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Speedwell Equipment for the A40
Tuning Parts for your Austin A40[Back to Period tuning conversions main page]
Not a car renowned for its blistering pace in standard form, the Austin A40 Farina certainly had plenty of potential for performance improvements from its BMC running gear.
Handily the A40 shared its basic A-Series engine with the oft-modified Mini, so parts could be produced for the A-Series engine, and be suitable for all manner of saloons and baby sports cars. The tuning bits offered here were suitable for the A35 and Morris Minor 1000 we're told in this original 1960s leaflet, issued by Speedwell Performance Conversions Ltd, of 763 Finchley Road, London, NW11. Other cars that used the A-series included Minis, A30s, A40s, Austin Healey 'frogeye' Sprites, and the 1100/1300 saloons & estates
The example shown on their leaflet is a 1958-1961 Mk1 A40 Farina which came with the 948cc engine. The Mk2 initially also had the 948cc, although this soon was upgraded to 1098cc capacity.
The Sport variant was based on the A40 De-luxe, and came with the Sport engine, anti-roll bar and recalibrated speedometer - cost £715.
This middle-level option gave you the Grand Touring engine, anti-roll bar and recalibrated speedometer - cost £745.
For the real speed-fiend, was this variant which featured further upgrades to the engine, along with the aforementioned rollbar and recalibrated speedo.
The Sport engine featured twin SU carburettors, uprated valve springs and supertone silencer. The Grand Touring was similar to the Sport, but had an improved cylinder head. The ultimate version, the Supersport, was based on this but had replaced pistons, camshaft, balanced crank and more.
A close ratio gearbox was available for £37.10.0 (pounds shillings and pence in these pre-decimal days), and fitting £12.10.0.
Various back axle ratios were available, tio suit road or track use. Ratios were 3.7, 3.9, 4.2, 4.5, 4.9 and 5.1 and cost £15.10.0 with fitting a further £3.0.0.
Ferodo anti-fade brake linings were £6.0.0 and a Clayton vacuum operated servo brake setup could be had for £20.0.0.
As for the bodywork, you could specify dual tone finish as in the car shown here. The lower half would be painted black - this "brings out true Italian line" we're told!!! Am sure Pininfarina would agree. Door trim and door sill shields were available for £3.0.0.
You could even get rear ashtrays, additional sound insulation, and luxury of luxuries - carpets!! The standard Mk1 A40 came with rubber mats, so carpets would be most welcome I bet, although true speed-freaks wouldn't really be wanting the extra weight of such non-essentials.
If you just wanted a few bits and pieces to spruce up your A 40, there were a few more options you could go for. How about a Speedwell electronic Rev. Counter for £18.0.0, water temperature gauge (£2.17.6), oil pressure gauge (£2.10.6), oil cooler and fittings (£12.0.0), twin continental horn ("Lightweight with melodious blast"!! cost £3.19.6), air horn with compressor (£13.0.0), fog and driving lights (£3.19.6), roof light (£7.19.6), radiator blind (£2.18.0), and terylene harness safety belts (£4.4.0).
All Speedwell equipment was guaranteed, and they could be telephoned on SPEedwell 2226-8.
Are there any Speedwell-spec A40s still around I wonder? Maybe I should rebuild my own Mk1 Austin A40 in this style? hmmmm. If you're interested in these cars, have a look at my Austin A40 buying guide. For aftermarket accessories of more mainstream appeal, please see the BMC Approved Accessories for the A40 page.
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