The Austin 1800 or ADO17 was launched in 1954 and won “car of the year” in 1965. It was unusual in appearance with a large, minimalist interior and very advanced “under the skin” with front wheel drive and hydrolastic suspension, like the Austin 1100. Early production cars were beset with problems, giving the impression that the car had been rushed into production and BMC’s innovative saloon was initially slow to sell, although 400,000 examples (Austin,Morris, Wolseley and 2200 versions) were produced in total. The Mk2 cars were launched in 1968 - by then the car was fully sorted and also improved with minor changes to the body-shape, a higher final drive ratio, larger wheels and a 5hp increase in power. The 1800 is becoming a very rare sight - particularly the MK1 and MK2 cars – the rigidity of the body shell which had made the car such a rugged competitor in the era of the long distance rally made the model very popular on the banger racing circuit and many disappeared when values slumped in the 80’s and 90’s.
This car is a 1970 MK2 Austin 1800 in Persian Blue with just 31,000 miles from new and condition to match. It is also fitted with the rare factory option of power steering. FGW835 was with its original owner until her death in 2011 and has had just two collector owners since. The condition is A1 in all departments and very original. The body and paintwork are close to perfect, the underside is neatly under-sealed but original and has never been welded and the interior trim is excellent and completely original.
On the road, FGW835 is by far and away the best “landcrab” that we have driven – power steering really transforms these cars – the drive is smooth with willing power, strong brakes and a slick gear-change, testimony to careful use and the very low mileage. On a recent run it managed 38mpg and cruising at motorway speeds is as comfortable as just about anything we have driven from this era.
Completing the picture is an interesting history file, containing various invoices, old MOT’s, original order form, bill of sale, handbook and sales brochure. Interestingly, the original owner P/X’d an Austin 1100 with 8,000 miles from new when she bought this car in 1970 and that car also carried the number FGW835, her initials. This number plate is clearly of value, is transferable and goes with the car.
FGW835 may well be the best one left but certainly is in the top two or three and has had a pampered life. The original owner was in her 50’s when she bought this car and averaged less than 1,000 miles a year – there are substantial bills from the 1990’s, some with less than 50 miles between them for annual servicing and MOT.
Finding original, low mileage BMC saloons has become very difficult and this one is a real find. It is also very practical and surprisingly good to drive. A one off!
Please call if more detail is required. Viewing near Woburn, Beds. Classic P/X welcome.
For sale austin automatic 1800 due to time wasters re-advertised everything mechanically in very good condition new brakes, discs, clutch,barings,ball joints,exhaust,tyres,battery,will need a little.....