An old Austin in Baillieston
Falling into the category of ‘My eyes are broken’ was the first time I saw this old car in Baillieston.
I was standing in the queue at Lidl when I spotted it. framed in one of the shop’s windows. Between the dirty window and the lighting at the late time of day, I first thought it was a picture on a piece of paper stuck to the window, but when it’s position shifted when I moved in the queue, it was obviously somewhere outside. The only problem with this was that it had to something like 4 metres above the ground – not a usual place to see a car.
All was explained when I got outside, and was seen to have been hoisted into the air and was sitting in the premises of an engineering shop that deals in gearboxes.
The car is an Austin A30,powered by an 803 cc A-Series engine, and one of 223,264 manufactured between 1951–1956. It was followed by the A35, almost identical, but for one detail visible in the pics that allows the two to be differentiated. A car tested by The Motor magazine in 1952 reached a maximum speed of 62 mph (100 kph) and could accelerate from 0–50 mph (80 kph) in 29 seconds. A fuel consumption of 38.8 miles per imperial gallon was recorded. The test car cost £553 including taxes, the optional radio an extra £43, and the optional heater £9.
At the time, it seems the country was still recovering from the effects of World War II, and ‘branded’ petrol only began to return to the forecourts around 1952.The A30 could be coaxed up to a top speed of 70 mph according to the factory), and The Motor magazine managed 67.2 mph, with a 0–60 mph time of 42.3 seconds. This has to be taken in context: petrol then available nationally only has an octane rating of around 70, allowing only relatively low compression ratios to be used, so reducing the performance all cars, especially small ones. As the years passed, octane ratings rose, together with compression ratios, leading to improved performance.
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