AUSTIN Motor Company

 austin_logo21905-austin-auto_1905_logoAustin Motor Company, Longbridge, England, UK, 1905-1952

Austin-ADO-BMC-Hillman-Hudson-Humber-Innocenti-Leyland-MG-Morris-Princess-Riley-Rosengart-Rover-Sunbeam-Vanden Plas-Wolseley

For Austin’s American subsidiary, see American Austin Car Company. For the unrelated American Austin company 1901-1921, see Austin Automobile Company.
The Austin Motor Company Limited
Industry Automotive
Fate Merged, The marque is dormant and may be reused.
Successor British Motor Corporation
Founded 1905
Defunct 1952
Headquarters Longbridge, England
Products Automobiles / Rover / Austin Rover / MG / Morris
Austin Marque
Austin flying A badge.png
Official marque logo, revised by current owners SAIC.
Product type Automotive marque
Owner SAIC
Discontinued 1987
Previous owners Austin Motor Company (1905–1952)
BMC (1952–1967)
British Leyland (Austin Rover) (1967–1986)
BA Rover Group (1986–1988)
Rover Group (1988–2005)

The Austin Motor Company Limited was an English manufacturer of motor vehicles, founded in 1905 by Herbert Austin. In 1952 it was merged with Morris Motors Limited in the new holding company British Motor Corporation (BMC) Limited, keeping its separate identity. The marque Austin was used until 1987. The trademark is currently owned by SAIC after being transferred from bankrupt subsidiary Nanjing Automotive which had acquired it with MG Rover Group in July 2005.


1905-herbert-austinHerbert Austin 1905

“Mr Austin is starting new works,
where he will manufacture Austin Cars
at Longbridge, near Birmingham”

1905–1918: Formation and development

While running the original Wolseley business, which had a highly cyclical sales pattern, Herbert Austin, searched for products with a steady demand. Starting in 1895, he built three cars in his free time. They were among Britain’s first cars. The third car, a four-wheeler, was completed in 1899. By 1901 his fellow directors could not see future profit in motor vehicles and so with their blessing and the backing of the Vickers brothers Austin started a separate car manufacturing business still using the name Wolseley.

In 1905 he fell out with Thomas and Albert Vickers over engine design. Leaving his creation, Wolseley, which he had made Britain’s largest motor vehicle manufacturer, Austin obtained the backing of steel magnate Frank Kayser for his own enterprise. Kayser provided funds through mortgages and loans, debentures and guarantees to the Midland Bank thereby allowing Austin to keep virtually total ownership of his own business through his personal savings. Further assistance came from Dunlop patent holder Harvey du Cros. However, Austin’s great rival, William Morris, was able to enter the industry proper (he first repaired cars) a little later funding his operation entirely from his own resources.

In November 1905 Herbert Austin acquired a disused printing works which was less than ten years old. It was located seven miles south-west of Birmingham in the small village of Longbridge (then still within Worcestershire). The following month The Austin Motor Company Limited was incorporated. In the last week of April 1906 a large body of motorists travelled to Longbridge “where snow lay full three inches deep on the ground and was still falling fast” to see the new Austin car, a conventional four-cylinder model with chain drive. It was available as a 15/20 hp complete at £500 (chassis, £425) and a 25/30 hp for £650 (chassis, £550). The sole concessionaire for sale of the cars was Mr Harvey Du Cros junior.

Two things were noticeable about Austin’s new design. He had parted from the Vickers brothers because he had refused to use the then more conventional vertical engine in Wolseley cars. His new car had a vertical engine and, in all but minor detail, was identical to the English-built Clément-Gladiators assembled in the same factory.

1907-austin-30hp1907 30hp

1908-austin-100hp-grand-prix-race-car-heritage-motor-centre-gaydon1908-austin-grand-prix-9-7-litre-6-cylinder-engine-6-cylinder-9657-cc-171-bhp-top-speed-92-mph-or-148-kph-coachwork-open-racing-body-registration-be3-in-the-winter-of-1907-08-austin1908 100hp Grand Prix Race Car

A further injection of capital was needed in 1906 and William Harvey Du Cros (1846–1918) joined the board of directors. After that Harvey Du Cros junior of the Swift Cycle Co and Austin each held approximately half of the ordinary capital. Herbert Austin remained chairman and managing director.

Editing undertaken: Unsharp Mask
Editing undertaken: Unsharp Mask Austin Motors showroom, Long Acre, London, c. 1910

Austin’s cars, like Wolseley’s, were luxury vehicles. The published customer list included Russian Grand Dukes, Princesses, Bishops, high officials of the Spanish government and a long list of Britain’s highest nobility.

1906 1907 1908 1909 1910 1911 1912 1913
Turnover 14,771 84,930 119,744 169,821 209,048 276,195 354,209 425,641
Cars 31 180 218 1,107 1,500
Employees 270 1,500 1,800 2,300

Sources Note: in 1912 Wolseley sold 3,000 cars.

In February 1914 Austin-manufactured bodies in tourer, limousine, landaulette and coupé styles could be provided with engines of 15, 20, 30 and 60 hp. Ambulances and commercial vehicles were also provided.

Austin became a public listed company in 1914 when the capital was increased to £650,000. At that time in number of cars produced it probably ranked fifth after Wolseley (still largest), Humber, Sunbeam and Rover.

The Austin Motor Co. grew enormously during the First World War, fulfilling government contracts for aircraft, shells, heavy guns and generating sets and 1,600 three-ton trucks most of which were sent to Russia. The workforce expanded from around 2,500 to 22,000.

1919–1939: Interwar success

1919-20-austin-twenty-allweather-coupe1920 Twenty 3.6-litre allweathercoupé

1926-austin-seven-saloon1926 Seven box saloon

After the war Herbert Austin decided on a one-model policy based on the 3620 cc 20 hp engine. Versions included cars, commercials and even a tractor, but sales volumes were never enough to fill the vast factory built during wartime. The company went into receivership in 1921 but rose again after financial restructuring. Though Herbert Austin remained chairman he was no longer managing director and from that time decisions were made by committee.

