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Published on 14 October 2021

Austin 3 Litre; Another underrated car. I drove a couple of new ones in London, and they were smooth and comfortable. The self-levelling rear suspension was as sophisticated as anything coming out of Germany at the time. Unfortunately it missed the dwindling market which was becoming Rover and Triumph 2000 territory. Sales of the big Ford Z-Cars, Humbers and Vauxhalls were going south equally quickly. The 3-Litre was too near the 1800 in looks, so sales of the Wolseley 18/85 based on the 1800 increased - it offered as much in room and appointments. Maybe if they just made it as a Vanden Plas it might have worked. I drove this car in New Zealand - at 40 years old it was still smooth and quiet, despite the self levelling system being permanently on strike. Parts will be a problem; many of them have been stripped of their engine to keep MGCs on the road. None of the hydrolastic displacer units are interchangeable with any other BMC car as far as I know.