Austin 12/4

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Light Twelve-Four
Austin 12 (I think) at Biggleswade.JPG
Austin Twelve New Ascot
shape announced 11 August 1936
Manufacturer Austin Motor Company
Production 1933–1939
71,654 produced[1]
Body and chassis
Body style saloon, tourer, estate car, van
Engine 1535 cc Straight-4[2]
Transmission in one unit with the engine: single-plate clutch, 4-speed centrally controlled gearbox with synchromesh on 2, 3 & top.Three quarter floating rear axle
Wheelbase 8' 10", 106 in (2,700 mm)
track 4' 2", 50 in (1,300 mm)[2]
Length 12' 10", 154 in (3,900 mm)[2]
Width 5' 0", 60 in (1,500 mm)[2]
Predecessor Austin 12 hp ("Heavy" 12)
Successor Austin 12 (1939 model)
Light Twelve-Four
1535 cc
Manufacturer Austin Motor Company Limited
Combustion chamber
Configuration Straight 4-cylinder
Displacement 1,535 cc (94 cu in)[2]
Cylinder bore 69.3 mm (2.73 in)[2]
Piston stroke 101.6 mm (4.00 in)[2]
Cylinder block alloy cast iron
Cylinder head alloy detachable, pistons are aluminium
Valvetrain side-by-side valves
Fuel system downdraught carburettor supplied by pump from tank at rear of the car. Contents gauge on instrument panel
Fuel type petrol
Oil system forced lubrication by gear wheel pump to all crankshaft bearings, camshaft and big end bearings
Power output 24 bhp (18 kW; 24 PS) @2,400 rpm[2]
28 bhp (21 kW; 28 PS) @3,000 rpm
Tax horsepower 11.9[2]
Predecessor new
Successor Austin Twelve 1535 cc

The Austin Light Twelve-Four was a car produced by the Austin Motor Company from 1933 until 1939. It was replaced in 1939 by a completely new car also called the Austin 12 which kept the same engine. The "12" in the name referred to the taxation horsepower, a British rating which controlled the annual taxation payable to use the car on the road.

Austin Twelve-Four Ascot[edit]

Austin introduced this new car in September 1932. It was made by fitting a 1535 cc side-valve, four-cylinder engine with 24 bhp output into the same chassis as they had been making since late 1930 for their six-cylinder 12/6 which was also in the same 12 hp class. This new four cylinder engine was coupled to a four-speed "crash" gearbox at first, but a new transmission with synchromesh on third and top speed appeared in 1934 and then also on second in 1935.

The chassis was very conventional, with semi-elliptic leaf springs on all wheels and rigid axles front and rear. Wire wheels were fitted until 1937 when they were replaced with pressed steel ones. At launch there was a choice of a pressed steel six-light (three windows on each side) saloon called the Harley and a two-seat tourer. A second saloon style with a boot, the Ascot, was added in 1934 and the Harley was dropped in 1935. In the same year the chromium plated radiator shell was replaced by one painted in body colour. The very early cars had their side lights mounted on the scuttle, but these soon moved to the tops of the wings.



Open Road



two-seater tourer

158 in (4,000 mm)
158 in (4,000 mm)
158 in (4,000 mm)
61.5 in (1,560 mm)
61.5 in (1,560 mm)
61.5 in (1,560 mm)
66 in (1,700 mm)
67.5 in (1,710 mm)
67.5 in (1,710 mm)

Austin Twelve New Ascot[edit]

On 11 August 1936 Austin announced a major update for 1937 with the engine being moved forward on the chassis to improve passenger space. Other improvements included an adjustable steering column and the windscreen wipers moving to the scuttle from the top of the screen. The bodies became much more rounded and in 1938 an estate car was added to the model line-up and the tourer, which was still being built in the old style, was replaced by a four-door cabriolet.

for 1939[edit]

Higher and wider doors were introduced for both Twelve and Fourteen in midsummer 1938.


  1. ^ Sedgwick, Michael (1989). A-Z of Cars of the 1930s. Devon, UK: Bay View Books. ISBN 1-870979-38-9. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Cheaper Motoring.The Times, Tuesday, Sep 06, 1932; pg. 10; Issue 46231