Offered by Brightwells | Leominster, U.K. | December 3, 2022
The Willys Jeep was a hit during WWII, and the basic concept has remained popular in civilian life since. Well, the Brits didn’t want to have to keep buying American Jeeps – and there was some nationalistic pride to be had too by developing their own version.
So in stepped Austin with this, which unofficially became known as the Champ. Produced between 1951 and 1956, the jeep-like truck is powered by a Rolls-Royce-sourced 2.8-liter inline-four that made 80 horsepower. It’s a 4×4 with a waterproof engine and a snorkel. A civilian version was also available.
This one remained in service with the British military until 1967 and later went to the Netherlands. It wears an older restoration and carries as estimate of $14,000-$16,000. Click here for more info.
Offered by Mecum | Kissimmee, Florida | January 6, 2022
The American Austin. The original cute microcar. Okay, so it’s actually a license-built version of England’s Austin Seven, which was originally introduced in 1923. American Austin was set up in Delaware in 1929, with production beginning the following year in Butler, Pennsylvania. The company eventually went bankrupt, and production ceased in 1935. The company was reformed in 1938 as American Bantam, who would go on to design the original Jeep.
Three different types of coupes were sold by American Austin in 1934 (the company also offered pickups and vans). I have no idea which one this is, but prices ranged from $295 to $385 when new. Coachwork is from the Hayes Body Corporation, hence why the American versions were more stylish than their British counterparts. Power is from a 747cc inline-four good for 15 horsepower.
This one has four-wheel drum brakes and was restored in 2012. Check out more about it here and see more from Mecum here.
Offered by H&H | Duxford, U.K. | November 17, 2021
There’s a lot going on here. Let’s start with the Metro part: this car started out as an Austin Metro, which was a small hatchback introduced by British Leyland in 1980. It was a no-frills economy car. But what if you wanted one all tarted up?
Enter Tickford, a coachbuilder whose roots dated back to the 1820s. They bodied all manner of British cars before and after WWII, and in 1955, the company was purchased by David Brown, owner of Aston Martin. In 1981, with Aston Martin company under new ownership, they created an engineering subsidiary called Aston Martin Tickford.
That company helped other manufacturers build high-performance models, including helping Ford with the Tickford Capri, Sierra Cosworth RS500, and the RS200.
Then there was a guy called Mike Bletsoe-Brown, who owned Sywell Aerodrome in Northamptonshire. He set up a company called Frazer (unrelated to the American one) and contracted with Tickford to build the best Metro they could.
And so the Frazer-Tickford Metro was born. Think of it as the Aston Martin Cygnet‘s grandfather. They took a Metro 1.3 S and stripped it down. A fiberglass body kit was added, as were Aston Martin badges, a sunroof, and an interior worthy of an Aston. The engine was beefed up too, and the 1.3-liter inline-four now put out 80 horsepower.
Aston Martin bought out the project in 1982, and a dumbed down version called the Tickford Metro was available in 1983. Only 26 examples of the Frazer-Tickford car were built, three of which were destined for the American market, including this one. It’s back in England now and has a pre-sale estimate of $47,000-$61,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Historics Auctioneers | Ascot, U.K. | May 15, 2021
A few weeks ago we featured a Nash Metropolitan, which is what this car is usually referred to as. But, it was actually built under four different brands including Nash, Hudson, Metropolitan, and Austin. The easy way to identify an Austin is the right-hand-drive layout.
Actually, Austin built them all and then shipped most of them to the States for sale by Nash/Hudson/AMC. Metropolitans aren’t uncommon in the US (I love them), but the Austin version sure is. This one is still in England though.
Power is from a 1.5-liter inline-four (sourced from the Austin A50 Cambridge) that made about 68 horsepower. While the Metropolitan launched in the US in 1953, they didn’t go on sale in the UK until the very end of 1956, making this a very early UK model. Austin-branded production continued through 1959. There were no ’60 models in the UK, and 1961 cars were just known as “Metropolitans” as they were in the US. Both coupes and convertibles were available.
This one looks good and should bring between $20,000-$25,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Brightwells | Leominster, U.K. | March 27-April 1, 2021
Every major manufacturer got involved in the war in some regard. Consider that right up until the war started, Austin was building this tiny car. Then all of a sudden, they’re manufacturing heavy trucks (though they did build armored cars during WWI).
Between 1939 and 1945, Austin built 13,102 examples of this field ambulance. And that’s all it was… there was no “troop-carrier” variant. Ambulance only. The 3.5-liter inline-six made 60 horsepower when new, enough to propel this three-ton truck to 50 mph. The gruesome record during the war is apparently 27 injured soldiers carried in one load, including on the fenders and hood.
