.
1984 - 1995
The Montego, Austin Rover's long-promised four door front-drive notchback, was released in the UK in late April in a range of models. While the 2.0-litre MG and VP (Vanden Plas) versions were widely regarded as being very disappointing, the 1.6-litre bread-and-butter models - better "Ford Cortina replacements" than anything Ford Europe had by then produced - were much more likeable