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Lot 015: Austin A35 Van

Classic & Vintage Cars & Motorcycles, Brightwells Auctioneers and Valuers (13 July 2011)

Introduced in 1956, the Austin A35 was a much-improved version of its A30 predecessor. The name reflected the fact that it used a larger 35bhp A-Series 948cc engine as found in the new Morris Minor 1000. This powerplant gave the little Austin surprisingly good performance for its class and even led to some saloon car racing successes during the late-50's  indeed several A35s are still being campaigned in historic races today, often humbling much larger machines with their pace and agility. Very similar to the A30 in appearance, the A35 is distinguished by a larger front grille (with painted slats instead of chrome), a larger rear window, remote control gear-change and flashing turn signal indicators in place of semaphore arms. It was a huge success with the buying public and some 130,000 A35 saloons were sold before it was replaced with the Farina-styled A40 in 1959. A van version of the A35 was also produced from the outset which proved so popular that it remained in production right up until 1968. One of the most celebrated A35 van owners was legendary F1 racer and hell-raiser, James Hunt, who used one as his daily driver in London until his death in 1993. I can put everything I learnt in motor racing into driving it round the Wandsworth one-way system on a wet Saturday night, blow off all the Ferraris and nobody takes a blind bit of notice, he told Practical Classics magazine in 1993. First registered in April 1958, this lovely A35 van is the very early type with the sculptured doors that mimic the pressings in the rear wings and has the desirable rear seat option. It has had five owners from new, the fourth owning it for some 18 years. It has just undergone a total restoration and is in excellent condition throughout with an underside that is just as clean and tidy as the top side. While there are no bills for this work, the results speak for themselves and the van is a hoot to drive with an exceptionally quiet engine and gearbox, as we found during a short test drive on the occasion of our visit to take these photos. On the button and ready to go, it has an MOT until March 2012 and must surely be as smart an example as you could wish to find.

Lot Details
Auction Classic & Vintage Cars & Motorcycles
Brightwells Auctioneers and Valuers, Leominster, Herefordshire
Lot Number015
Outcome NOT SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Condition rating
Registration numberLSK 349
Chassis numberAV5/LCS/108372
Engine number
Engine capacity (cc)948
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors