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Homepage. This page: A grim-faced RAC Patrol man alongside a 1950's Austin A70 motor-car, plus two more in London.

1. Austin A70 saloon.

The owner of this Austin A70 Hereford was taking no chances, as the car's grille sports both an RAC and an AA badge. Stood alongside the A70 is a stoney-faced RAC Patrol man, perhaps he was a little camera-shy, or else was not relishing working on the Austin's 2.2 litre engine? Either way, his expression suggests that he'd rather be out on his patrol motorcycle than stood posing for a photo.
(Please click the thumbnail to view full-size image.)
A classic Austin A70 Hereford saloon car
The A70 Hereford was one of Austin's larger "Counties" cars, replacing as it did the previous A70 Hampshire in 1950. The running gear was little-changed from the earlier car, although the introduction of the Hereford did bring with it a switch to hydraulic brakes. It also brought in a larger, more bulbous, body style, visually very similar to the slightly smaller A40 Somerset that would debut a couple of years later. Saloon and estate versions of the A70 would continue to be available, as would the now-rare A70 Hereford pickup, with Australia having its own version of this capacious load-lugger. At its introduction the A70 Hereford saloon cost �535, by 1953 this had risen to �845.
This A70 was registered JOR 222, a Hampshire (!) area series, first used in February 1951.
Production of the A70 Hereford continued at Austin's works in Longbridge until 1954, making way for the new A90 Westminster that was coming on stream.

2. Two A70s in London.

This photograph dates to September 1954, and was taken as part of a series during a review of traffic problems in London. A fine collection of British motors is in evidence, with what looks to be a 1937 Vauxhall (BGD 25) nearest the camera to the left. In front of it, a brace of rotund Austin Herefords. Very similar in style to the contemporary A40, the two models can be differentiated from one another at this angle by the shape of the rear window, the position of the rear number plate, and its position relative to the (chromed) boot hinges - which on the A40 were painted. The further of the two Austins, registration XMY 412 from 1952, has been fitted with poorly-positioned GB letters to its bootlid. Ahead of it is parked a 5cwt Morris Z van, with a fine c1939 Rolls-Royce (registration FLO 759) for company. Interesting, this black Rolls-Royce - a Wraith? - still appears on the DVLA's system, although shows a date of liability (ie tax expiration date) of August 1979. Perhaps it resides quietly in a garage somewhere, or was exported and DVLA never notified?
A Sunbeam Talbot 90 convertible negotiates its way past the front of the R-R, while to the right of shot is a nearly-new 1954 Ford Consul Mk1 convertible (OXY 983). Behind Dagenham's finest sits a Mk V Jaguar saloon, its sunroof open.
Two Austin A70 Herefords and other cars
Advert for the A70 Hereford car
Shown above, a typical advertisement for the A70 Hereford in the early 1950s, a car that was mildly evolutionary rather than revolutionary. This particular cutting is heaped with quotations praising the Austin's merits - passers-by are blown away by the cars conveniently wide rear doors (shared with the A40 Somerset), while passengers are dizzy with excitement over its roomy interior, its "quite comfortable" interior and deep leather seats. The hatted-chap behind the wheel raves about its "splendid performance" and handling that allows the Austin to corner "... as if it were on rails".

3. An A70 at speed.

Staying in London, and another scene that happens to feature an A70 Hereford in it. Given that there is a parked A55 van, the scene could only date to late 1956 at the very earliest. Kevin, who sent the photo over, says it was taken during a family holiday to London in the mid-1960s. I don't know what event the crowds are gathered for, the Police are present as is a mobile office to the right of shot. A number of stationary motorcycles are alongside the Police caravan/office, including a lone example of Velocette LE, a machine popular with the Old Bill. While the A55's owner has disappeared into the crowd, the A70 is captured on film speeding along with a full complement of occupants on board.
There are people stood around the base of Nelson's Column with a large banner, perhaps protesting about something or other?
Austin drives through London
Thanks to Kevin for sending the photo over.
Return to Page 11 in the vintage car motoring gallery.
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