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Homepage. This page: Different images of families enjoying days out with their trusty Austin Eight AP tourers.

1. Pre-war Austin 8 tourer.

The first three Austin 8 photographs on this page turned up together, yet are printed on different types of paper suggesting that they were taken and then developed after different day trips. The car is an 8hp Austin tourer, of a type first introduced in 1939. The registration, EYB 882, was one of a series first used in Somerset from March 1939. Does anyone recognise the beach location shown in two of the photographs - perhaps also in the Somerset area? The first image shows three lads posing in the Austin 8, parked on the sand with children playing in the background. Note the lack of external door handles, and the very large spotlamp mounted on the front nearside bumper iron.
An Austin 8 tourer
The second photo shows five ladies, plus their canine companion, sat in the Austin on a quiet country lane. Again the roof is folded, and this time the rear sidescreens have been removed.
Five ladies sat in their pre-war Austin Eight
The final photo in this set shows two (or more) families tucking into an extensive picnic, again at the seaside somewhere. The Austin 8 is parked in the background, with a cricket bat leaning against the bumper. Alongside the Austin is a Vauxhall 14 saloon, it's front passenger door ajar. Both cars are sporting AA membership badges.
Pre-war Austin and Vauxhall cars

2. Another 1939 Austin Open Tourer, reg. EUR 398.

My thanks to Steve for emailing over this next photo.
"Here's a shot for you of an Austin 10 being driven (maybe parked), by my aunt Amy Parker and my grandmother Lucy in the passenger side. I think Amy had it from new, and probably bought it in Oxford. She drove it all over Europe in the 40's. Unfortunately I have no colour picture, so I'm not sure exactly which [colour] it was."
(Please click the thumbnail to view the full-size image.)
Austin four-seat tourer
The Austin's registration is EUR 398, a Hertfordshire series of registrations that came into being in April 1939. As this era of 8 was launched in February of that year, EUR 398 is therefore an early example of the breed. It certainly looks to be in immaculate condition, so perhaps this was one of its first drives out, hence the photo to record the occasion? Not only is the roof folded down, but the windscreen too. Note the single rear view mirror, the mirror arm is unusually tall, I suspect to clear the folded roof frame to offer a reasonable view of goings-on behind. If Steve's aunt glanced in her mirror at this precise moment, she'd spot a small 1930s saloon pootling away into the distance down this largely traffic-free stretch of road.

EUR 398 lives! (I think).

The chances of this particular car surviving into old age were slim, so imagine my surprise when having a look on the DVLA website to see that EUR 398 is still showing as registered, albeit un-taxed at the time of writing this. The colour is recorded as red, and the engine size given as 885cc which makes me think that the car is an 8 rather than a 10 (the smaller headlamps also point to it being an 8). Can anyone shed light on this car's present location and condition? Any news of the car's current situation will be added in here as and when I hear anything, maybe a few recent photos will be forthcoming to add in here?

Two more photos turn up.

Steve turned up a couple more family photos that feature the same Austin 8 tourer. The first shows a couple (Amy & Frank Kuhlman, plus Sassy Fey the dog) stood with the Austin, which at this time was looking altogether more grubby.
A couple stood with the Austin 8
The following photo is of interest, as it relates to a number of BMC (British Motor Corporation) publications from the 1960s that already feature on this site. Steve adds the following regarding this photo:
"The chap in the back seat is my father, Peter Burdon, (he was the Managing Editor of Sidelights, Motoring and High Road magazines etc). During the early 1960s he was THE editor for all the BMC magazines and PR literature, including productions for overseas sales, then later when the big merger happened he was put in charge of High Road the BL magazine, it didn't last long though. After that, he did a lot of in-house newsletters and the like for Triumph & Jaguar ("Teamwork" was one of Jaguar's newsletters). He was also an actor."
"As a schoolboy, I used to tag along with Dad when he had Press invites to Earl's Court Motor Shows and the like .. I now marvel at how he juggled all those mags and papers, all without a word processor in sight. I even went along to the printers with him once, and was suitably impressed by the art of the typesetter reading everything backwards!"
Peter Burdon, editor of BMC motoring magazines

History of the Austin 8.

The Austin 8 range was introduced in 1939, powered by a 900cc sidevalve engine from the previous 'Big Seven' model. Prior to the war, buyers could opt for either a 2 or 4 door saloon, or the neat tourer as seen here. During the war, many Austin 8s (both saloons and tourers) were built for the Army, a photo of a militarised Austin 8 tourer can be seen here. Production of these little Austins continued after the war, although the 2dr saloon was no longer available. Production finally ended in 1947, by which time the new A40 Devon was ready to go on sale. Other photographs of Austin 8s already on the site include an early 1939 four-door car here, with another in RAF livery here, and a van in RAC patrol livery on this page. Some wartime cartoons of what is believed to be a military tourer can also be seen on this page.
Anyone who is restoring one of these 1930s/1940s Austins may well find the Austin pages in the classifieds section to be of use, as new adverts for parts are regularly being added in.
Return to Old Motoring Photos Page No. 9.

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