This photograph, featuring an Austin 1800 on trial with the Northumberland Police service, was kindly sent over by Ian, one of several images of classic Police cars he scanned and sent over. The 1800 was photographed in Wallsend. At the time Ian wasn't a member of the Police force in that area, although later he did go on to work with CID as a civilian in the early 1970s. He seems to recall that the Austin 1800 wasn't particularly popular with the Police force, leading to them opting for Hillman Hunters instead.
The car was registered OJR 326F, confirming its registration in 1968.
(Please click the thumbnail to view full-size image.)
BMC's Austin / Morris / Wolseley 1800 range.
The (Mk1) 1800 was introduced initially as an Austin-badged car only in 1964, and in 1965 was voted "European Car of the Year". Designed by Alec Issigonis, of Morris Minor and Mini fame, the 1800 range was the next rung up the size ladder from the 1100 range, and was designed with maximising interior space as a key priority, with the wheels stationed at the car's outermost corners. Under the bonnet lay the 1800cc B-Series engine.
In typical BMC fashion, it wouldn't be long before badge-engineered versions were launched, starting with the Morris 1800 in 1966, and the Wolseley 18/85 in 1967. All variants were based on the same platform, with detail differences in specification and trim separating them from their sister versions. Alterations were made to the trim and specification throughout the life of the Mk1 1800, many as a result of customer feedback which suggested that more pre-launch testing may have been a good idea.
1968 saw the Mk2 version of the 1800 land in the dealer showrooms. The grille was revised, and the Mk1's horizontal tail lamps were replaced by vertical units, similar in style to those on contemporary 1100/1300s. In 1970, the 1800S was launched, offering a little more ooomphh thanks to the fitment of twin SU carburettors (a friend's father had a maroon example).
The final Mk3 incarnation of the 1800 drove into view in 1972, introducing another trim re-design. More importantly, the Mk3 heralded the introduction of six-cylinder models into the line-up, namely the Austin / Morris 2200, and the Wolseley Six, the latter now being the only model to sport this marque name, the 18/85 having been dropped from the catalogues. Production of the "landcrab", as the 1800s were often known, continued until 1975, by which time the wedge-shaped ADO71, or 18-22 (later Princess), was ready to take over.
Other 1800s on oldclassiccar.
Landcrabs appear in various locations across the site. Spares for these cars regularly appear in the classifieds section, on the Austin 1800 parts ads page, while in the Collectables section, a coaster featuring an early Austin 1800 taxi can be found here. Details of a friction-drive toy Austin 1800 can also be found, in the classic toys section.
One very distinctive Mk2 1800 sported the registration 1 FAB in the 1970s, see a photo of it here. The video compilation below features a large collection of 1800s and UK-market derivatives, such as the Wolseley Six, and the 18/85.