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Austin (Aus) Lancer


Produced: 1958-1962
Austin Lancer
The Morris Major and Austin Lancer were passenger car models produced by the British Motor Corporation of Australia (BMC) between 1958 and 1964. The Morris Major name had been used before by Morris Motors in England, first appearing between 1931 and 1933.

The Major and Lancer evolved though three series (I, II and Elite,) with the first incarnations being badge-engineered clones of the contemporary Wolseley 1500 and Riley One-Point-Five models then on sale in the United Kingdom. The Austin Lancer was phased-out of production by April 1962. These models were wholly produced at BMC's Sydney, N.S.W. plant (Zetland) and were unique to Australia - having around 98% local content. Many examples were also exported to New Zealand.

The Morris Major/Austin Lancer/Wolseley 1500/Riley One-Point-Five all shared the same core design which had originally been developed as a possible replacement for the ever-popular Morris Minor by BMC's in-house design team at Longbridge. That plan was abandoned due to the Minor's unwavering appeal with the buying public and a Wolseley version was instead unveiled in 1957, followed by the Riley. They were light, close-coupled saloons incorporating the front torsion bar/rear leaf spring suspension, floorpan and superb rack and pinion steering from the Morris Minor. These automotive "quadruplets" were powered by the famous B series power unit (I4,) of 1489 cc and from 1962 an Australian-developed 1622 cc version was used in the Major Elite. All were equipped with large, heavy-duty drum brakes - by Lockheed for the Wolseley, Morris and Austin and Girling for the Riley. This formula resulted in a popular small-to-medium family car with lively performance, sturdy build and good driving dynamics for the day. The Major and Lancer, as distinct from the sportier and more plush Wolseley/Riley cars, shared a similar level of interior trim, paint finish and engine tune with contemporary Morris and Austin models. Although modestly appointed, the Major/Lancer was not a stripped-out "Bargain Basement" type of car - it had a generally high level of quality and represented strong value. The sporting potential of the Major/Lancer was realised almost immediately and specialist-modified cars were raced successfully at a professional level into the early 1960s.

Source: Wikipedia
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