Critical to the recovery was the appointment in 1922 of a new finance director, Ernest Payton with the backing of the Midland Bank, and a new works director in charge of car production, Carl Engelbach, at the insistence of the creditors’ committee. This triumvirate of Austin, Payton and Engelbach steered the company’s fortunes through the inter-war years.

In a quest to expand market share, smaller cars were introduced, the 1661 cc Twelve in 1922 and, later the same year, the1922-austin-seven-1922Seven, an inexpensive, simple small car and one of the earliest to be directed at a mass market. One of the reasons for a market demand for a cars like the Austin 7 was the British tax code. In 1930 every personal car was taxed by the engine size, which in American dollars was $2.55 per square inch of piston displacement. As an example the owner of an Austin 7 in England, which sold for approximately $455.00, would have to pay a yearly engine tax of $39.00. In comparison, the owner in England of a Ford Model-A would have to pay $120.00 per year in an engine tax. And this system of engine displacement tax was common in other European nations as well in the 1930s. At one point, the “Baby Austin” was built under licence by the fledgling1930-bmw-dixi-15-ps1930 BMW Dixi 15 PS BMW of Germany (as the Dixi); by the Japanese manufacturer1937-datsun-16-sedan1937 Datsun 16 Sedan Datsun; as the1939-bantam-convertible1939 Bantam Convertible Bantam in the United States; and as the1928-rosengart-lr41928 Rosengart LR4.jpg Rosengart in France. And in England the Austin was the most produced car in 1930 (the American Austin Car Company operated as a largely independent subsidiary from 1929 to 1934, and 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 was steadily updated by the introduction of all-steel bodies, Girling brakes, and synchromesh gearboxes. However, all the engines retained the same side-valve conformation. Deputy chairman Ernest Payton became chairman in 1941 on the death of Lord Austin. In 1938 Leonard Lord joined the company board and became chairman in 1946 on the death of Ernest Payton.

1938 Austin Seven Ruby Motor Centre, Gaydon.jpg
 Austin Seven Ruby


In the early 1930s Datsun later known as Nissan Motor Company of Japan built cars infringing Austin patents. From 1934 Datsun began to build Austin Sevens under licence and this operation became the greatest success of Austin’s overseas licensing of its Seven. This marked the beginning of Datsun’s international success.

In 1952 Austin entered into another agreement with Nissan for that company to assemble 2000 imported Austins from partially assembled sets and to 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, but by 1955, the Austin A50 – completely built by Nissan and featuring a slightly larger body with 1489 cc engine – was on the market in Japan. Nissan produced 20,855 Austins between 1953 and 1959.

1939–1958: War years and post-war years

Austin A30 1954
 1954 A30

During the Second World War Austin continued building cars but also made trucks and aircraft, including the Lancaster bombers of 617 squadron, better known as the Dambusters.

The post-war car range was announced in 1944, and production 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 company’s first overhead valve engine.

Austin of England

From late 1950 to mid-1952 products, brochures and advertisements displayed in flowing script Austin of England as if in response to Morris’s Nuffield Organisation. It fell out of use with the financial merger with Morris in BMC.


In 1952 The Austin Motor Company Limited merged ownership, but not identity, with long-term rival and equal Morris Motors Limited in The British Motor Corporation Limited with Leonard Lord, who had been managing director of Morris from 1932 to 1936, in charge. William Morris (Lord Nuffield) was first chairman but soon retired. Leonard Lord, who had stormed out of Morris declaring he would “take Cowley apart brick by brick”, ensured Austin was the dominant partner and its (more recently designed OHV) engines were adopted for most of the cars. Various models followed the Morris policy and became badge-engineered versions of each other.

1951-austin-a40-roadsterAustin A40 Sports, ca 1951

1955-austin-az-andrassy-ut-94-elott-az-1950Austin on Blvd Népköztársaság (today Andrássy avenue) in Budapest, end of 1950s


Also in 1952, Austin did a deal with Donald Healey, the renowned automotive engineer. It led to a new marque,

1952-austin-healey-100 1952-austin-healey-100-4 1954-austin-healey-100-pt-24-35 1954-austin-healey-100 1954-austin-healey-bonneville-record 1954-austin-healey-record-earls-court 1954-austin-healey-record 1954-austin-healey 1955-austin-healey-100-ad 1955-austin-healey-100m 1956-austin-healey-100-six 1956-austin-healey-100-6-blue-white-ad 1956-austin-healey-rekord-100-6-ad 1957-austin-healey-100-6 1957-austin-healey-sebring 1958-austin-healey-100-six-brochure 1958-austin-healey-100-6-twee-zitter 1958-austin-healey-100-6 1958-austin-healey-frogeye-ad 1958-austin-healey-sal-v-nassau 1958-austin-healey-sprite-8 1958-austin-healey-sprite-2 1958-austin-healey-sprite-ad 1958-austin-healey-sprite-b 1958-austin-healey-sprite-frogeye-bw 1958-austin-healey-sprite-model-an5 1958-austin-healey-sprite 1958-austin-healey


