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Homepage. This page: B/W photographs of large 20hp Austin cars of 1920 or thereabouts.

A mid-1920s Austin motorcar.

Julian sent the first photograph over, he's researching his family's history and is seeking more information on the type and model of car shown. It looks to me like a pre-war Austin 20 Landaulette, but I'm sure vintage Austin experts out there will know for sure.
A 1920s Austin car
Julian adds this background information on the car and it's driver:
"I have just been looking through your website - great pictures from the past and quite a lot of Austin classics. I wonder if you can help solve a mystery of mine? Attached is a picture of my Grand Uncle Herbert (Bertram) William Baker, taken around 1925/30. Bertram came from the Isle Of Wight, born in 1883. My Grandfather used to remark that he went on a special course at Rolls-Royce in order to drive one of the first cars on the Island. I understand that the first cars on the Island were around 1903. Perhaps it was the first Taxi on the Island. Obviously the vehicle shown is a later model, and from his uniform he may have been a Chauffeur or Taxi driver. He married a girl and lived at Sutton around 1910."
"It would be interesting if you could identify the car. The registration seems to be 'FC 706?' there may be a number obscured by one of the wheels. One document I found on a website stated that 'FC' was common to the Oxford area. Could you add any information that may identify who owned this car and possibly the history of cars/taxis on the Isle Of Wight?"
I think the registration might actually be "FC 704-", with the last number obscured, but yes that is an Oxford-area number. The Austin does look like it could have been available for hire, as Landaulette models were popular in this role. I can't see any "Taxi" sign or meter though, so I think it is more likely to have been a chauffeur-driven hire car. The Landaulette models were identifiable by the fold-down rear section of roof, the rear hood can just be made out in this photograph - also just visible are the hood irons beneath the surface. Other photos I've seen of Austin 20 Landaulettes tend to feature cars with wider front doors than that shown here, so it might not be a '20'. If more information comes to light, I'll update this page accordingly. Thanks again for sending the Austin photo over, and ok'ing it's publication.

2. Another example of Austin 20.

Four years after publishing the photograph above, another of a very similar vehicle arrived via email for identification. I believe it is a 1919/1920/1921 example of Austin 20. In many ways the car, and its driver, are very similar to those portrayed in Julian's photograph. Again, an Austin is featured along with presumably its driver. Steve, who owns the photograph, adds the following details in his hunt to discover more about the scene:
"The attached photo is of my maternal grandfather, George James, who was believed to be with the Metropolitan Police and living in the Lambeth area. The photo dates to the early 1920's. Any information you can give will be appreciated. Questions that come to mind are the identity of car, date, and the likely ownership. The uniform looks like that of a chauffeur, so would he be a policeman or just a driver? If this can be identified as a police car I will see if the Met Police have any records."
Click to view:
Another Austin 20 motor-car of the 1920s
Comparisons between the two cars featured above are interesting. Both are in fine condition at the time of being posed before a photographer. The second Austin has tyres with very distinctive "X" treads to them. The name of tyre can be clearly made out on the sidewalls, ie "The Clincher Cross", presumably a product of North British Clincher. Visible in both shots is the sliding glass partition that is positioned behind the driving position, to enable the rear seat occupants to communicate with the chauffeur, should the need arise.
If anyone can shed further light on this second photo, please let me know and I'll update the page accordingly. Thanks for sending this over Steve.
Return to Old Car Photos Page No. 8.

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