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The Austin Motor Company was founded in 1905 at Longbridge which is near Birmingham in the UK by Sir Herbert who was a former manager at the Wolseley Tool and Motorcar Company. During the 1920s the company built and produced the Austin 7 which was an inexpensive car directed at the mass market. The American Austin Motor Company operated from 1929 to 1934 and then was revived as part of the American Bantam from 1937 to 1941. In 1952 the Austin Motor Company merged with a new organisation to form the British Motor Corp., which was later called British Leyland. In 1982 British Leyland was renamed the Austin Rover group with the Austin brand associated as a budget automobile. They produce the Metro, Maestro and Montego models however they were dropped due to bad publicity concerning their construction in the last Austin band’s car was built in 1987.
The rights to the Austin – were owned by MG Rover, however there are currently no plans to reintroduce the vehicles under the Austin name due to the collapse in April of 2005 of MG Rover’s only remaining plant.
Many vehicles were manufactured under the Austin brand by various companies over the years. These included both motor cars driven by the public as well as commercial Vans and Lorrie’s. Vehicles such as the Austin K2, the Austin a 30, the Austin a 35, the Austin Metro and the Austin Maestro are some of the vehicles that were manufactured under the Austin brand name.
The Austin Metro was manufactured from 1980 until 1998 in a number of different body styles and types with various size engines. The Metro was available in a five door hatchback, a three door hatchback, a three door Van and a two-door convertible. Engines were size from 1.0 L, one and 1.3 L. there was also a 1.3 L turbo engine that could be ordered for the Austin Metro.
The Austin Maestro was another vehicle manufactured by the Austin Rover from 1982 until 1994. There were 605,410 units produced. The body style included a five door hatchback and a choice of engines at 1.3 L, 1.6 L and a large 2.0 l engine. The Austin Maestro was sold as both a compact car as well as a Van.
The Austin A 30 was manufactured from 1951 until 1956 and initially available only as a four-door saloon. In 1953 the two-door saloon was introduced and a Van and an estate body appeared. This car was powered by an 803 CC engine providing 20 horsepower at 4440 rpm.
While Austin focused mainly on small cars and saloons, many of their chassis were also used to provide the platform for small vans that were used by delivery people as well as tradesmen. Unfortunately, the Austin Van is not produced any longer by the British Leyland Company.