1946 Austin 8 Saloon
Delightful oily rag Austin in regular use; 12v alternator conversion; transferable number
Launched in February 1939 as a successor to the Austin 7, the Austin 8 kept the 885cc, four-cylinder, side-valve engine from the Big 7, now with a higher 6.5:1 compression ratio, but had a completely new chassis.
This was halfway to full unitary construction in that the main member was a pressed steel floor-pan with a box section welded down each side of the car with three others going across the floor. The body was then bolted to this structure. Suspension was by semi-elliptic leaf springs with hydraulic dampers, allied to Girling drum brakes all round and a four-speed manual gearbox. Top speed was a respectable 60mph.
About 20,000 were made before production ceased in 1942, mainly for military and government use. Of these, around 11,000 were two- and four-door saloons and 9,000 two- and four-seat tourers. Production resumed from late 1945 until 1947, but only in four-door six-light saloon form. Costing £149 new, it was a great post-war success and some 36,000 examples were sold.
This six-light saloon dates from July 1946 and just oozes shabby chic charm. Although there is no history with the car other than a V5C, we are told that it has recently been in regular use and benefits from a 12v alternator conversion which is immediately apparent when you lift the bonnet – the alternator looks almost as big as the engine!
Appearing to be in very sound condition throughout, it started easily and ran nicely as we moved it around for the photos, showing excellent oil pressure on the gauge below the dash. We did note some coolant leaking from under the front of the car when the engine got hot but the vendor believes that this is due to him not tightening the clip on the bottom hose properly when he changed the coolant/anti-freeze immediately prior to the auction.
Being offered here at no reserve, it is a most distinctive little car that will make friends wherever it goes. The icing on the cake is the Caithness-issued number plate, JSK 981, which is transferable and doubtless has a value of its own.
For more information contact James on 07970 309907 or email [email protected]
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