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Homepage. This page: Two 1930s Austin Ripleys as used by the Derbyshire police force.

Austin Ripley CRB 154 and CNU 753.

The story of these pre-war photographs and them featuring on oldclassiccar began in 2005, when Andrew Slater dropped me an email, with two photographs that showed his grandfather stood next to two unidentified cars. One was registered CRB 154, and the other CNU 753. I was pretty sure that they were both Austins, but the model names escaped me, so I placed them on the Mystery Car photographs page to see if any more information would come to light. Firstly, Austin Ripley CRB 154.
Austin Ripley police car
Ripley CRB 154.
A quick check online shows that CRB 154 is still on the DVLA system, and currently taxed, so who owns it now? it would be great to find a current photo of the car and put it on this page, along with the photo from the 1930s. In June 2006, Richard dropped me a note, confirming that CRB 154 is an Austin Ripley, a model based on a 10/4 chassis, fitted with an alloy/steel 4 seat tourer body. The engine was modified, thanks to the fitment of a downdraught carburettor and high-lift camshaft, enabling the Ripley to crack 65 mph, when the standard car would only make 55 or so.
In 2008 Mike contacted me, with some more information on the CRB- registered cars (he owns one of this batch): "I've had some good information from the Kithead Trust giving me details of registrations CRB 150 through to CRB 156. This confirms that all except one were Austin Sports Tourers. Actually CRB 154 is just described as an 'Austin' (in 1977 when no-one knew what this model was!) but we know for sure that it is a Ripley. The exception is CRB 152 which was a Wolseley 25 HP 'Shooting Brake' (possibly a 'Black Maria'?). All the details are there but the Wolseley appears to have been 'broken up' in the 1950s".
Ripley CNU 753.
Second of the photos that Andrew sent over, show his Grandfather stood alongside CNU 753, another car used by the Derbyshire force. Again the shape of the grille stumped me at first, until Richard contacted me in 2006 with his identification of both cars. He also mentioned that a six cylinder version of the Austin Ripley was also produced, called the Newbury. Whereas the Ripley had three cooling vents on the bonnet side panels, the Austin Newbury had four.
Austin Ripley
Amazingly, this wasn't the end of the story though, as in August 2008, Ian Guilor sent me an email after spotting the photograph of CNU 753 on the site. It turns out he later owned the very same car, and sent me a photograph of it when he owned it in the mid 1950s.
Austin Ripley in the 1950s
Ian adds: "Yes the car on the 'mystery cars' page is in fact a Ripley, and the very one I owned in mid 1950's, and I am enclosing a photo of me as very young man at the wheel!! What an interesting picture, I did know it had belonged to the Derbyshire Police, I bought the car in Belper Derbyshire and was told at the time that the checked radiator (red/white) denoted a police car". Ian also sent me a photo of his first car, a '29 Austin 7, and that now features on this Austin 7 photo page.
Thanks again to Andrew for sending the original photos over, Richard and Mike for adding more background information to the cars, and finally Ian who turned up this super old photo showing CNU some twenty years after the first photo was taken! If any later photos of either cars are out there, it'd be great to see them.
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