This example was used by the Royal Navy and has been in the same family since it was disposed of by the War Department in 1948. It can now be yours for between $26,000-$27,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by H&H Auctioneers | Duxford, U.K. | April 14, 2021
The Austin Seven (or 7) was a landmark British car. It was like the British Model T – it was extremely popular, cheap, and reliable. It helped put the UK on wheels. It was introduced in 1923, and variants of it remained in production until 1939. The car was licensed all over the world, including by Rosengart in France, BMW in Germany, and American Austin in the US. Its legendary status was cemented when the original Mini was launched in 1959 as the “Austin Seven.”
The 747cc inline-four made approximately seven horsepower, hence the name. It had a three-speed manual gearbox and what we now think of as “conventional” controls. Quite a few body syles were offered, including this four-seat “Chummy” tourer.
This particular car has been in dry storage for some time and could probably do for some reconditioning. It is selling at no reserve alongside a few other Seven variants. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by H&H Auctioneers | Online Only | April 29, 2020
The Austin 16 was introduced in 1927 and evolved fairly significantly over a decade of production. This car, from near the end of the line, looks much different from the earlier cars. Dubbed the Sixteen Light Six, the cars were powered by a 2.2-liter inline-six that made 36 horsepower.
1935 models featured upgrades over preview years and could be had in one of four models. This five-passenger Hertford saloon was the least-expensive option. New features included a second gear synchro and a body-color radiator surround.
This car benefits from recent freshening and shows very well. Austin built 12,731 examples of the 16 between 1935 and 1937, and survivors aren’t all that common. This one should bring between $11,000-$13,500. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by H&H Classics | Duxford, U.K. | November 15, 2017
Photo – H&H Classics
Coming out of the First World War, the Austin Motor Company of England needed to get back into the swing of automobile production. So they built this four-door tourer in 1917. Austin’s test driver drove it all over the U.K. hyping Austin’s new car that is based on this: the 20.
The first generation of the 20 was available from 1919 through 1929. This car is powered by a 3.6-liter straight-four making 20 horsepower and it’s capable of 60 mph. By the time production started in 1919, their test driver had raised over £6 million in pre-orders for the 20, making his tour a wild success, especially because Austin beat many competitors to market after the war.
This car was discovered as a rolling chassis and was pulled out of a hedge and restored about 15 years ago. There aren’t a lot of automobile prototypes still around from this era, making this a rare treat. As a piece of British automotive history, this car should bring between $60,000-$75,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by RM Auctions | Phoenix, Arizona | January 15-16, 2015
Photo – RM Auctions
There are so many Mini-based cars that have been built since the 1960s. Seriously, a ton. But this is one that isn’t quite as familiar as say a Mini Marcos or Deep Sanderson. In fact, the Magenta pre-dates Lightspeed. Originally, the Magenta was built around an MG 1100.
But Lightspeed Panels bought the rights to the Magenta in 1972 and the branding changed. Most Magentas are based around Minis – this one is actually based around a 1966 Austin Mini 850, but has since been upgraded to a 1,275cc straight-four making 75 horsepower from a Cooper S. It’s probably also down some weight (because, you know, the roof is gone) – which will likely make it quicker than a Mini of similar vintage and specification.
It is thought that about 500 Magentas were sold into the early 1980s. It may be a kit car, but I bet it’s a head-turner. This one came to the U.S. in 2005 and had been restored in 2001. The end result of this car comes from one of four factory prototype kits. So it’s sort of a prototype. If you want to buy it, it will likely be one of the more affordable cars at RM’s auction in Arizona this year. Check out more here and see more from this sale here.
1949 Austin Sheerline A.125 Cabriolet by Vesters & Neirinck
Offered by Bonhams | Knokke-Heist, Belgium | October 11, 2013
Photo – Bonhams
When World War II ended, Austin decided to build a car to try and rival Bentley. They introduced the Sheerline (originally in A.110 form) in 1947. After only 12 of those were sold, they shifted to the A.125 – the difference being displacement.
The cars looked a little like Bentleys and a little like Jaguars – in that they were stately, boxy sedans. All were four-door cars offered as sedans or limousines. The engine in the A.125 was a 4.0-liter straight-six making 125 horsepower.
This particular car was delivered new to Belgium and given a custom coachbuilt body by a local Belgian coachbuilder. When I saw this car in the auction catalog, I thought “Oh, a Saoutchik Delahaye!” Boy was I wrong and boy is that a huge compliment to the body on this car. It really is nice looking. The fact that it is also a convertible is a plus as well.
This car is being sold by only its second owner. The mechanicals and interior have been completely restored but the body and paint are entirely original. This is the only example like this built (of the 7,851 A.125s built) and it is a cheap entry into major concours events worldwide. It is expected to sell for between $54,000-$81,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams in Belgium.
Update: Sold for significantly less than the lower end of the estimate. The person who bought it has asked that the price not be displayed here. In a couple of months, after he has flipped the car, the price will be posted here again.