1933 Austin 12/4 Berkeley Saloon
Older restoration in lovely condition throughout; in regular light use; a cracking example of this sought-after model
Launched in late 1921, the Austin 12 was dubbed 'The Salesman's Joy' due to the way it fairly flew out of the showrooms, some 70,000 examples being sold by 1927, the peak year of production. In combination with the immortal 7, it secured Austin's long-term future and remained on sale until 1935 although a taxi version was still available as late as 1939. During this time the 12 became a by-word for indestructability thanks to its superb build quality and ruggedly simple design.
The engine was a five-bearing side-valve four, displacing 1,861cc (from 1927) for which the factory claimed 27bhp at just 2,000rpm. This was sufficient for 40-45mph cruising, at which speed the 12 returned around 26mpg. Effective four-wheel brakes meant that the car coped with sudden emergencies better than many of its contemporary rivals. Enduringly popular and tough as old boots, the 12 remains a favourite with Austin enthusiasts to this day.
This particular 12/4 has the handsome and spacious Berkeley six-light saloon coachwork and was first registered in Northumberland in May 1933. A DVLA print-out indicates that it has had just five owners since c.1950, the current acquiring it in 2015. Although there is little history with the car, it has clearly been well restored at some point in the not-too-distant past.
A letter from Malcolm C Elder & Son of Oxon dated July 2010 states that JR 414 "has undergone a thorough restoration to a high specification and is in superb condition throughout including bodywork, paintwork, brightwork, interior and mechanical condition", concluding with the recommendation that "this motor car be insured for the sum of £16,000". It would seem that little has changed since then and the car still presents very well today.
Our vendor has used the car only lightly during his five-year ownership, mainly attending local shows, and reports that it has been a delight to own and drive. Given a check-over by those excellent chaps at Much Marcle Garage shortly before the auction, it was then driven some 30 miles to Brightwells with no problems whatsoever and has continued to start easily and run nicely as we have moved it around the site.
Documentation includes a V5C, the aforementioned ownership history, an original owner’s handbook, an invoice for five new Excelsior tyres and Michelin heavy duty inner tubes in May 2004 which cost £605 and an invoice for four new Champion D16 spark plugs in March this year. The fuel tank has also recently been professionally refurbished. There is also a copy of an old MOT from 2004/05 at which point the mileage was 0926, the odometer currently displaying 4,430 miles. A box of spares are included if desired (including headlamps) but these will need to be collected from the Much Marcle area.
A most pleasing old Austin all round, this sturdy saloon has plenty of space for all the family and doubtless has another 80+ years of faithful service ahead of it.
For more information - contact James Dennison 07970 309907
Reg No: JR414
Chassis Number: 73562
Engine Number: 74041.L
Engine Size: 1861
Hammer Price (inc. buyers premium)
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