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Homepage. This page: Austin car colours publication dating to the late 1940s.

Austin A40 Devon and Dorset colour options.

In 2005 I bought a 1949 A40 Devon, and this was one of the period publications that I acquired to go with the Austin during the years that I ran it. It isn't dated, but it refers to "the advent of the new Austin A40 Dorset 2-door and Devon 4-door saloons", so must be from 1947 or early 1948. The publication reference number is 389/B. The cover triumphantly proclaims that "Colour comes back to motoring" with the new cars, reflecting on the fact that prior to the war, black was the pre-dominant colour for cars on UK roads. The fact that most new-car production at the time was destined for overseas markets, is quietly overlooked. An inked stamp on the cover shows that this copy was given out at J.W. Stocks Limited, of Broad Street in Birmingham.
Austin car colours
Inside, the reader is introduced to the all-new A40s, so-named thanks to their 40 bhp OHV engines:
"With the new 'A40' models Austin are offering their finest cars yet in the popular class - namely, for the motorist needing an economical car that can carry four in quiet, smooth comfort with plenty of power to spare for safe overtaking and rapid hill climbing."
"Of modern design, the 'A40' Dorset 2-door and Devon 4-door saloons have a 40 bhp overhead-valve engine, and incorporate independent front suspension. Interior heating and a built-in radio, which is available at extra cost, provide additional evidence of the advanced specification of these fine new cars."
Austin A40 Dorset
"Both saloons have all-steel, sound-insulated bodies with safe, rear opening doors and concealed running boards. The comfortable full-width seating is upholstered in leather, and the instruments and controls are handy and attractive in appearance. At the rear, there is generous built-in luggage accommodation, while additional platform space can be provided, if required, by the rear panel."
"These new 'A40' saloons are available in a choice of attractive colours with upholstery to suit. Having a clean, stylish design to match their crisp, smooth performance, they come as a great new advance in popular motoring."
On the facing page the reader is told of the advantages of Austin choosing to use thermo-plastic flow-glass enamel paints, touted as being superior in many ways to traditional cellulose finishes, by way of the high lustre, greater weatherproof properties, and sparkling finish available with enamel when compared to the older, cellulose, paint system.
Colour combinations available to A40 buyers in 1947/8 were listed as follows. Options in subsequent years may have varied:
  • Burgundy, with beige upholstery and fawn carpets
  • Portland Grey, with beige upholstery and fawn carpets
  • Royal Blue, with brown upholstery and brown carpets
  • Mist Green, with beige upholstery and fawn carpets
  • Black, with brown upholstery and brown carpets
The illustration on this page shows an early-specification Devon, identifiable by its smaller headlamps compared to those on later cars, plus the lack of opening quarterlights in the front doors. Also note the sliding steel sunroof, something of a rarity as I recall on surviving Devons.
Austin A40 Devon
This may serve as a useful reference for anyone planning to restore a Devon or a Dorset to factory-original, UK-market, specification.
A40s appear on several pages across the site, including in the old-photos section. Pages exist in the image archive for both the rare A40 Dorset and the A40 Devon, while commercial variants (A40 Vans, Pickups and Countryman estates) can also be found.
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Old Classic Car (C) R. Jones 2020. Content not to be reproduced elsewhere.
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