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Homepage. This page: Great photos of a baby Austin van that has been modified.

A30 Van / Countryman conversion.

Firstly thanks to Ray for sending these old photographs to me, and agreeing to them being shown here.
A30
Back in the 1950s, many vans were purchased and then converted into estate cars, as part of a dodge to avoid purchase tax that applied to factory-built estates / station wagons in the UK. The Austin A30 shown above dates to 1956, and was photographed after the conversion in around 1960. It looks like a very neat conversion, and to the uninitiated could well be a factory-built Countryman rather than a van. A close look at the real car would have shown a roof vent, which was only fitted to vans and not the factory-built Countryman estates.
Sadly this particular Austin didn't survive for too long - Ray adds "I had it for about seven years, then sold it to my father in law. Shortly after that it got whacked in the side by a Dormobile, not a pretty sight". So unfortunately it came to a sad end, crashed into by a camper van (I wonder if the Dormobile was based on the Ford 400E or Bedford CA?).
Ray's A30 was fitted with a number of popular accessories, such as full width wheel trims, spot lamps, flashing indicators, radio aerial, wing mirrors, and headlamp peaks. A look at a second photo of Ray's A30 van, shows a different style of radio aerial fitted, and a little character hanging from the rear view mirror. Also just visible on the back window, a triangular tourist sticker, the type that you could buy in towns and villages popular with tourists and holidaymakers.
You can find photos of other A30s and A35s elsewhere on the site, such as this collection of pics showing a later A35 van.
Austin A30 van conversion
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