Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Austin: Cars

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May 1906.
May 1906. Herbert Austin at the wheel of the first car turned out as his new works.
May 1906. Side view of the 25-30hp chassis.
May 1906. Top view.
May 1906. Rear view.
May 1906. Front view
Austin Hood Ornament from the early 1900's.
Austin Hood Ornament from the early 1900's.
November 1907. 18-20 h.p.
April 1908.
November 1908. 15 h.p. Transmission.
November 1908. 15 h.p. Engine.
November 1908. Clutch.
1909. Overtype.
1910. 18-24 hp.
December 1910. Austin 18-24 hp engine.
December 1910. Austin 18-24 hp engine.
1910 and 1935 models.
June 1911.
June 1911.
December 1911. Advert in French. 15 h.p.
June 1911. Reg. BY 1571.
March 1912. 10 hp.
March 1912. 50 hp.
1912. Norwich depot.
February 1914. 10-hp Clifton.
Austin Armoured Car of 1917.
Reg No. JSJ 250.
Advert in French.
1925. Chummy.
October 1925.
1926. Austin Clifton Tourer. Reg No: NP 8844.
November 1927. 20 hp.
December 1927.
1927. Austin Burnham. Reg No: SU 8842.
September 1929.
September 1929.
1928. 12 h.p. Fabric body. Exhibit at Glasgow Museum of Transport.
1929. Reg No: BF 4152.
1930. 20 hp Ranellagh limousine.
November 1930.
September 1932.
September 1932. Latest Austin gearbox.
October 1933.
October 1933.
October 1933.
Reg No: CTT 369.
Reg No: TJY 576.
Reg No: RM 8857.
Reg No: RM 8857.
Reg No: CG 7226.
Reg No:
Reg No:
Reg No: KW 5430.
Reg No: DFC 598.
Reg No. 855 XUX
Reg No. 855 XUX
Reg No: WP 9088.
Reg No: WP 9088.
Reg No: Y 8056.
February 1935.
February 1935.
April 1935.
May 1935.
May 1935.
1935. Austin Six York Salon. Reg No: AWW 623.
1935. Austin Taxi stored in the USA. Reg No: CLB 563.
1935. Austin Taxi stored in the USA. Reg No: CLB 563.
1935. Austin Taxi stored in the USA. Reg No: CLB 563.
1935. Austin Taxi stored in the USA. Reg No: CLB 563.
1935. Austin Clifton. Reg No: BYF 631.
Reg No: HSL 437.
1936. Austin York. 2,510cc. 6-cylinder side-valve. Reg No: ADA 444.
1936. Austin York. 2,510cc. 6-cylinder side-valve. Reg No: ADA 444.
Reg No: 267 YUB.
Reg No: EF 3427.
October 1936.
Taxi Model LL. Reg No: DLX 214.
1936 Taxi. Reg No: CXX 598. Exhibit at London Transport Museum.
1936. Austin Kempton. Reg No: TH 7104.
1936. Austin Kempton. Reg No: TH 7104.
Reg No: MV 3269.
December 1937.
1938. Big 7. 900cc. Reg No: COU 785. Exhibit at Glasgow Museum of Transport.
1939. Austin New Ascot. Reg No: FLE 556.
1939. Austin New Ascot. Reg No: FLE 556.
1939. Austin New Ascot. Reg No: FLE 556.
Reg No: TSK 183.
Reg No: CUJ 320.
Reg No: DRA 176.
Reg No: DTT 346. Exhibit at the Dover Transport Museum.
Reg No: AWU 404.
April 1946. Austin 8, 10, 12 and 16.
1949.A.70 Hamshire Saloon.
April 1950.
August 1950.
1951. Reg No: GMO 623.
October 1953.
1953. The A40 Hereford.
Reg No: GJG 268.
Reg No: OCV 553.
Austin 1955
1957. Austin Fx3 Taxi. Reg No: XKR 368A.
Reg No: 716 XUF.
Reg No: 907 BGN.
Reg No: EXO 138.
Reg No: USU 299.
Reg No: AVJ 818.
Reg No: AVJ 818.
Reg No: APD 714.
Reg No: MLF 404.
1960s 250 HP Austin gas turbine at the Internal Fire Museum of Power, Wales
September 1950.
June 1953.
18th March 1961.
1963. Austin Paralania.
November 1963.
1964. Austin Cambridge. Reg No: BTU 474B.
1964. Austin Cambridge. Reg No: BTU 474B.
Reg No KHU 948.
Reg No SMX 258.
Reg No SMX 258.
Austin Taxi. Reg No. FGT 532. Exhibit at Exmoor Classic Cars
1971. YCV 509J.
Reg No: 359 TAF.
Reg No: BUC 455B.
Reg No: DRO 843F.
Reg No: MTL 752G.
Reg No: UVS 782.
Reg No. 6021 MU.
Reg No: BCV 549C. Austin Gypsy Fire.
Reg No: BCV 549C. Austin Gypsy Fire.
Reg No: OTA 885.
Reg No: BGR 355.
November 1963.
Exhibit seen at Boconnoc Steam Fair July 2011.
Exhibit seen at Boconnoc Steam Fair July 2011.

