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1950 Austin A90 Atlantic Convertible

Lot 53 (National Motorcycle Museum, 2nd June 2017)

Estimate
£16,000 - £20,000
 

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Lot details
Registration No: EU-Reg
Chassis No: BD254029
Mot Expiry: Exempt

- Part of a private collection for many years. Currently running but would benefit from recommissioning / fettling

- 1 of just 3,718 made and resident in Eire since 1995 (previously UK reg'd as 'GCA 570')

- Black upholstery piped in red, older restoration, 10,555 unwarranted miles

Aimed squarely at the American market, the Austin A90 Atlantic Convertible was a brave gamble that did not pay off. Intended to generate a steady flow of US dollars and so satisfy the British government's ruthless 'export or die' edict, its flamboyant steel bodywork was a riot of bulbous curves, swooping lines and chrome accents. Launched at the 1948 London Motor Show, the Atlantic was underpinned by a rigid cruciform-braced chassis equipped with independent coil-sprung front suspension, a leaf-sprung 'live' rear axle and four-wheel drum brakes. Powered by a 2660cc OHV four-cylinder engine mated to four-speed column-change manual transmission, it was more boulevardier than sports car. Not that this stopped Austin from pounding one round the Indianapolis Speedway for seven days non-stop! A feat that not only underlined the model's 92mph top speed but also yielded an impressive sixty-three stock car records (the convertible in question managing to average 70.54mph including all stops over its marathon 168-hour run). Although, joined by a companion Sports Saloon in September 1949, the Atlantic failed to capture the American public's imagination or wallets (its failure ironically being blamed on a lack of 'Britishness'). Thus, by the time production ceased in 1952 just 7,981 are thought to have been made (3,718 'soft-tops' and 4,263 'tin-tops')

Forming part of a County Wexford based collection for the past twenty-two years, this particular example was previously UK registered as 'GCA 570'. Understood to have been repainted from Red to its current Old English White livery during 1994, the Austin sports Black upholstery piped in Red and a Black hood. Presenting as an older restoration, the A90 Atlantic was seemingly last driven for any real distance in Eire during 2010. Running upon inspection, it would nevertheless benefit from recommissioning prior to road use (the petrol smelt notably stale).

 

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