Motor Co. Ltd. was founded in 1905 by Herbert Austin. The
Austin cars were known to be rugged and reliable, and
totally uninspiring. Production of trucks took place from
1913, with the first example to be an 2 to 3 tonner.
After making around 2.000 of the early trucks the company
left the truck truck market and did not return until
1939, when a completely new range was launched.
The range was, to some degree, modeled on the
contemporary Bedfords, and thus was known as "Birmingham
Bedfords". Large numbers were built for military use
during WW II.
most popular vehicle manufactured was the Austin Seven.
In 1939 the 8HP version was introduced, and was produced
until 1947. A 10HP version came in 1939 and paralleled
the 8HP until 1947. At the same time as the 10HP version
a 12HP version was also available.
As well a new Austin built 16HP motor was available in
this and a station wagon. Notable at this point was the
introduction of rod operated brakes, sliding roof and
openable windscreen. Leather seats became a standard.
After the war the K-truck range continued with little
change, but a new model, the Loadstar, entered the market
The year 1947 saw the introduction of car names and a new
model numbering system. The A40 Dorset was a 4 door
saloon, and the Devon was the 2 door equivalent. Coil
springs, independent front suspension and a standard
Overhead Valve engine were introduced. As well the brakes
were of a hydro mechanical design.
For business use vans and pickups were made.
Austin also introduced the Luxury Car with the A125
Sheerline and the A135 Princess. These had a larger
In 1948 the A70 Hampshire was introduced. The following
year the A90 Atlantic with it's cyclops headlight came
along. It was also introduced as a convertible.
The fifties brought a whole upgrade of the line. The A40
Sports Convertible arrived. It had a body by Jensen
Coachworks. The A70 Hereford came along with all
hydraulic brakes. The A30 was Austin's answer to the
The Cambridge series were made in an A40, A50, and A60
version. All were 4 door. Later bodies in the 60 were
designed by Pininfarina.
In 1951 the British Motor Corporation (BMC) was formed by
the merger of Austin and the Nuffield organization who
produced Morris-Commercial trucks.
Westminster A90, A95 and A105 in 1954 brought a 6
cylinder engine and automatic transmission. A35 was a
facelifted A30 and was brought out in 1956 in both Saloon
and Countryman version. The Princess IV was called a
"Sports Saloon" and was a luxury tourer.
A completely new BMC truck plant was opened in Bathgate,
Scotland in 1961.
Wolseley came into the act in the 60's,
when the bodies were gussied up and presented under the
Wolseley banner. They had leather and wood where Austin
had vinyl and paint.
From here the line went to a mainly front wheel drive
format. As Austin and Morris were now in the same
corporation (BMC) it was pretty hard to tell them apart.
The most memorable cars of this era are the Morris Mini
which were basically the same in format between the two
From 1968 all Austin and Morris trucks were badged as
BMC, and from 1970 all carried the Leyland name.