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Homepage. This page: George and his latest rebuild project

Restoration of an old Austin

I'm looking for interesting stories, personal memories, dodgy deals and fun memoirs relating to motoring in what are now called classic, or vintage, cars. Read more about it here.

Austin A90 Atlantic - a classic car from the 1950s British motor industry

George, a regular contributor with tales about his 1950s/60s cars and folding caravans, has embarked on the rebuild of a 1952 A90 Atlantic. Below are his initial findings on stripping it down for a better look...
Austin A90 brochure
Further Instalments of this restoration saga:
More A90 Atlantic roof pics
Rotten windscreen surround
Repairs to the Mazak horn ring
Re-spray the Austin's dashboard
DIY Steering wheel rim repairs
Replacing the Everflex roof covering
Also sent in by George recently:
The family Austin A70 Pickup
Austin A90 vinyl roof before stripping
Ewww rust is revealed
George busily scrapes off the vinyl roof


A90
"This car has its original Everflex roof covering but it was obviously rusty underneath due to the lumps and bumps that could be seen and felt underneath, so a strip down was obviously needed.

The front had been repaired at some stage by pop riveting an aluminium strip along the front edge. I think this was done many years back when the windscreen was replaced. Bits of glass in the front floor area under the carpets seem to testify to the screen replacement and the possible after market modification. I drilled out the rivet heads first of all - I slipped and nearly put the drill through the screen!

Easy does it, peel it back and, Oh my giddy Aunt! - things didn't look promising ... What could I say but… oh dear, I need to lie down…(or words to that effect!) ... Maybe it was better left covered up….

Note Donald Duck is behind the wheel, he came with the car. My wife Angela says he has to stay as he is a reminder that I must have been kwackers to have bought it!

Austin Atlantic
I spent many hours working on the roof, and used my wire brush in the angle grinder to clean off the rust, to say I was filthy was an understatement! I was covered in rust dust. As it was hot it all seemed to stick to me. I had goggles, breathing mask, ear protectors and boiler suit on, Angela said I looked like some 1970's Dr Who alien!

After this I wouldnt trust a car with an everflex roof unless I knew had been repaired and replaced properly. I am told by our A90 club expert this is typical of Atlantic saloons.

I was half tempted to take it all off and convert it to a drop-head coupe! (would have been very easy!) Then I though of all the rain we get and the trouble with hoods and I put the cutter down! "

If anyone can help out George with parts for his A90, please get in touch.

The photos below give a clear idea of just how iffy the roof of his Atlantic looked once the Everflex roof had been removed, and the metal underneath cleaned back:

(The old car nestling in front is George's A40 Mk2, used to tow his classic folding caravans!)
The vinyl roof peeled back and the metalwork cleaned up

The extent of rot in the rear screen pillars is very evident here

Recollections of an Austin A90

"A funny coincidence happened yesterday morning and thought you might be interested.

I decided to run up to my local re-cycling point in the car park of the Ash playing fields with plastic bottles and loads of old cloths for Humana. Anyhow I thought the A40 needed a run after 2 weeks of standing and decided to drive up there in it. It took a while to unload and just as I was finishing, a doddering old man in his 70's in a non-too good small Rover drove in and took a very good look at my Farina. He then parked up and came tottering over to speak with me.

He wondered what I could tow with such a small car and I told him folding caravans and a trailer. He was most surprised and we got talking about old cars. To be honest he did most of the talking, telling me about old pre-war cars he owned, A40s, A70s and two A90 Atlantics. I said oh yes, I have an Atlantic....hey, what?...he was visibly shocked and the wind knocked out of his spiel, his eyes lit up along with raised eyebrows, you have an Atlantic in a disbelieving voice?....yes, and live just down the road, would you like to see it?...He couldn't get back to his car fast enough, his stride noticeably quicker this time. He followed my Farina, me being careful not too outrun him, he was rather slow but we soon arrived at my place. Excitedly we uncovered my Atlantic and he couldn't quite believe his eyes and made a thorough inspection, all the bits and pieces coming back to his clouded memory.

He had two Atlantics in the 1960's and hadn't seen one since, except a scrap one about 15 years back in Kingsley near Bordon. It made his day. He said being a carpenter he used to carry planks of wood out through the back window opening, How when the heater matrix packed up in deepest winter and with no money to repair it, took out the rear seat squab, mounted a primus stove in the middle and how a pumped charge of air would last until he got to his girlfriends house some miles away. He also told me how he broke the gearbox and fitted another, plus how he could drive from Hindhead to Hayling Island, setting off at 6am, get into top gear and not have to change down once the whole way. Do you know what, I think I can believe it might just have been possible too. I had to promise him updates on my car's progress.

After a good chat he bade me farewell. It was nice to meet an A90 driver of old, hearing stories of a car being used back then in almost 'banger status days'. It made me feel good knowing that I had made this old boy's day.

Oh, and you can guess where I am going to go can't you? yes, to see if that A90 is still in Kingsley!"




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