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Homepage. This page: Ouch - a Twelve-Four Austin photographed in a garage following a heavy impact, plus an immaculate example.

Austin 12/4 saloons.

Some time ago Jim Walker, a veteran of this site's forum, was kind enough to send over a collection of original images that relate to his family's former garage and car hire business. It was situated in Chesterfield, on Corporation Street (more information and papers relating to the firm can be found on the C. Bower page). A number of the photographs feature the fleet of vintage Austins that were employed on local business. While most are shown outside churches, say on wedding duty, the car shown below was photographed after a heavy coming-together with something solid, resulting in the badly bent front end shown below.
Jim Stringer from the Vintage Austin Register confirmed its identity as a late 1929/early 1930 Austin 12/4 Burnham saloon. The severity of the shunt can be judged by the seriously de-ranged front chassis irons and leaf springs. The wheels and front axle also bore much of the impact, while the radiator appears to have survived, although the radiator cover may hide damage to the nearside corner. The offside headlamp also appears to have survived the shunt, which is more than can be said for the front wing just below it. I'm not sure what caused the accident, but the radiator cover suggests that it happened during the colder months of the year, perhaps it was a victim of black ice. The main body appears to be un-damaged so hopefully the Austin's occupants were shaken but nothing more.
The registration plate is partially visible, the letters "GH" and numbers "6" and "3" I think are present.
(Please click the thumbnails to view the full-size Austin image.)
Frontal view of the damaged Austin

Wedding hire.

Included in the same selection of photographs is a photo of a similar car in service with Bower's, being used on wedding duties. This glistening example sports a registration commencing with "GH", possibly the same car? The GH registration series (London issue) ran from July to September 1930.
Possibly the same car on wedding hire duty
Return to Page 17 in the vintage gallery.

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