Around 1961, an antique car collector from Orillia, Ontario was driving up Highway 400 when something caught his eye. Pulling off, he found an American Austin resting next to a farmhouse. After looking it over, he fell head over heels for the car and negotiated a deal to bring it home. Once the Austin arrived at its new home, it joined a collection of around 40 cars and entered the queue to be restored. Unfortunately, the little car never made it to the top of the list for restoration
In early 1990’s, the owner decided to thin out his collection and the Austin was sold to Bill Lloyd, another Canadian automobile enthusiast. Mr. Lloyd was an avid restorer who treated the Austin to a well-deserved ground-up restoration. He sourced whatever parts were missing and restored the rest. Fresh chrome, a new reproduction floor mat, and a rare reproduction standard style radiator cap are the details that made his restoration stand out from most others. Finished American Austin’s signature color combination of dark blue and black, Mr. Lloyd’s car emerged from the 1990’s as a very authentic show winner.
Specifically, the car was unveiled at the 2000 Bartow, Georgia American Austin Bantam Club meet where it won the “First Place – Closed Austin” award in memory of Frank Cheaney. After that show, Mr. Lloyd lovingly enjoyed this car for several years before selling it to focus on other restorations. In the intervening years, the car spent time in a few classic car collections before spending ten years with its last owner. Since leaving Mr. Lloyd’s stewardship, this Austin has been lovingly kept and sparingly driven.
After sitting for over ten years, this car was treated to a light recommissioning by its present owner. Cosmetically, the car has undergone a few improvements.
The car has been cleaned of the dust of dormancy revealing the lustrous blue and black paint applied for Mr. Lloyd. Unfortunately, the car has accrued a few bumps and bruises along the way including some small paint chips and abrasions. The worst of the paint damage is on the cowl on the bead where the rear edge of the hood rests. On the roof, there are some areas around the canvas insert where the paint has been worn thin and some light oxidation is becoming apparent. At the rear, an NORS Austin tire cover was installed over the spare tire which is now held in place with a leather hold down freshly made to factory specifications. A reproduction stainless steel front hood hinge hold down was sourced and installed. Fresh exterior windshield components were installed. New hood lace was attached with the correct style bifurcated rivets.
As for the interior, a few improvements and corrections have been made. The impossible to find original style floor mat was cracked. These cracks were repaired with modern adhesives and rubber backing to help protect the mat from further damage. Some paint correction was carried out to refresh the interior trim. Installation of some limited new hardware was carried out to complete the interior refresh. The steering wheel appears to either be a very well cared for original. The door and window crank handles, along with their escutcheons are correct originals. The rear view mirror had been replaced with a period correct bracket and a new glass. Also, the kick panels were recreated and tacked into place to replace the sunfaded units which were previously in place. On the dashboard, the gauges are cosmetically very nice; however the gas gauge is inoperable. The Clum ignition switch even retains its key. One deficiency in the interior is the manner in which the headliner is finished at the driver side of the rear window; there is some superfluous extra seaming which detracts slightly from the otherwise nice upholstery work. Correct cast iron pedal pads have been installed along with rubber pedal pads.
Mechanically, the car has been treated to some well needed love to reinvigorate it for new motion. The radiator was recored with the correct style honeycomb core. The aluminum water inlet and outlet were replaced with correct original components at the time the radiator was reinstalled. At the same time, new hoses, clamps, and Gano filter were installed. Also, a correct American Austin gas tank was sourced and lined to replace an incorrect Bantam tank. Topping the gas tank is a correct blister style cap with a fresh cork gasket. Plumbed in Cunifer, the fuel line was replaced and the carburetor was rebuilt utilizing a modern flat needle and seat to improve the characteristics of the fuel system over the original setup. New spark plug wires were crafted to match factory photos. Powering the electrical system is a correct size dry cell battery from Jim’s in Ohio which fits in the original underhood battery box.
Beyond the engine compartment, the undercarriage of the Austin has also received some refreshing. New figure 8 aluminum shock links were installed at the rear along with fresh bushings. A new rubberized driveshaft fabric coupler has taken the place of the one installed by Mr. Lloyd thirty years ago. With regards to the brakes, the front cable has been replaced with a fresh stainless steel cable and the brake cable pull/slide which actuates the front brakes has been replaced by with a nice original example.
At this point, the current owner has only taken the car on short local drives through his neighborhood. The engine could still benefit from a fresh set of points and a finalized tune up. Once the tune up is finalized, the car would likely benefit from some adjustments to the brakes to ensure desirable operation at higher speeds.
Overall, from 5-10 feet away, this car is absolutely beautiful. For a 91 year old car with a 30 year old restoration she is beautiful. Although she does have a few imperfections and she is the perfect candidate to drive and show.
The owner is asking $22,000 and the car is located in New York. Please use the contact form below to be put in contact with the seller.
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Please use the contact form below for more information or to be put in contact with the seller.