1959-austin-healey-3000-2seater-ad 1959-austin-healey-frogeye-sprite-an5 1959-austin-healey-frogeye-sprite-white 1959-austin-healey-frogeye-sprite 1960-austin-healey-1960-sebring-sprite-for-le-mans 1960-austin-healey-3000 1960-austin-healey-rally-london 1960-austin-healey-sebring-sprite-for-lemans 1960-austin-healey-sprite 1961-austin-healey-3000-mk-i 1961-austin-healey-3000-4seater 1961-austin-healey-3000-mk2 1961-austin-healey-le-mans 1962-austin-healey-3000-coupe-speziale-22-di-carozzeria-pinifarina-da-turino 1962-austin-healey-3000-mark-ll 1962-austin-healey-3000-mk-ii 1962-austin-healey-3000-mk1 1962-austin-healey-3000 1962-austin-healey-drawing 1963-austin-healey-3000-mkii 1963-austin-healey-3000-poster 1963-austin-healey-ad 1963-austinhealy1963nl801 1964-austin-healey-sprite-3000-mkii-bj7-22 1964-austin-healey-sprite-mk-iii 1964-austinhealeysprite1964nl1201 1965-austin-healey-mk3-sprite-at-the-gymkhana-event 1965-austin-healey-sprite-mk3-ad 1965-austin-healey-3000%e2%80%85mk%e2%80%85iii 1966-austin-healey-sprite-ad 1966-austin-healey-3000-convertible 1967-austin-healey-ad 1968-austin-healey-3000mk3 1968-austin-healey-mk4 1971-austin-healey-sprite austin-healey-a austin-healey-b-healey-museum-plasticon austin-healey-sprite-b austin-healey-sprite-mk-i austin-healey-sprite2

Austin-Healey, and a range of sports cars.

1959–1969: Era of revolution

With the threat to fuel supplies resulting from the 1956 Suez Crisis, Lord asked Alec Issigonis, who had been with Morris from 1936 to 1952, to design a small car; the result was the revolutionary Mini, launched in 1959. The Austin version was initially called the Austin Seven, but Morris’ Mini Minor name caught the public imagination and the Morris version outsold its Austin twin, so the Austin’s name was changed to Mini to follow suit. In 1970, British Leyland dropped the separate Austin and Morris branding of the Mini, and it was subsequently simply “Mini”, under the Austin Morris division of BLMC.

The principle of a transverse engine with gearbox in the sump and driving the front wheels was applied to larger cars, beginning with the 1100 of 1963, (although the Morris-badged version was launched 13 months earlier than the Austin, in August 1962), the 1800 of 1964 and the Maxi of 1969. This meant that BMC had spent 10 years developing a new range of front-drive, transverse-engined models, while most competitors had only just started to make such changes.

The big exception to this was the Austin 3-litre. Launched in 1968, it was a rear-wheel drive large car, but it shared the central section of the 1800. It was a sales disaster, with fewer than 10,000 examples being made.

BMC was the first British manufacturer to move into front-wheel drive so comprehensively. Ford did not launch its first front-drive model until 1976 (in Britain), Ford-Germany in 1962 with the Taunus 12M(P4)), while Vauxhall’s first front-drive model was launched in 1979 and Chrysler UK’s first such car was launched in 1975. Front-wheel drive was popular elsewhere in Europe, however, with Renault, Citroen and Simca all using the system at the same time or before BMC. East Germany’s Trabant used the system from 1958.

In September 1965 BMC completed the purchase of its major supplier, Pressed Steel. Twelve months later it completed the purchase of Jaguar and in December 1966 changed its name from BMC to BMH, British Motor Holdings Limited. In early 1968 under government pressure BMH merged with Leyland Motors Limited and Austin became a part of the large British Leyland Motor Corporation (BLMC) combine.

1970–1979: Era of turbulence

austin-maxi-1750-hl1979 Maxi

By 1970 Austin was part of the British Leyland combine. Austin’s most notorious model of this era was the 19731975-austin-allegro-registrationAllegro, successor to the 1100/1300 ranges, which was criticised for its bulbous styling which earned it the nickname “Flying pig” as well as the doubtful build quality and indifferent reliability. It was still a strong seller in Britain, although not quite as successful as its predecessor.1978-austin-princess-1800-hl-b-series-engineThe wedge-shaped 18/22 series was launched as an Austin, a Morris and a more upmarket Wolseley in 1975. But within six months, it was rechristened the Princess and wore none of the previous marque badges, becoming a marque in its own right, under the Austin Morris division of British Leyland that had been virtually nationalised in 1975.

The Princess was not quite as notorious as the Allegro, and earned some praise for its practical wedge shape, spacious interior, and decent ride and handling, but build quality was suspect and the lack of a hatchback (which would have ideally suited its body shape) cost valuable sales. It was upgraded at the end of 1981 to become the Austin Ambassador (and gaining a hatchback) but by that time there was little that could be done to disguise the age of the design, and it was too late to make much of an impact on sales.

By the end of the 1970s, the future of Austin and the rest of British Leyland (now known as BL) was looking bleak.

1980–1989: Austin Rover era

1983-british-leyland-austin-metro-autoMetro, launched in 19801982-austin-maestroMaestro, launched in 19831984-austin-montego-goldMontego, launched in 1984

The Austin Metro, launched in October 1980, was heralded as the saviour of Austin Motor Company and the whole BL combine. Twenty-one years after the launch of the Mini, it gave BL a much-needed modern supermini to compete with the recently launched likes of the Ford Fiesta, Vauxhall Nova, VW Polo and Renault 5. It was an instant hit with buyers and was one of the most popular British cars of the 1980s. It was intended as a replacement for the Mini but, in fact, the Mini outlived the Metro by two years.

In 1982, most of the car division of the by now somewhat shrunken British Leyland (BL) company was rebranded as the Austin Rover Group, with Austin acting as the “budget” and mainstream brand to Rover’s more luxurious models. The MG badge was revived for sporty versions of the Austin models, of which the MG Metro 1300 was the first.

Austin revitalised its entry into the small family-car market in March 1983 with the launch of its all-new Maestro, a spacious five-door hatchback that replaced the elderly Allegro and Maxi and was popular in the early years of its production life, although sales had started to dip dramatically by the end of the decade.

April 1984 saw the introduction of the Maestro-derived Montego saloon, successor to the Morris Ital. The new car received praise for its interior space and comfort, but early build-quality problems took time to overcome. The spacious estate version, launched in early 1985, was one of the most popular load carriers of its era.

In 1986 Austin Rover’s holding company BL plc became Rover Group plc and was privatised by selling it to British Aerospace (BAe).

