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Homepage. This page: Photographs of a rare Austin Twelve Eton that was rescued from a Devon scrapyard in the '60s.

Austin 12hp Eton named "Mowog".

Having just watched recent footage of the Austin Motor Company's Longbridge Works being demolished on Youtube, a sad sight, I needed cheering up. Fortunately, a few days earlier Bonny had been in touch, sending me a selection of photos featuring cars he'd owned in the past. Included were the followng two photos of an Austin he rescued in the 1960s, both reminders of happier times for the British-owned, volume, motor industry, as was once the case.
BDF 519 is a circa 1936 Austin 12/6 two-door Eton Coupe, from the company's "Light Twelve" range of the mid-to-late 1930s. Three versions of the Eton were available at the time, an 11.9HP four cylinder 12/4, or the 12/6 which was equipped with either a 13.9HP or 15.9HP straight six. Buyers needing four doors could opt for the Open Road Tourer variant instead.
Click to view:
Photo of the Austin
Of this car, Bonny recalls:
"I have been trying to search your web site for info on a type of car I had in 1960/61. I am sure it was an Austin 12 coupe with a long stroke engine and dickey seat (all leather), but the only similar car seen on the site is an Austin 10/4 'Clifton' but that only has 3 engine bay vents - mine had 4. When I needed spares in 1960 they always came boxed in packaging labelled 'MOWOG' so I then referred to it as Mowog!"
"I rescued the car off a scrap heap at Flemington in North Devon for 10 pounds plus my 1938 Austin 10, that had lasted me the previous year for 10.00 + one dipping solenoid. This car took me across the UK on various RAF detachments/holidays, back to Sussex, and around Devon/Cornwall. The 12 (reg No. BDF 519) lasted me 18 months or so until I needed a faster car as my love life then lived in Essex, and I was still in Devon. We did many miles with BIG dog looking over the windscreen, driving with the top down as he sat in the middle on the bench seat (a conversion undetaken by the previous owner)."
"The grunt of the engine came into its own one day in Bude, Cornwall when I pulled a Mini off the sands, stuck by its little tyres; the owners were most surprised when we pulled it off first go. The rod-operated brakes may not be up to today's standards but how I wish I had it now to tootle around the Shropshire roads, which are mostly like those of the 1960s."
"In 1961-2 there were 2 of these on our base in N.Devon, but the other one's engine was ruined by the owner's addition of 'Avpin' to the fuel tank to boost power (Avpin was the 'rocket fuel' used to start Hawker Hunter aircraft!!!). I also saw another 12/4 in Porlock in 1961 with spoked wheels, but due to a lack of parking space I didn't stop to see the owner."
The second of Bonny's photos shows the Austin, following a re-paint in green Valspar, during a run out around Exmoor with his mother in 1962.
Photo of the Austin Eton around Exmoor
The sales brochure of the day said this about the 12hp Eton:
"This is a smart looking car adaptable to carry four persons, if required. The two front seats are separately adjustable and there are also two seats in the dickey, where, if there are no passengers, luggage may be carried dry and secure."

"The hood stows away very neatly when not in use, and is quickly and easily raised in stormy weather. The side curtains when not required are folded away into compartments in the doors."

"The car can be finished to choice of Austin colours and upholstered in best quality leather. There are direction indicators with automatic return, electric dual windscreen wipers, driving mirror, pile carpets, draught and fume excluders, pedal rubbers, baggage accommodation, spare wheel and tyre with cover, and those accessories shown on the chassis specification [page]. All fittings chromium plated. Triplex glass windscreen."
Thanks again for sending over your photos, and memories, of a fine pre-war Austin.
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