Austin A30 and A35: austerity thy name is Austin

09 November 2018

Austin’s first ever monocoque was the A30, the star of the 1951 London Motor Show in Earls Court. Announced as the ‘New Austin Seven’, the A30 was essentially a downsized Austin A40 in both style and mechanicals. The A40 Devon was the first Austin to use what soon became known as the A-Series engine. The A30 was given a smaller 803cc version, developing all of 28 horsepower – hence ‘A30’.

In 1952, Britain’s two largest automotive companies merged to create the British Motor Corporation. Unquestionably, Austin fared better than Cowley-based Nuffield because Leonard Lord, chairman and managing director of Austin, was the first BMC boss. Jeff Daniels writes in his excellent British Leyland: the truth about the cars:

…the stage was set for a long ‘them and us’ period of confrontation between Cowley and the Austin headquarters at Longbridge when it was in the general interest to get the merger working smoothly with the utmost speed.