Austin A70 Hampshire woodie.
This is a weird car, and one that fans of the Austin Counties cars (A40,A70,A90 etc) will no doubt be scratching their heads about. The photograph was of the lady just visible, but I've cropped the photo down to concentrate on the car parked behind. It is a commercial version of the Austin A70, or Hampshire, as it was known. The registration number is not visible unfortunately. Commercials based on the A70 are indeed rare, with very few survivors still around. Photos of an A70 pickup in the 1950s can be seen here, a surviving A70 pickup preserved in Australia here, and another pickup I saw some years at a show here. The Hampshire would continue in production until 1950, making way for the re-bodied A70 Hereford.
But back to this photograph. The wheels on the Austin look like the heavier commercial type, and there is a 'C' licence in the windscreen next to the tax disc. Look closely and it seems that there is a hastily-applied panel fitted behind the driver's door - was this a door for rear seat passengers, or a temporary repair I wonder? It looks a bit 'Heath Robinson'! A woodie-type structure is visible just behind it, as is the rear wheel which suggests that the Austin is mid-repair, and the rear arch has yet to be re-fitted. The nearside rear coachwork is just visible through the windows, and doesn't include this modification, with a full complement of windows down the side.
Unfortunately this is the only photo I have of this A70 Hampshire. Was it built out of a pickup, or assembled from new as a 'woodie' estate car?
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