- Body Color
- Engine Size
- 45.6ci 4 Cylinder
- Transmission Type
- 3 Speed Manual
1933 Austin American
1933 Austin American
As the name implies, the American Austin was an Americanized version of Sir Herbert Austin's Austin 7 introduced in 1927, backed by American investors and manufactured in a former rail car plant in Butler, Pennsylvania, 35 miles north of Pittsburgh. Also known in its home country as the Baby Austin, the machine was small even by British standards, and to American car owners it was downright tiny. U.S. Production began in 1930, and for the first year or two, sales ran at a sustainable rate. The American version's greatest departure from the British original was in its exterior sheet metal. Manufactured by Hayes Body Corporation of Michigan and designed by the body maker's resident stylist, Count Alexis de Sakhnoffsky, the styles included a two-seat roadster, a two-place sedan that was really more of a coupe, and various open and closed commercial bodies. The optional radiator mascot was a bantam rooster.
For consignment, a micro car before the term was even known or used. The beneficiary of a frame off restoration along with repair invoices and receipts dating back to when this car was delivered new in Philadelphia, PA. A 3/4 scale Model A if you will with room for 2 and some luggage, great for jaunts around the countryside or even to take the class win at nearly every show you attend. Big things indeed do come in small packages and this example is proof.
When you think of Austin you think of England, right hand drive, and her majesty the Queen. But following that mindset would lead you down the wrong road. Starting life in a former railcar plant in Butler, PA, the Americanization of the Austin happened. During the frame off restoration a full repaint was applied to the body, which is covered in a nice application of gray with complimenting black curvy running fenders sans running boards. Nearly no faults can be seen in the body, from the twin bar chrome front bumper to the mustachio style headlamp tie bar all the way back to the rear chrome bumper it's all looking just fab. A standard radiator cap adorns the gray painted grille corral and sets off the black grille nicely. The driver's door, left side folks this is 'Merica, is dressed well with a small round chrome mirror on a stalk and up top a black vinyl insert in the roof is seen, which is standard for the technology of the day. Its miniature wheelbase, and large gray disc style wheels add to the charm of this miniature motorcar from just north of Pittsburgh.
Our left-hand drive version has new black vinyl seating and presents nicely in full bench form. It gives the interior a touch of class and character that matches nicely with the lightly worn and most likely original black vinyl door panels and tarnished cranks and handles. A simple black steel dash houses the staggered layout of centrally mounted gauges and the headlight/ignition switch which is housed in front of the driver. An original large steering wheel in black bakelite, fronts the dash and is complete with a black utilitarian horn button. A long shift lever protrudes from the top of the transmission and reaches back to the driver's right hand. Black rubber flooring is on for quick and easy clean up and behind the front bench is a small storage area for your overnight bag or picnic basket.
The original and rebuilt 45.6ci 4-popper is under the long bonnet and is attached to a 4-speed manual transmission. This tiny but capable mill is fed by a Tillotson 1bbl carburetor and shows nicely with light patina in the centrally hinged engine bay. A 3-speed manual transmission is bolted to the back and sends power to the 5.25 geared rear axle via a hybrid torque tube driveline.
While unable to span our lift we were able to get the money shot of the undercarriage. Yards of clean black steel make up the framing and suspension as well as supporting the clean wood and steel flooring. Mechanical drum brakes are on both fore and aft and we see a single exhaust system in charge of the exhale. Quarter elliptical leaf springs provide the ride on the rear and up front is a transverse leaf spring with friction dampers.
A tight squeeze even for my "athletic" frame, but I managed as I've never had the pleasure of piloting such a vehicle. A quick starter and smooth idler once warmed up. On our test track it performed well with adequate, (for its abilities), acceleration, and apt handling. Braking, as with any mechanical drum equipped car, must be planned in advance but our example stopped straight and true. Had my partner in crime and all around good guy not been with me I would have acted out a few Buster Keaton's heroic driving skills. Yes, The Great Stone Face Malec was a fan of the Austin American.
An interesting piece of UK come American automotive history, and with an unknown amount of examples still existing, a very rare…let alone running examples which this one does so just famously. A true Pennsylvania car its whole life that has been restored well and looks just splendid. So, I'm hopping in for a tool and I leave you with “Chip Chip Cheerio...and all that Rot!”, wait...its American so I'll take it on the heel toe.
Classic Auto Mall is a 336,000-square foot classic and special interest automobile showroom, featuring over 650 vehicles for sale with showroom space for up to 1,000 vehicles. Also, a 400 vehicle barn find collection is on display.
This vehicle is located in our showroom in Morgantown, Pennsylvania, conveniently located just 1-hour west of Philadelphia on the I-76 Pennsylvania Turnpike. The website is www.classicautomall.com and our phone number is (888) 227-0914. Please contact us anytime for more information or to come see the vehicle in person.