Austin Freeway

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Austin Freeway

1962 - 1966
Country:
United Kingdom
Engine:
6 cyl.
Capacity:
2433 cc
Power:
80 bhp
Transmission:
3 spd. man/auto
Top Speed:
100 mph
Number Built:
n/a
Collectability:
1 star
Austin Freeway
The 6 cylinder Austin Freeway sedan and station wagon, and Wolseley 24/80 were released in April 1962. These cars were developed by BMC Australia to counter the growing popularity of the new 6 cylinder rivals from the US, namely the GM Holden and Ford Falcon.

Both these cars featured 6 cylinder motors, while the Austin's had, until now, made do with a 1622cc 4 cylinder engine.

It is interesting to note that BMC had already determined that Australia deserved (in fact needed) a larger displacement engine. While their cars were near identical to those sold in the UK, the Australian cars had the B Series 1622cc engine fitted 2 years prior to their UK cousins, who had to make do with the 1489cc motor.

Rather than design an entirely new 6 cylinder motor, BMC simply added an extra two cylinders on the existing 1622cc engine - bringing the capacity to 2433cc. The engine was then coupled to an adaptation of the metropolitan 3 spd. gearbox.

Changes to the radiator and bonnet were required to fit the larger engine in, as were improvements to the suspension. BMC continued its tradition of creating vehicles from the parts bin of others, using rear fins taken from the Riley, and an interior taken from the Morris Oxford.

The Freeway did not sell in the quantities BMC had hoped, because both Holden and Ford released lower and very much more modern models in that year. The Freeway also suffered early reliability problems, with number 5 and 6 bearings not receiving oil, with the usual disastrous results. Although rectified. a lot of the damage had been done.

Please note: The vehicle pictured is the Wolseley 24/80 - a near identical cousin to the Austin Freeway. The Wolseley differed in that its wheelbase was approx 1" longer, and of course it had the usual higher quality cabin appointments such as leather upholstery.

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Herbert Austin
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