Plans to replace the Metro with a radical new model, based on the ECV3 research vehicle and aiming for 100 mpg, led to the Austin AR6 of 1984–1986, with several prototypes tested. The desire to lose the Austin name and take Rover “upmarket” led to this project’s demise in early 1987.

In 1987, the Austin badge was discontinued and Austin Rover became simply the Rover Group. The Austin cars continued to be manufactured, although they ceased to be Austins. They became “marque-less” in their home market with bonnet badges the same shape as the Rover longship badge but without “Rover” written on them. Instead any badging just showed the model of the car: a Montego of this era, for instance, would have a grille badge simply saying “Montego”, whilst the rear badges just said “Montego” and the engine size/trim level. The Metro was facelifted in 1990 and got the new K-series engine. It then became the “Rover Metro”, while the Maestro and Montego continued in production until 1994 and never wore a Rover badge on their bonnets in Britain. They were, however, sometimes referred to as “Rovers” in the press and elsewhere.

Possible revival

The rights to the Austin name passed to British Aerospace and then to BMW when each bought the Rover Group. The rights were subsequently sold to MG Rover, created when BMW sold the business. Following MG Rover’s collapse and sale, Nanjing Automobile Group owns the Austin name and Austin’s historic assembly plant in Longbridge. At the Nanjing International Exhibition in May 2006, Nanjing announced it might use the Austin name on some of the revived MG Rover models, at least in the Chinese market. However, Nanjing is for the moment concentrating on reviving the MG brand. The MG brand is traditionally used for sports cars and Nanjing has no rights to the Rover name, so a revival of the Austin name would seem a logical brand for selling more standard cars. It might also be argued that a British name would be more respected in the European market than a Chinese name. Nanjing Automobile Group itself merged into SAIC Motor.

Austin Motor Company Limited

A new “Austin Motor Company Limited” was incorporated in July 2012 by Steve Morgan of Birmingham who also owns the last Mini to leave Longbridge, but was dissolved in 2014.

In 2015, the “Austin Motor Company” and the 1930s “Flying A” logo name and patents was purchased by John Stubbs in Braintree, Essex. The company intend to start manufacturing an all new Austin car in 2016.


austin_motor_company_longbridgeAustin’s Longbridge plant

Main article: Longbridge plant

Austin started his business in an abandoned print works at Longbridge, Birmingham. Due to its strategic advantages over Morris‘s Cowley plant, Longbridge became British Leyland‘s main factory. Following the Austin marque’s discontinuance in 1989, Rover and MG continued to use the plant. The collapse of MG Rover meant it was not used from 2005 until MG production restarted in 2008.



1946-austin-12-august-1946-1465cc1946 12 (1465cc)

1975-austin-1800-ado711975 1800 (ADO71)

Small cars

1911-austin-7-h-p-tourer-lo-7562-engine-number-70541910–11 Austin 7 hp1922-austin-7-shanghai-automobile-museum1922–39 Austin 71959-austin-seven-mini1959 Austin Seven Mini 1959–61 Seven, as BMC1963-austin-mini-850-mk11963 Austin Mini 850 mk1 1961-69 Mini, as BMC1986-mini_metro_with_5_doors_in_spain_19861980–90 Metro, as Austin Rover

Small family cars

1913-austin-101911–15 Austin 10 hp1932-austin-ten-four-dvla-first-registered-17-june-1932-1141-cc1932 Austin Ten-Four DVLA First registered 17 June 1932, 1141 cc 1932–47 Austin 101946-austin-8-4-door-saloon1946 Austin 8 4-door Saloon 1939–47 Austin 81954-austin-a30-4-door-saloon1954 Austin A30 4-door saloon 1951–56 A30black-austin-a35Black Austin A35 1956–59 A35austin-a35-vanAustin A35 van1961-austin-a35-countryman-wagon1961 Austin A35 Countryman Wagon 1956–62 A35 Countryman1959-a-right-hand-drive-convertible-austin-metropolitan1959 A right-hand drive convertible Austin Metropolitan 1954–61 Nash Metropolitan/Austin Metropolitan1960-austin-a40-farina-mki-front1960 Austin A40 Farina MkI front 1958–61 A40 Farina Mk Iaustin-a40-farina-mark-ii1961–67 A40 Farina Mk II1972-austin-1300gt-registered-june-1972-1380cc-sic-dvla1972 Austin 1300GT registered June 1972 1380cc (sic DVLA) 1963–74 1100morris-1100-mark-ii-2-door-saloonMorris 1100 Mark II 2 door Saloon 1967–74 13001975-austin-allegro-registration1973–83 Allegro1932-austin-16-westminster-saloon-dvla-2107ccSixteen Westminster saloon 1932

1934-austin-16-6-carlton-saloonSixteen Carlton 7-seater 1934

1936-austin-20-mayfair-saloonTwenty Mayfair 1936

1938-austin-18-6-norfolkEighteen Norfolk 1938

Large family cars

1912-austin-15-hp-wellington-tourer1913–14 Austin 15 hp1928-austin-twelve-1660-cc-1861-cc1922–40 Austin “Heavy” 121929-austin-16-6-burnham1927–38 Austin 16 (16/18)1932-austin-light-twelve-six1931–36 Austin “Light” 12/61936-austin-twelve-new-ascot1933–39 Austin “Light” 12/41938-austin-fourteen-goodwood-dvla-first-registered-31-december-1938-1939-cc1937–39 Austin 141939-austin-18hp-norfolk-saloon1938–39 Austin 181946-austin-12-august-1465cc1939–47 Austin 12 1948-austin-16-bsi-saloon1945–49 Austin 16 hpaustin-a40-devon-saloonAustin A40 Devon saloon1947-1949-austin-a40-dorset1947-1949 Austin A40 Dorset 1947–52 A40 Devon/Dorset1952-austin-a40-devon1952 Austin A40 Devonaustin-a70-herefordAustin A70 Herefordaustin-a70-hampshire-produced-1948-50-big-brother-to-the-similarly-styled-a40-dAustin A70 Hampshire produced 1948-50, big brother to the similarly styled A40 Devon 1948–50 A70 Hampshire 1950–54 A70 Hereford1952-austin-a40-somerset-saloon1952 Austin A40 Somerset Saloon 1952–54 A40 Somerset1956-austin-a40-cambridge1956 Austin A40 Cambridge1956-austin-a40-2Austin A40 1956 2austin-a50-cambridge-frontAustin A50 Cambridge front

