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Homepage. This page: Don't Drink And Drive message from Radio Cars of Sale, Manchester.

BMC Austin 1800 "Landcrab" taxi.

Wise words indeed from this Manchester-based taxi firm - "Don't drink and drive - Drink and phone". This drinks coaster must have been a free hand out, or else used in their offices and removed by someone. Radio Cabs were based in Sale, south of Manchester, and could be contacted on SALe 6463. The car shown is an Austin 1800 Mk1, quite an early version if its non-dating registration (722 AYX) is anything to go by. Curiously, the 1800 was launched late in 1964, by which time dated registration letters were in use, so if the car shown above was a '64 example, it should be on a B or C plate, unless a private number had been fitted (or the photo doctored?).
Austin 1800

On the rear, a simple message is printed - "We Can Save You 50", which I'd guess is a reference to being fined for drink driving in the 1960s?

More on the 1800 Austin/Morris

The Austin 1800 range was another design by Alec Issigonis, following on from his Minor, Mini and 1100/1300 designs. Again it was front wheel drive, with a transverse B series engine, offering a cavernous level of interior space. Its nickname from early on was the 'landcrab'.

Various levels of specification could be chosen by 60s and 70s new-car buyer, with the basic car being available as either an Austin or Morris, depending on your preference. Badge engineering was a well-established approach at BMC by this time. For someone wanting a bit more individuality, they could go for a Wolseley-badged variant (the 18/85), which again had the B series engine, hiding behind a modified front panel that incorporated the traditional Wolseley grille and illuminated badge.

A six cylinder version, known as the Wolseley Six unsurprisingly, would come along later, but was only produced in small numbers, and was identifiable by twin circular headlamps on either side. A four cylinder version of the 1800, but fitted with twin carbs for a little extra 'go' was also sold at BMC garages, badged as the 1800S.

Return to the car & motoring collectables page for more items like this, including old coasters publicising Ford's 105E Anglia of 1959.

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