Austin A30

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Austin A30
Austin A30 1954.jpg
Austin A30 4-door saloon
Overview
Manufacturer Austin Motor Company
British Motor Corporation
Production 1951–56
223,264 [1]
Assembly Longbridge, United Kingdom
Melbourne, Australia [2]
Body and chassis
Body style 4-door saloon
2-door saloon
2-door estate
2-door van
Powertrain
Engine 803 cc A-Series I4
Transmission 4-speed manual
Dimensions
Wheelbase 79.5 in (2,019 mm)[3]
Length 136.5 in (3,467 mm)[3]
Width 55 in (1,397 mm)[3]
Chronology
Successor Austin A35

The Austin A30 is a compact economy car launched at the 1951 Earls Court Motor Show, London by the Austin Motor Company and produced by the newly formed British Motor Corporation from May 1952 to September 1956. Introduced as the "New Austin Seven", it was Austin's answer to the Morris Minor.

At launch the car cost £507, undercutting the Minor by £62.[4]

Styling[edit]

Though Austin had previously contracted the American industrial designer, Raymond Loewy in the task, the designs of Holden 'Bob' Koto were discarded and the car we know was eventually styled in-house by Ricardo 'Dick' Burzi.

Features[edit]

The body structure was designed by T.K. Garrett, who had been an aeronautical engineer before joining Austin. It was of fully stressed monocoque chassis-less construction, which made it lighter and stiffer than most contemporary vehicles, the first Austin to be made in this way. Inside there were individual seats at the front and a bench at the rear covered in PVC with an option of leather facings on the seats. Evidence of economy was seen in only having a single windscreen wiper, central combined stop/tail/numberplate lamp and a sun visor in front of the driver only. A passenger-side wiper and sun visor, and a heater were available as optional extras.

Originally only offered as a 4-door saloon, 2-door variants were introduced in late 1953, and in 1954 a van and van-based "countryman" estate were made available.[5] Despite having a smaller loading capacity than the equivalent BMC O-type Minor based vans (60 cu ft / 1.70 m3 as opposed to 76 cu ft / 2.15 m3) the Austin van offered the same payload. Being slightly lighter and stiffer, it was favoured by businessmen, and saw long service for many.

The A30 was replaced by the Austin A35 in 1956 with 223,264 examples having been built.[6]

The A30 had a smaller rear window than the A35 and trafficators instead of modern indicators, which popped out from the B pillar when operated by a knob mounted on the centre of the dashboard.

The car was quite successful in 1950s saloon car racing, and some still appear in historic events.

Austin A30 2-door saloon
Austin A30 4-door saloon
Austin A30 Countryman estate
Austin A30 5 cwt delivery van
Austin A30 with trafficator deployed


Performance[edit]

The car's newly designed A-Series straight-4 engine was state of the art for the time and returned an average fuel consumption of 42 mpg / under 7L/100 km. With spirited driving the A30 was able to attain a top speed of 70 mph (110 km/h) (factory quoted). In their road test The Motor magazine achieved a top speed of 67.2 mph (108.1 km/h) and a 0–60 mph time of 42.3 seconds. Braking was effected by a hybrid system, with Lockheed fully hydraulic drum brakes at the front and a body mounted single cylinder operating rods to the wheels at the rear, which despite being heavily criticised as being archaic and old-fashioned, were reported as being quite acceptable. The rod system provided good handbrake efficiency and was applied by a lever in an unorthodox position to the right of the drivers seat (Right hand drive vehicles). Bumps were handled by independent coil springs at the front end and beam axle/semi-elliptic leaf springs at the back.

A car tested by The Motor magazine in 1952 had a top speed of 62 mph (100 km/h) and could accelerate from 0–50 mph (80 km/h) in 29 seconds. A fuel consumption of 38.8 miles per imperial gallon (7.28 L/100 km; 32.3 mpg-US) was recorded. The test car cost £553 including taxes. The optional radio was an extra £43 and the heater £9.[7] Performance data need to be seen in the context of fuel availability. Early in the Second World War "branded fuel" disappeared from sale in the UK, and the nationally available fuel available at the beginning of 1952 had an octane rating of just 70, which enforced relatively low compression ratios: this reduced the performance available from all cars, especially small ones. In 1952 branded fuels returned to the forecourts, available octane ratings began to increase, and compression ratios were progressively improved along with the performance figures of cars such as the Austin A30 and its A35 successor.[8]

Australian production[edit]

The A30 was produced in Australia by the Austin Motor Company (Australia) Pty Ltd from 1952 to 1954 and by its successor, the British Motor Corporation (Australia) Pty Ltd from 1954 to 1956.[9]

Engine[edit]

  • 803 cc BMC A-Series engine inline 4.
  • 58 mm bore x 76 mm stroke
  • pushrod-operated overhead valves
  • compression ratio 7.2:1
  • single Zenith 26JS or 26VME carburettor
  • 28 bhp (21 kW) at 4400 rpm
  • 40 lbf·ft (54 Nm) at 2200 rpm

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sedgwick, Michael; Gillies, Mark (1993). A–Z of cars 1945–1970. Bay View Books. ISBN 1-870979-39-7. 
  2. ^ Barry Anderson, Building Cars in Australia, 2012, page 198
  3. ^ a b c Culshaw, David; Horrobin, Peter (1974). Complete Catalogue of British Cars. Macmillan. ISBN 0-333-16689-2. 
  4. ^ Robson, Graham (2006). A–Z British Cars 1945–1980. Herridge & Sons. ISBN 0-9541063-9-3. 
  5. ^ Elias, Mark (20 February 2012). "A Mighty Fun Sprite". Autoweek 62 (4): 21. ISSN 0192-9674. 
  6. ^ "Austin A30-35 at Austin Memories". Retrieved 19 April 2012. 
  7. ^ "The A30 Austin Seven Road Test". The Motor. 12 November 1952. 
  8. ^ Autocar. 146 (nbr 4203): pages 58–61. 28 May 1977. 
  9. ^ The Macquarie Dictionary of Motoring, 1986, page 24 & 62

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]