Austin A50 Cambridge
Austin A50 Cambridge

austin-a50-coupe-utilityAustin A50 Coupe Utilityaustin-a55-cambridge-frontAustin A55 Cambridge frontaustin-a55-cambridge-sideAustin A55 Cambridge sideaustin-a55-coupe-utilityAustin A55 Coupe Utility1971-austin-vod-179j-panel-van-2012-hcvs-tyne-tees-run1971 Austin (VOD 179J) panel vanmorris-half-ton-van-license-plate-1970-based-on-pre-farina-austin-cambridge-saloMorris half ton van license plate 1970 based on pre Farina Austin Cambridge saloon 1954–58 A40/A50/A55 Cambridgeaustin-a90-six-cyl-westminster1954 Austin A90 Six cyl Westminster1954-austin-a90-westminster-front-2639cc-c-series-bmc-engine1954 Austin A90 Westminster front 2639cc C series BMC engineaustin-a105-westminster-the-6cylinder-a55-cambridge-longer-bonnet-bigger-engine-better-carAustin A105 Westminster, the 6cylinder A55 Cambridge. Longer bonnet, bigger engine, better car1956-austin-a105-westminster-front1956 Austin A105 Westminster frontaustin-a95-westminster-frontAustin A95 Westminster front

1957-austin-a105-westminster-front1957 Austin A105 Westminster front1957-austin-a105-six-side1957 Austin A105 Six sideaustin-with-vanden-plas-detailingAustin with Vanden Plas detailing 1954–59 A90/A95/A105 Westminster1956-austin-a95-westminster-countryman-sales-brochure 1956-austin-a95country-december 1958-austin-a95-westminster-countryman1956–59 A95 Westminster Station wagon.1958-austin-westminster-a105-211958 Austin Westminster A105 21 1956–59 A105 Westminster1957-austin-a55-cambridge-front-cambrian-north%e2%80%85america1957 Austin A55 Cambridge front Cambrian (North America)1959-austin-a55-cambridge-mark-ii-saloon1959 Austin A55 Cambridge Mark II Saloon 1959–61 A55 Cambridgeaustin-a55-cambridge-mark-ii-estateAustin A55 Cambridge Mark II Estate1961-austin-westminster-mar-1961-2912cc1961 Austin Westminster Mar 1961 2912cc 1959–61 A99 Westminster1962 Austin Cambridge Sedan1962 Austin 60 Cambridge Sedan 1961–69 A60 Cambridge1962-austin-a60-wagon1962 Austin A60 Wagon1966-austin-a110-westminster-beige1966 Austin A110 Westminster beige 1961–68 A110 Westminster1970-morris-1800-mark-ii1970 Morris 1800 Mark II 1964–75 1800/2200 (ADO17)1969-austin-1800-automatic1969 Austin 1800 Automatic1969-wolseley-18-85-107949723951969 Wolseley 18-851973-austin-1800-mk-iii-1798cc-first-reg-jan-1973-rear-three-quarters1973 Austin 1800 Mk III 1798cc first reg Jan 1973 rear three quartersaustin-2200-automaticAustin 2200 Automatic1972-wolseley-six-automatic1972 Wolseley Six Automatic1968-austin-1800-utility-50801852611968 Austin 1800 utility (5080185261)1971-austin-3-litre-dvla-first-registered-20-august-1971-2912cc-at-svvc-extravaganza1971 Austin 3-Litre (DVLA) first registered 20 August 1971, 2912cc at SVVC Extravaganza 1967–71 3-Litre1970-austin-maxi-mki-left-and-austin-maxi-mkii1970 Austin Maxi MkI (left) and Austin Maxi MkII 1969–81 Maxi1975-austin-1800-ado711975-75 1800/2200 (ADO71)austin-ambassador-front1982–84 Ambassador1983-austin-maestro1983–94 Maestro1986-mg-maestro-efi-this-car-had-a-115bhp-2-0-litre-efi-engine1984–94 Montego

Large Cars

1907-austin-30hp-heritage-motor-centre-gaydon-the-oldest-austin1906–07 Austin 25/301906-austin-15-20-25-30-hp1906-07 Austin 15/201908-austin-18-24-hp-with-herbert-austin-at-the-wheel1908 Austin 18-24 hp with Herbert Austin at the wheel


1908-austin-18-24-norfolk-single-landaulette1908 Austin 18-24 Norfolk single landaulette1910-austin-18-24-speedily-phaeton42999078051910 Austin 18-24 Speedily Phaeton(4299907805) 1907–13 Austin 18/241907-austin-40hp-york-landaulette-43621735091907 Austin 40hp York landaulette (4362173509)1912-austin-40-vitesse1912 Austin 40 Vitesse1912-austin-40-f-and-i-191211091912 Austin 40 f and i 1912-austin-40-r-11091912 Austin 40 r1912-austin-40-rr-11091912 Austin 40 rr1910-401908–13 Austin 40 hp

1906-austin-model-lxr-60-hp-factory-photo 1906-austin-model-lxt-60-hp-factory-photo 1906-austin-motor-co-60-hp 1906-06-30-austin-motor-co-first-finished-car 1907-austin-6-cylinder-60hp-liz16 1908-9-7-litre-6-cylinder-austin-grand-prix-production-60hp 1908-austin-phaeton-six-cylinder-60-hp 1909-austin-60-hp 1910-wolseley-60-horsepower-v8-aero-engine1908–10 Austin 60 hp 6-cylinder + Wolseley1911-austin-50-pullman-limousine1910–13 Austin 50 hp 6-cylinder1914-austin-20-hp-vitesse1914 Austin 20 hp Vitesseaustin-20-hp-dual-cowl-2 austin-20-hp-ranelagh-a1912–18 Austin 20 hp1914-austin-30-hp-vitesse-tourer1914–16 Austin 30 hp1920-austin-allweather-coupe-1919-1920


