Classic Van Auction Talk

Tuesday 28 April 2015

1957 AUSTIN A35 - BRIGHTWELLS 13-05-15

 Wednesday 13th May 2015
 Easters Court, Leominster, Herefordshire, HR6 0DE
Austin A35  
1957 AUSTIN A35

Estimate £3,000 - £3,500
Description Austin A35
Registration DSL 263
Year 1957
Colour Grey
Engine size 948 cc
Chassis No. A255HC554206
Engine No. 2A
Following the success of the pre-war Seven, Austin placed enormous importance on their new post-war small car range.
Indeed Lord Austin took the task so seriously that he employed Raymond Loewy's legendary USA design agency for advice and one of their top men, Bob Koto, was despatched to England for four months to help style the new baby Austin.
Prior to his arrival, Lord Austin had also purchased an interesting one-off design built by Ian Duncan. He ran a small business making bodies for Healey and Alvis cars, and had come up with a monocoque front-wheel drive design. Along with his prototype, he was contracted to the engineering department at Longbridge and started work on the chassis design. The outcome of their labours was the Austin A30, a small car with four seats which proved an instant success in the car-starved post-war marketplace.

"In a car which goes along so willingly, handling qualities are of considerable importance," wrote Bill Boddy in Motor Sport. "Steering the A30 on a wet road in a strong crosswind, or at its terminal velocity downhill, is rather like walking a tightrope - alright if you keep going straight."

Naturally Austin ignored his comments and in 1956 launched an even more willing A35, an updated version of the A30 with a larger rear window, painted grille and indicators in place of the old semaphores. Under the bonnet the 803cc engine was replaced by the 948cc A-Series mated to a new gearbox with remote change. It was enough to continue the strong sales until the arrival of the all new A40 in 1959. Autocar tests showed a top speed of 72mph, with 0-60mph taking 30 seconds. Fuel consumption was a modest 41.5 mpg. Then as now, the A35 was adored by racers who found the engine endlessly tunable, the monocoque body exceptionally stiff and the handling second to none - Bill Boddy notwithstanding!

First registered in July 1957, this very smart example was purchased through Brightwells in early 2011 and has proved very reliable. Shortly before the vendor acquired the car it had been re-upholstered including new door cards. The maroon carpets were new and the seatbelts had been replaced. The engine runs very sweetly with a recent new carburettor and the car is fitted with a stainless steel exhaust. The vendor has also added an electronic ignition system and a recent new brake cylinder. Although exempt from such things, it carries a current MOT which expires in March 2016.

The demand for A35s has seen a dramatic turnaround recently. Maybe the exposure in the Wallace and Grommit films, or their recent successes on the historic race circuit are responsible. Whatever the reason, they make a highly practical, reliable and economical classic which is great fun to drive


Easters Court, Leominster, Herefordshire, HR6 0DE
Tel: 01568 611166

Fax: 01568 611802

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