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Austin A55 Cambridge Mk2 1959
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Rick
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Joined: 27 Apr 2005
Posts: 20345
Location: Cheshire

PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2008 10:56 pm    Post subject: Austin A55 Cambridge Mk2 1959 Reply with quote

May I introduce Black Bess, a '59 Austin Cambridge (big fin version). I've been wanting to retire the Devon from front-line classic service for a little while, and find something a little 'shabby chique' to use whatever the weather, without being too paranoid about where I park it, and so on.

This ties in with UJ's thread about the requirements for a regular, or daily use, classic. My requirements were:

- reasonably comfy
- simple running gear, no clever tricks or gizmos
- cheap insurance, zero rate roadtax
- good and solid structure, no plated-up headaches
- parts must be cheap and easily available
- still be interesting to look at and be suitably different from other cars, so none of the 'modern classic' tosh (eg Montegos, rusty Cavaliers etc) would do
- be able to roll along comfortably at 55-60mph

I heard about this 3 owner A55 last week, its 83 year old owner deciding to give up driving so wanting to find a home for this car. The description seemed right, and it is MOT'd til mid November, so on Sunday (yes, in the snow) we toddled down to London to check it over and bring it back home, complete with a mountain of spare parts, accumulated by the previous owner since he bought it, back in 1965.

The paintwork is best described as 'average', some of it being original, other parts having been touched in over the years (not that I'm bothered, it isn't a show queen after all). Importantly the structure, especially for a Farina, is amazing - no sign of welding anywhere. The previous owner was a big fan of dousing everything in oil, so a peek underneath shows proper factory outriggers, floors, sills and so on. There are a few minor bubbly bits here n there but very little for the car's age. The trim is presentable enough. Mechanically it seems sweet. In the last few years it has only done low hundreds of miles between MOTs, so a 170(?) mile trip back from London, in rain/wind/blizzards seemed like a good test!! it has been upgraded to the A60's 1622cc engine to pep it up a little.

Here are some pics showing it after its journey up North, looking like a proper working classic, before the salt was washed off it.. Smile






The plastic front spotlights will be removed and replaced with something more in keeping. The old Radiomobile wireless still works a treat! the plastic centre console oddments bin has now been removed..

Rick
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Rick (OCC Admin)
Various 1920s-1960s - Austin, Morris, Commer, Dodge etc.


Last edited by Rick on Thu May 29, 2008 9:13 pm; edited 1 time in total
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stuchamp



Joined: 23 Nov 2007
Posts: 548
Location: Iowa, USA

PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2008 11:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fins & Chrome.......I like it! Cool
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Old-Nail



Joined: 23 Nov 2007
Posts: 854

PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2008 11:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice one Rick I like it Cool

I've considered the A50/55 for exactly the same reasons, and recently put a 'watch' on a couple of these too, they seem to be big, comfy and useable.
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Rick
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Joined: 27 Apr 2005
Posts: 20345
Location: Cheshire

PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2008 11:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A few years back I had a Wolseley 16/60, nice wood n leather Wink

Big, simple, cheap to buy, cheap to run (erindoors says 'and ugly too', tut tut) so seems like a good bet to me, time will tell, I spent most of today prising it into the garage, bit of a squeeze but its in the dry now Smile

R
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Rick (OCC Admin)
Various 1920s-1960s - Austin, Morris, Commer, Dodge etc.
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Uncle Joe
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2008 7:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks like a nice buy...always liked the old Oxford/Cambridges, even from the A40 version... Especially the diesels for some perverted reason... Laughing
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47p2



Joined: 24 Nov 2007
Posts: 2002
Location: Glasgow

PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2008 7:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That looks like a good buy Rick, nice to see an anmolested period car and what a daily driver it would make
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Brian M



Joined: 23 Nov 2007
Posts: 782
Location: Leigh-on-Sea, Essex

PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2008 7:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice one Rick.

Now you have a tow bar - you need a classic caravan to give it a purpose!
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Classic Safari Forum: www.classicsafaris.co.uk
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Rick
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Joined: 27 Apr 2005
Posts: 20345
Location: Cheshire

PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2008 8:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brian M wrote:
Nice one Rick.
Now you have a tow bar - you need a classic caravan to give it a purpose!


I nearly bought a Portafold recently, that was until it blew apart in the gales a few weeks ago Crying or Very sad

RJ
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Rick (OCC Admin)
Various 1920s-1960s - Austin, Morris, Commer, Dodge etc.
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bob2



Joined: 06 Dec 2007
Posts: 1722
Location: Malta

PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2008 10:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hi rick nice buy!!
was tempted recently by a 60s diesel cambridge but needed a respray all over and the owner wanted good money for it, so I decided to let that go, as far as I know he hasnt sold it yet!!
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Old-Nail



Joined: 23 Nov 2007
Posts: 854

PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2008 10:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've just discovered that you could put a 6 cylinder in there Rick Cool

http://www.trademe.co.nz/Trade-Me-Motors/Specialist-cars/Wrecked-cars/auction-148718675.htm
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PAUL BEAUMONT



Joined: 27 Nov 2007
Posts: 1272
Location: Barnsley S. Yorks

PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2008 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rick, your Cambridge story reminds me of an "A" (1963) reg estate that crossed my path soon after I started driving. The owner of that worked as a gardener and had lots of kit with small engines. Every spring he changed the engine oil in the machines and dosed the underbody of the estate with the used oil. Like yours the underside was immaculate especially the outriggers which always seem to rot off, BUT every bit of rubber underneath had been destroyed by the oil. My job was to replace it all for the MOT man. From memory the job cost about 35.00, and as soon as it was Mot'd he sold it for only about 20 more than I spent on it. I never even got the opportunity to buy it!
PAUL
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Rick
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Location: Cheshire

PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2008 9:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Found a couple of spare hours this afternoon, so did the first job on my A55 'to do' list - namely remove the horrible plastic fog lights from the front, and replace them with something altogether more appropriate.

Rather than fit brand spanking new lamps, I dug out some 'very nice' s/hand Lucas lamps, circular chrome, with the black clip-on Lucas covers, probably dating to the mid 60s. In fact the pair consist of one fog, and a matching spot light. I'll alter the wiring at a later time to have them independently switched, but for now I've just connected them to the existing circuit. They'll probably never be used anyway, but at least they look much better fitted to the old girl Smile will sort out a pic shortly

R
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Rick (OCC Admin)
Various 1920s-1960s - Austin, Morris, Commer, Dodge etc.
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47p2



Joined: 24 Nov 2007
Posts: 2002
Location: Glasgow

PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2008 10:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do we have a picture of the new lights Rick?
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Rick
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Joined: 27 Apr 2005
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Location: Cheshire

PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2008 10:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

just as soon as I take one P2 Smile tomorrow with a little luck and a fair wind. There's a classic lorry run tomorrow, so I hope to go over in the A55 to watch the procession. Buzzy is due to be there too in his E83W, assuming he doesn't run out of fuel en route Wink

R
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Various 1920s-1960s - Austin, Morris, Commer, Dodge etc.
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buzzy bee



Joined: 23 Nov 2007
Posts: 3397
Location: South Cheshire

PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2008 10:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thats done it! Laughing I will try to get a picture, if I remember to bring my camera, it will be my first chance to play with it! hehe
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