Note: This is a sub-section of Austin

1905 The first car was the 25-30 hp conventional 5,182cc four-cylinder model with chain drive. Output was 2 cars per week with 270 employees. [1] Later changed the chain drive to quieter bevel gears.

1905 Produced a smaller 15-20 hp shaft drive car. [2]

1906 April. Details of their cars - 25-30 hp engine.[3][4][5][6]

1906 November. Details of cars for 1907.[7][8]

1907 Introduced the 18/24 shaft drive car. Joined soon after by 40hp and 60 hp models

1907 November. Details of their 40-hp and 60-hp cars.[9]

1908 July. Details of their GP car.[10]

1908 Competed in the 1908 Grand Prix at Dieppe with four 100hp 9,657cc six-cylinder cars - two were chain driven and the others had a prop shaft. Drivers were Dario Resta, Warwick Wright and John Moore-Brabazon with the fourth car as a spare. Two cars completed the race but were unplaced.

1908 November. Details of the 15-hp car shown at Olympia.[11]

1909 October. Details of the 10-hp car.[12]

1909 October. Details of the 7-hp car made jointly by Austin and Swift.[13]

1910 March. Details of their 15-hp car.[14]

1910 Won the 1910 Russian International Tour with the test driver Howard Kendall

1910 October. Details of the 'new' 10-hp car.[15]

1911 October. Details of the five models: 10hp (4); 15hp (4); 18-24hp; 40hp (4) and the 50hp (6).[16]

1912 April. Details of the 10-hp car.[17]

1912 April. Details of the 40-hp 'Defiance' model.[18]

1912 December At the Paris Show they exhibited a new 30hp and 20hp models

1912 December. Details of the 20hp car.[19]

1913 January. There are now seven models in the range; 10hp, 15hp, 20hp, 18-24hp, 30hp, 40hp and 50hp (6).[20]

1913 Rationalisation of the range left the 30hp, 20hp and a new 10hp models only

1913 September. Details of the 30-hp car.[21]

1913 November. Details of 10hp, 20hp and 30hp cars.[22]

1913-1917 For a list of the models and prices see the 1917 Red Book

1914 June. Details of the new 20-hp car.[23]

WW1 Austin grew enormously with government contracts for everything from artillery to aircraft and the workforce expanded from around 2,500 to 22,000.

After the war Herbert Austin decided on a one model policy based around the 3,620 cc 20 hp engine and versions included cars, commercials and even a tractor but sales volumes were never enough to fill the vast factory built during war time.

1921 The company went into receivership later in the year was re-formed with financial restructuring.

1922 To expand the market smaller cars were introduced with the 1,661 cc Twelve and later the same year the Austin 7, an inexpensive, small and simple car and one of the earliest to be directed at a mass market. At one point it was built under licence by the fledgling BMW of Germany (as the Dixi); Japanese Datsun; as Bantam in the United States; and as the Rosengart in France. The car was designed by Herbert Austin and Stanley Edge

1926 14,000 cars produced each year.

A largely independent U.S. subsidiary operated under the name American Austin Car Company from 1929 to 1934; it was revived under the name "American Bantam" from 1937 to 1941.