1918 Hudson Super Six 1920-austin-20-tourer

1920 Austin 20 tourer1919-austin-20-tourer1919 Austin 20 Tourer1919-austin-20-tourer-rear1919 Austin 20 Tourer rear1922-austin-twenty-used-by-a-e-filby-in-1932-and-1935-to-drive-from-london-to-cape-town-and-back1922 Austin Twenty Used by A.E. Filby in 1932 and 1935 to drive from London to Cape Town and back1926-austin-mayfair-36-litre-with-aftermarket-bumper-86695565421926 Austin Mayfair 3,6-litre with aftermarket bumper 86695565421927-austin-20-tourer-dvla-first-registered-10-may-1927-3600-cc1927 Austin 20 Tourer (DVLA) first registered 10 May 1927, 3600 ccaustin-nineAustin nine1927-twenty-four-mayfair-saloon-3-6-litre1927 Twenty four Mayfair saloon 3.6-litre1931-austin-20-raleigh-34-litre-limousine1931 Austin 20 Raleigh 3,4-litre limousine1935-austin-20-6-ranelagh-2-1-43793207991935 Austin 20 6 Ranelagh 2.11936-austin-six-registered-december-1936-3377-cc1936 Austin Six registered December 1936 3377 cc1936-austin-20-mayfair-saloon-1923784791936 Austin 20 Mayfair saloon 192378479 1919–38 Austin Twenty1939-austin-twenty-eight-otrebusy-41938–39 Austin Twenty Eight (28/6)1947-54-austin-a125-sheerline-ds1-front-3993cc-engine1947-54 Austin A125 Sheerline DS1 front 3993cc engine1947-austin-a120-princess-july-ad 1947-austin-a125-sheerline-ds1-head 1947-austin-a125-sheerline-ds1-rear

1947-54-austin-a125-limousine 1949-austin-sheerline1947–54 A110/A125 Sheerline1947-54-austin-a125-sheerline-and-princess1947-54-austin-a120-a125-sheerline-and-princess1946–56 A120 Princess

1946-austin-a135-princess-ii-ds31946 Austin A135 Princess II (DS3) 1947–56 A135 Princess1958-princess-iv-3995cc-april-19581958 Princess IV 3995cc, April 1958 1956–59 Princess IV

Limousines and Landaulettes

1906-06-30-austin-motor-co-first-finished-car1906–07 Austin 25/301906-austin-15-20-25-30-hp1906-07 Austin 15/201906-austin-18-24

1908-austin-18-24-hp-with-herbert-austin-at-the-wheel 1908-austin-18-24-norfolk-single-landaulette1907–13 Austin 18/241907-austin-40hp-york-landaulette-registration-k-3253-car-62-engine-61-07 1910-40 1912-austin-40-f-and-i-1109 1912-austin-40-r-1109 1912-austin-40-rr-1109 1912-austin-40-vitesse1908–13 Austin 40 hp1908-austin-phaeton-six-cylinder-60-hp 1909-austin-60-hp 1910-wolseley-60-horsepower-v8-aero-engine1908–10 Austin 60 hp 6-cylinder1911-austin-50-hp-pullman-limousine1910–13 Austin 50 hp 6-cylinder1912-wolseley-16-20hp-landaulette 1913-15-landaulet 1914-austin-20-hp-vitesse 1914-austin-20-hp-02-1 1912–18 Austin 20 hp1914-austin-30-hp-vitesse-tourer1914–16 Austin 30 hp1920-austin-20-tourer1919–38 Austin Twenty1929-austin-16-6-burnham1927–38 Austin 16 (16/18)1938-austin-18-6-norfolk1938–39 Austin 181939-austin-ranelagh-28-6cyl-limousine1938-39 Austin Twenty Eight1947-54-austin-a125-sheerline-ds1-front-3993cc-engine1947–54 A110/A125 Sheerline1947-austin-a120-princess-july-ad1946–56 A120 Princess1946-austin-a135-princess-mkii-ds3-front1946 Austin A135 Princess MkII DS3 front 1947–56 A135 Princess1958-princess-iv-3995cc-april-19581956–59 Princess IV

Sports cars

1923-austin-20-4-sports-tourer1923 Austin 20-4 Sports Tourer 1920–23 Austin Twenty Sports Tourer1950 Austin A90 Atlantic1950 Austin A90 Atlantic1949-austin-a90-atlantic-convertible-green1949 Austin A90 Atlantic convertible green 1948–50 A90 Atlantic Convertible1951-austin-a90-atlantic-sports-saloon1951 Austin A90 Atlantic Sports Saloon 1949–52 A90 Atlantic Saloon1951-austin-a40-sports-roadster1951 Austin A40 Sports Roadster 1950–53 A40 Sports1956-austin-healey-100-roadster1956 Austin-Healey 100 Roadster 1953–56 Austin-Healey 1001954-austin-healey-100

1954 Austin Healey 1001958-austin-healey-sprite-ad1958–70 Austin-Healey Spriteaustin-healey-30001959–67 Austin-Healey 30001960-austin-healey-sprite1960 Austin-Healey Frogeye Sprite1970-austin-healey-sprite-mark-iv-with-revised-grille-and-cat-alloy-wheels1971 Austin Sprite

