Firstly, the red example, another photo kindly sent over by JD, taken in colour during the 1960s showing his Mk1 Austin 1100 4dr saloon, with contrasting roof painted black. The 1100 range (type code ADO16) was another smart design from the pencil of Alec Issigonis, who was already rather well known for two of his previous road car designs, namely the Minor and the front wheel drive Mini. Many of his design ideas from the Mini were fettled and re-used in the 1100, such as combining the transverse A series engine with its transmission, over the front driven wheels. Interior packaging again was excellent, as was the roadholding and ride comfort offered by the 1100, and the badge-engineered derivatives that would come along later. Initially, just the Morris version was available, with the Austin shown here being introduced in 1963.
2. Photographs of a Mk2 saloon on a caravan holiday
Next, two black and white photographs showing a four door Austin (possibly a 1300) on a campsite - believed to be in the Skegness area, in the late 1960s. The ADO16 shown here is a 1968 Mk2 model. Note the spring-back mirrors fitted to both front wings, the AA badge, and two chrome Lucas lamps fitted to this example.
3. An early Mk1 Austin 1100.
Judging by how the front end of this Austin 1100 has been chopped from the photographer's viewfinder, I think the house in the background was the main subject, rather than the car. However not to worry, as enough of the car is visible for it to be included here. It's a well-used (abused?) example, judging by how dirty it is, and it's also missing a hubcap. Note the period roof rack fitted to this 1100, and a reversing light hung below the rear bumper. One of those "I've been to..." triangular window stickers can just be made out, in the n/s/r quarter window. The Austin's registration is 989 NOE, A Birmingham-issued number.
The lower windows in the house behind appear to have been partially painted out, suggesting that perhaps it was unoccupied. Maybe the 1100's owner had just bought it, hence the taking of the photograph.
4. A 1964 1100.
My thanks to Val for this photo of her with a very smart ADO16. Registered CGO 637B, the Austin 1100 dates to late 1964, which is when this London series first came into use. It replaced a Mk1 Mini, which can be seen elsewhere on the site, another Issigonis design penned during his time with the British Motor Corporation. Great photo.
(Please click the thumbnail to view full-size image.)
5. Another four-door 1964 car.
Roger David Green provides the next photo of an Austin 1100, in this instance a 1964 car that was his father's first car, DWR 376B - a Yorkshire (West Riding) issue. As with JD's car at the top of this page, the following ADO16 is finished in bright red and was clearly new, or nearly new, at the time of this roadside photograph. None of the 1960's accessories that often are to be seen adorning cars of this era, have made it onto this car as yet - no wing mirrors, motoring club badges, wheel trims or fog lamps, it's just as it rolled off the Austin production line at Longbridge, original down to its crossply tyres. Thanks for the photo Roger.
1100s in our family.
Various 1100s have featured in my own family's motoring past. My grandfather drove one as a company car in the 1960s, while in the early 1970s dad had an MG version (the grille and cylinder head from which are in my garage now). It was in the late 1970s that a terminally-rusted 1100 temporarily joined the Jones household, as an engine donor for mum's '67 Mini estate. I seem to recall "improving" its appearance with various drawings and cartoons applied to the bodywork with a permanent marker. It was fun to play at driving in for a time, and I recall the footwells had all-but disappeared due to rampant body corrosion.
Background to BMC's 1100 and 1300.
The 1100/1300 was the best selling car in the UK for a number of years throughout the 1960s, positioning itself in the BMC range between the A40 (which debuted in 1958) and the established Morris Minor, both of which also used the trusty A series engine albeit mounted longitudinally in the usual (at the time) fashion, and the larger Oxford/Cambridge saloons. As with the A40 but unlike with the Mini, Leonard Lord (BMC top brass) plumped for Pininfarina to come up with a fresh and trendy body design based on early in-house designs, to ally with BMCs plans for the running gear.
The 1100 was we know it, hit the dealerships in 1962 and proved to be an instant sales success for the Corporation. As with the early Minis, reliability with the new Morris car was not a strong suit, but customers lapped them up nonetheless as did the motoring press by and large. Badge-engineered versions were offered in addition to the base Morris and Austin: namely the MG1100 & MG 1300, Vanden Plas, Riley Kestrel and Wolseley, each offering the basic 1100 theme with with a tweak according to the market they were pitched at. The VdP for instance, with a traditional-looking chrome grille proudly up front, appealed to the older generation, to whom wooden dashboards and leather trim appealed, perhaps on downsizing from their company Daimler or Humber. The MG was aimed at the sporty motorist, who wanted extra get up and go with their driving.
Later on in the same decade, the 1275cc unit became available, initially on the higher-spec'd cars but eventually filtering down to the Austin and Morris versions also. In 1967 the bodywork received a gentle makeover, and thus became the Mk2, which with only minor alteration and fiddling soldiered on until 1974. Development of the 1100/1300 range was minimal to say the least, and by the early 1970s family car buyers were looking to sharp-suited offerings from rival manufacturers, and the nice looking but outdated ADO16 couldn't really keep up. British Leyland's solution to replace the ADO16? the Allegro..
Fans of the 1100 may also be interested to see this page, which takes a look at a set of "Jack Brabham's Car Care Cards" produced for owners of the 1100 in its various forms. Another item of ephemera relating to these cars in particular, may be found on the BMC Passport to Service page.
The video below, hosted on the Old Classic Car Youtube channel, contains a mixture of photographs featuring the many different variants of ADO16 that were available here in the UK.
Old Classic Car (C) R. Jones 2023. Content not to be reproduced elsewhere.