Austin 1800

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Austin

Austin 1800

1965 - 1970
Country:
United Kingdom
Engine:
OHV in-line 4
Capacity:
1798 cc
Power:
n/a
Transmission:
4 spd. man
Top Speed:
n/a
Number Built:
56,918
Collectability:
2 star
Released in December 1965, the Austin 1800 was manufactured at BMC’s Zetland (NSW) facility. Robust, ample power and a huge amount of room for rear passengers, the 1800 would soon become a favorite of Aussie motorists, and deservedly so.

Thankfully to avoid confusion, the 1800 was never badged as a Morris or Wolseley, however that did not deter a few die-hards importing their own “individualistic” iterations.

When introduced, the 1800 was far from ordinary. It soon became affectionately known as the “landcrab”, in reference to the elongated and low slung body style.

Voted European Car of the Year for 1965, BMC were certainly on a winner with their new “large” car. The design of both Alec Issigonis and Pininfarina, arguably the most advanced part of the car lay with the new “Hydrolastic” suspension.

It even featured a primitive and early variation of anti lock brakes, whereby a valve would transfer braking force between the front and rear axles when one set of wheels began to lock up.

During the first full year of manufacture just on 10,000 would be manufactured, the majority finding homes in the suburbs.

There would be a slight increase in sales during 1966, however the big news came in 1968 with the introduction of an automatic transmission as an option – enough to re-kindle interest in the car.

Sales reached an impressive 12,665 – the best ever for the car – and with the release of the Mark 2 version things were going very well indeed.

However, inevitably, there would be fall in sales as the car needed a significant makeover. BMC would make the decision to cease manufacture in 1970, although a handful were still in the showrooms the following year.

The 1800 was replaced by the Australian engineered Austin Kimberley and Tasman series. All up a total of 56,918 Austin 1800 saloons were manufactured over the 5 years of Australian production. Also worthy of note was the uniquely Australian Austin 1800 Utility.

Introduced in 1968 some 639 were sold in the first year. Predictably around 70% went to regions outside the capital cities, and in 1969 sales would increase by a massive 25% to just under 800.

In 1970, the final year for the saloon, the ute's popularity was also on the decline. That year only 579 sales were recorded, and in 1971 a final 319 found owners. Total registrations for the Austin 1800 Utility stand at 2,331.

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Also see:


BMC Austin Works 1800 Rally
Herbert Austin
Austin Car Commercials
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