Australian Austin carsaustin-lancer-series-11958–62 Austin Lanceraustin-freeway-sedan1962–66 Austin FreewayAustin Kimberley

austin-tasman-151007587511970–73 Austin Kimberley/Tasman

Military vehicles

1919-austin-21-austin-3rd-series-used-by-the-don%e2%80%85cossack-forces-1919WWI Austin Armoured Carniva-1916-4-austin-armored-carsWWII Austin Ten Utility Truckaustin-k21WWII Austin K2/Y Ambulanceaustin-k30-k2-k3-k4-18621WWII Austin K41965-austin-gipsy1958–67 Austin Gipsyaustin-champAustin Champaustin-ant

c. 1968 Austin Ant

1937-austin-12-4-taxi1937 low-loader

London Taxis1935-austin-12-4-london-taxicab-1479cc1929–34 Austin 12 Taxicab High Lot1933-austin-12-4-high-lot-taxi1934–39 Austin 12 Taxicab Low Loader1937-austin-12-4-taxi1938–39 Austin 12 Taxicab Flash Lot1957-austin-fx3-london-taxi1948–58 Austin FX31962-austin-fx4-london-taxi1958–97 Austin FX4London Taxi


Commercial vehicles

1954-austin-lwb-truckLWB truck 19541962-austin-a200ft-truckA200FT truck 19621964-austin-light-vanLight van c. 1964

  • Austin also made commercial vehicles, one of which was the FG, previously the Morris FG. The FG was the workhorse that kept Britain running in the 1960s. These Austin FGs and later the Leyland FGs all had petrol or diesel longstroke engines, producing good torque, but very little in the way of speed (40 mph was a good speed out of these vehicles). Leyland were to take over the FG, but before they did, in 1964, the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) commissioned six rolling chassis FGs to be coach built by a Middlesex company, Palmer Coachbuilders. These six vehicles, registration 660 GYE to 666 GYE, were outdoor broadcast scenery vehicles.


During World War I Austin built aircraft under licence, including the Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.5a, but also produced a number of its own designs. None of these progressed past the prototype stage. They included:

1917-the-a-f-b-1-pictured-outside-austins-longbridge-worksAustin-Ball A.F.B.1 (fighter)1918-austin-osprey-a-f-t-3-triplane-fighter-prototypeAustin A.F.T.3 (fighter)austin-greyhound-fighterAustin Greyhound (fighter)austin-kestrelAustin Kestrel (two-seat biplane)1918-austin-osprey-a-f-t-3-triplane-fighter-prototypeAustin Osprey (fighter)austin-whippet-replica-at-south-yorkshire-aircraft-museumAustin Whippet (post-war civil aircraft)

Ambulances and Hearses

1916-knockchis-wolseley-ambulance-of-the-madonnas-of-pervyse-belgium1916-knockchis-wolseley-ambulance-of-the-madonnas-of-pervyse-belgium1925-austin-20hp-hearse1925 Austin 20hp Hearse1926-austin-20-4-hearse-thomas-startin-a

1926-austin-20-4-hearse-thomas-startin1926-austin-20-4-hearse-thom11926-austin-20-4-hearse-thomas startin1930-black-vintage-austin-hearse1930-black-vintage-Austin-hearse1930-austin-20-6-landaulette-converted-from-hearse1930 Austin 20-6 Landaulette converted from hearse1934-austin-hearse1934-austin-hearse1937-austin-16-hearse-dottridge-brothers1937 Austin 16 Hearse Dottridge Brothers1938-austin-18-six-cylinder-ambulance1938 Austin 18 Six Cylinder Ambulance
1939-austin-eighteen-ambulance-1939-dvla-first-registered-6-january-19391939 Austin Eighteen Ambulance (DVLA first registered 6 January 1939)1939-austin-six-ambulance-dating-from-1938-1939-dvla-first-registered-6-january-19391939 Austin Six Ambulance (DVLA first registered 6 January 1939)1940-wolseley-hearse1940 Wolseley Hearse1939-45-ambulance-crews-of-the-first-aid-nursing-yeomanry-fanys1939-45 Austin Ambulance crews of the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (FANYs)1940-austin-k2-ambulance1940 Austin K2 Ambulance1942-the-british-army-in-north-africa-1942-e133271942 The British Army in North Africa with Austin K2 Ambulance in 1942 E13327 1943-austin1943 Austin K2 Ambulance1947-54-austin-sheerline-a125

1947-54 Austin Sheerline A1251948-austin-k2y-hz77982-visser1948 Austin K2Y HZ77982 Carrosserie Visser NL1948-austin-princess-engine-3955-cc-s6-ohv-5851948 Austin Princess Engine 3955 cc S6 OHV 5851948-austin-ziekenauto-kp-84-13 1948-austin-ziekenauto1948 Austin Ziekenauto KP 84 131950-austin-a135-princess-hearse-mkii-ds31950 Austin A135 Princess Hearse MkII [DS3]1949-austin-k2y1949 Austin K2Y Ambulance1950-austin-princess-sheerline-gb1950 Austin Princess Sheerline GB1955-ambulance-austin-a152-ambulance-brochure1955 Ambulance Austin A152 Ambulance brochure1957-ambulance-austin-princess1957 Ambulance Austin Princess1959-austin-fx3-hearse1959 Austin FX3 Hearse1960-princess-4-litre-hearse-alpe-saunders1960 Princess 4-Litre Hearse Alpe & Saunders1960-vanden-plas-princess-4litre-hearse1960 Vanden Plas Princess 4litre Hearse1960s-austin-a60-hearse

1960’s Austin A60 Hearse1964-morris-ld-ambulance1964-morris-ld-ambulance1964-vanden-plas-princess-lijkwagen1964 Vanden Plas Princess lijkwagen1965-morris-minor-hearse1965 Morris Minor Hearse1966-austin-a110-westminster-low-line-hearse1966 AUSTIN A110 WESTMINSTER LOW LINE HEARSE 1957-austin-fx3-london-taxi

1959-austin-taxi-model-fx4d1959 Austin Taxi Model FX4D1965-beardmore-london-taxi1965 Beardmore ‘London’ Taxi1964-austin-princess1964 Austin Princess1965-morris-minor-hearse1965 Morris Minor Hearse1966-vauxhall-vanden-plas-princess-4-litre-r-hearse1966 Vauxhall Vanden Plas Princess 4 Litre R Hearse

There are lots more Ambulances, Hearses, Limousines and so on. I’ll show them in my next blog. There will only be pictures I found on the www.