With the help of the Seven, Austin weathered the worst of the depression and remained profitable through the 1930s producing a wider range of cars which were steadily updated with the introduction of all-steel bodies, Girling brakes, and synchromesh gearboxes but all the engines remained as side valve units.

1928 Production figures were: 7-hp 22,709; 12-hp 13,714; 16/6 6,401; 20/4 927; 20/6 903. Total UK car production was 165,352 with 26,180 of these exported. Imports were around 23,000. Morris were the largest producer with 55,480 units followed by Austin with 44,654. [24]

1931 Production figures were: 7-hp 21,282; 12-hp 2,602; 12/6 9,529; 16-hp 5,558; 20-hp 705. [25]

1932 Introduced the Ten/Four with a 1,125cc engine producing 21 bhp

1935 The Austin 10 'Lichfield'. Reg No AOM 470. 27,000 of these were made. (Exhibit at Birmingham Thinktank museum)

WW2 During the Second World War Austin continued building cars but also made trucks and aircraft. The post war car range was announced in 1944 and production of it started in 1945.

The immediate post war range was mainly similar to that of the late 1930s but did include the 16 hp significant for having the companies first overhead valve engine.

1950 Produce 3,400 vehicles per week with 18,000 employees. [26]

1951 Exhibitor at the 1951 Motor Show in the Car Section.

1952 Austin merged with the Nuffield Organisation (parent company of Morris) to form the British Motor Corporation (later British Leyland) with Leonard Lord in charge. Austin were the dominant partner and their engines were adopted for most of the cars; various models amongst the marques would soon be badge-engineered versions of each other.

1952 Austin entered into a legal agreement with Nissan Motor Company of Japan, for that company to assemble 2,000 imported Austins from partially assembled sets and sell them in Japan under the Austin trademark. The agreement called for Nissan to make all Austin parts locally within three years, a goal Nissan met. Nissan produced and marketed Austins for seven years. The agreement also gave Nissan rights to use Austin patents, which Nissan used in developing its own engines for its Datsun line of cars.

In 1953 British-built Austins were assembled and sold.

1955 The Austin A50 – completely built by Nissan and featuring a slightly larger body with 1489cc engine – was on the market in Japan. Nissan produced 20,855 Austins from 1953-59.

1959 Launched the Mini. With the threat to fuel supplies resulting from the 1956 Suez Crisis Lord Nuffield asked Alec Issigonis to design a new small car and the result was the Mini. The Mini embodied a number of unconventional ideas including the transverse engine with gearbox in the sump and driving the front wheels and a novel suspension designed in collaboration with Moulton Developments. The principle of engine/gearbox was carried on to larger cars.

1961 Manufacturers of motor cars. 21,000 employees. [27]

1963 Motor Show exhibitor. Showed Mini, 1100, A40 Mk II, A60 Cambridge & Countryman, A110 Westminster. [28]

1963 Launched the 1100.

1964 Launched the 1800.

1969 Launched the Maxi.

1973 Launched the Allegro.

1980 Launched the Metro.

1982 The car division of the British Leyland company was re-branded as Austin Rover Group, with Austin acting as the "budget" and mainstream brand to Rover's more luxurious models. Sports models were often badge-engineered Austins with an MG badge. However, the continuing bad publicity associated with build and rust problems on the Metro, Maestro and Montego models meant that the badge was dropped, with the company becoming the Rover Group.

1989 The last Austin-badged car was built.

The rights to the Austin badge passed to British Aerospace (BAe) and later to BMW when each bought the Rover Group. The rights were subsequently sold to MG Rover, created once BMW had tired of the business. Following MG Rover's collapse and sale, the Austin name is now owned by Nanjing Automobile Group — along with Austin's historic assembly plant in Longbridge. At the Nanjing International Exhibition in May 2006, Nanjing announced that the Austin name might be used on some of the revived MG Rover models, at least on the Chinese market. However, Nanjing are for the moment concentrating on reviving the MG brand.

2005 Car manufacture ended at Longbridge.

List of Models Pre-WWI


List of Models Post-WWI


List of Models Post-WWII

See Also


Sources of Information