  1. Jump up^ “Mr H Austin, who has for so many years been associated with the Wolseley Tool and Motor Car Company, Limited, and who is starting new works, where he will manufacture Austin Cars, at Longbridge, near Birmingham” Mr H Austin, who has been for so long associated with the Wolseley Tool and Motor Car Co. of Adderley Park, Birmingham, advises us that he is leaving the Company, and is starting works on his own account situated at Longbridge, near Birmingham, where he will manufacture vehicles which are to be known as the ‘’Austin’’ Cars. At first Mr Austin will turn out two sizes of tourist cars viz., a 15-20 hp and a 25-30 hp. both of which models will embody the best approved principles in design, and Mr Austin proposes to use only the highest grade of materials in their manufacture. Moderation is to govern the selling price, and Mr Austin hopes to make the car of his name a household word for reliability and good service. Captan Frank Kayser is associated with Mr Austin in the new undertaking and he will be assisted by a specially-selected staff, several of whom have been connected with him in the past. The works are of considerable extent, covering several acres, and are thoroughly suitable for the construction of automobiles of all types. Mr Austin hopes to have his first 25-30 hp car on the road by the 1st of December and to commence deliveries by the end of March 1906. Mr Austin sends us, in a tabulated form, an extremely interesting record gained by the cars which have been turned out by the Wolseley Company during his direction of that Company. This list bristles with gold and silver medals in all the leading reliability and consumption trials, exhibitions etc whilst in the speed events and hill-climbing contests, the number of winners makes a formidable show, these triumphs being in addition to the selection by the A.C.G.B.I. of the Wolseley racers in 1904 and 1905 for the Gordon Bennett Race.‘’The Automotor Journal, November 4, 1905 Page 1366’’


  1. ^ Jump up to:a b c d e Roy Church, ‘Austin, Herbert, Baron Austin (1866–1941)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004
  2. ^ Jump up to:a b c d e f RAC Rating
  3. Jump up^ Automobile Notes. The Times, Tuesday, 1 May 1906; p. 6; Issue 38008
  4. Jump up^ A Bird and F Hutton-Stott, Lanchester Motor Cars, a History, Cassell London, 1965 p.110
  5. ^ Jump up to:a b c The Austin Motor Company (1914) Limited. The Times, Monday, 9 February 1914; p. 13; Issue 40442.
  6. Jump up^ “Austin Motor Company”. The Times. 27 May 1911. p. 21.
  7. Jump up^ “Austin Motor Company”. The Times. 2 October 1912. p. 7.
  8. ^ Jump up to:a b c Sheepish start for the lion of Longbridge. Lord Montagu of Beaulieu.The Times, Saturday, 26 August 1995; pg. 3[S1]; Issue 65356.
  9. Jump up^ “Midget Cars Next?” Popular Mechanics, August 1930 right column, second paragraph
  10. Jump up^ Cusumano, pp. 90–92
  11. Jump up^ Dolan, Andy (13 April 2010). “Austin Allegro fan spends £8,500 restoring £800 ‘flying pig'”. Daily Mail. Retrieved 22 July 2013.
  12. Jump up^ “Austin Motor Company Limited”.Company Check. Retrieved30 November 2015.
  13. Jump up^ “£4.99… and I’m the new boss of Austin Motors!”. Birmingham Mail. 8 February 2013. Retrieved 1 March2015.
  14. Jump up^ “News : The final Mini leaves Longbridge”. AR Online. 20 November 2012. Retrieved 2 January2013.

Further reading

  • Sharratt, Barney (2000), Men and Motors of “The Austin”: The Intriguing Inside Story, Haynes Group, ISBN 1-85960-671-7
  • Cusumano, Michael A. (1985), The Japanese Automobile Industry, Harvard University Press, ISBN 0-674-47255-1

External links

Author: Jeroen

In Dutch, my homelanguage: Ik ben Jeroen, tot januari 2015 was ik al dik 26 jaar werkzaam in een psychiatrisch ziekenhuis in een stad vlakbij Werelds grootste havenstad Rotterdam. Eerst als verpleegkundige/begeleider op high care, later op afdeling dubbeldiagnose (verslavingen) en ook nog een tijdje als administratief medewerker. Ik heb een spierziekte "Poli Myositis" (alle spieren zijn ontstoken) daardoor weinig energie. Sinds augustus 2015 is daarbij de diagnose Kanker gesteld, en ben ik helemaal arbeidsongeschikt geworden en zit middenin de behandelfase. Gelukkig ben ik daarnaast getrouwd, vader, en opa, en heb de nodige hobby's. Een daarvan is transportmiddelen verzamelen en daarmee een blog schrijven. Dit blog begon met bussen, maar nu komen ook sleepboten, auto's trucks en dergelijke aan bod. Kijk en geniet met me mee, reageer, en vul gerust aan. Fouten zal ik ook graag verbeteren. In English: I'm Jeroen, till januari 2015 I was already 26 years working as a nurse in a psychiatric hospital, near Rotterdam, Worlds biggest harbour with more than 98 nationalities living within it's borders. First I worked on closed high care ward and the last years on a ward with mainly addicted people. I liked my work very much. In 2007 I got ill. I got the diagnose Poli Myositis, a musscle dissease. Al my mussles are inflamed. And last august I got another diagnose. Cancer. It's plaveicelcel carcinoma and treated with Chemo and radioation. So I've even less energy than the last years. Still I try to make something of my life and the blog is helping with surviving with some pleasure.

2 thoughts on “AUSTIN Motor Company”

  1. Hey there, I think your blog might be having browser
    compatibility issues. When I look at your website in Ie,
    it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer,
    it has some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up!
    Other then that, fantastic blog!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.