Many brochures and other items featured here have been supplied by Ken Lyle from Western Australia.
This says it all really.......
Six people in one car? Not by today's standard.
Austin's answer to assist the farming and other commercial industries in Australia.
Typical Aussie scene - (early promo pic) note the relaxed lifestyle.....
MkII Promo pic
Is that a Mini on the hoist????
Brochure and following Mark 2 report contributed by: Craig Stevens - Newport Motors, South Australia.
People once thought big families meant big cars. That was true..... until the Austin 1800 arrived on the scene. Here was a car that broke every rule in the book... beautifully. Brilliantly.
It was compact outside.
But inside, there was more interior space than any other car its size.
It put an end to the notion that a spacious family car had to be big and bulky.
But most important was the 1800's engineering.
Motoring experts acclaimed it as the most advanced engineering concept in a decade - years ahead of its time.
Front wheel drive that puts the pulling power up front where it works best. East-West engine that puts the weight over the driving wheels for outstanding all-weather traction.
BMC couldn't make better roads for you. But they could make the ride better. Result: Revolutionary fully independent Hydrolastic* fluid suspension that smoothly floats you over bumpy roads with expressway ease. Without springs to rattle, shock absorbers to wear. Simplicity itself.
To these features, BMC added power assisted disc brakes, radial ply tyres and safety belts.
And now BMC adds another touch of sophistication with the release of the new Austin 1800 automatic.
The performance is first class. With the Borg-Warner 35, 3 speed transmission, gear changes are imperceptible. Always silky smooth.
The gear ratios have been specially designed for open road overtaking. In all out acceleration, the transmission will automatically change into second gear at 37 m.p.h. and into top at 62 m.p.h. There is full manual overriding control of every gear.
BMC has always believed that it was possible to make a car spacious inside. Compact outside. The answer? The space-saving East-West engine. Because it sits sideways over 70% of the 1800's length is available for passengers and luggage. Up front there are deeply padded individual seats which fold right back to form a spacious camping body. The driver and passenger also have their own fully adjustable personal fresh air outlets. There is also a fresh air heater with booster fan. Padded fascia and carpeted floor complement the interior.
Rear seat passengers ride in style with as much as 17" of leg room.
Rear doors are fitted with safety locks, when adjusted, can only be opened from the outside.
The astounding Austin 1800 automatic ushers in a new era in sophisticated motoring. But, as with all great cars, its many fine and exclusive features cannot be appreciated unless you get behind the wheel and test them for yourself.
The luxury of fluid suspension. The fantastic handling of front wheel drive. BMC gives you all these magic ingredients, and many more. At a price that's really competitive.
Reprint from a brochure of the launch of the Austin 1800 MkI Automatic. (c)
Austin 1800 Mark 2 much improved car. Reprinted from "The Sydney Morning Herald" 25/11/68.
Road tested by Sturt Griffith, B.E.
The latest version of the Austin 1800 is a much smoother and more potent car than its predecessor.
Many engineering changes combine to make the car more responsive at town speeds, to give a remarkable improvement in acceleration at all speeds and to increase the maximums substantially.
The outstanding characteristics of this care are the spaciousness of its cabin, the good ride it affords over rough going and its general robustness.
One of the main purposes of front-wheel drive is to concentrate all the driving mechanism ahead of the cabin, so leaving most of the car available for passengers and luggage. The Austin 1800 has exceptional leg and head room plus a capacious boot.
Of course, another advantage of front-wheel drive is the very high cornering power it confers, as the front wheels drag the car round bends at speeds not advisable in conventional drive cars. The Austin 1800 is particularly safe on loose dirt roads, and it will cruise in the country at high average speeds in comfort.
I have previously considered this car as showing to best advantage in the country. Whilst it remains a fine touring car, the greater flexibility and smoothness of the modified engine makes it more pleasant to drive in town, where the only shortcoming is a slight heaviness of the steering when manoeuvring.
A noticeable increase in horsepower and torque (particularly at town speeds) results from a re-designed cylinder head with modified combustion chambers and an increase in compression to 8.6. Second gear ratio has been altered to give greater speed.
In addition, the inlet valves are larger, and a new design of "log" shaped inlet manifold is used for better induction flow. An Email alternator replaces the generator, a more compact brake vacuum-servo is fitted, and the suspension has been modified to give a slightly softer ride.
Unfortunately the pull out handbrake is retained. It is not easy to reach, nor is it really effective, but I suspect it may be replaced before long.
It is worthy of mention that BMC Australia gives every individual engine a half-hour "hot run" under its own power, during which it is tested against Crypton meters for all ignition and carburettor settings. In addition, it is checked for oil and water pressures and leaks (by fluorescence) and the tappets are correctly set.
This power run, somewhat unusual these days, simplifies running-in for the owner, and eradicates minor defects so common in new engines.
I hardly expected such an improvement in performance as is shown in the accompanying tabulation, in comparison with the MkI model. The Austin is now a lively car in the normal driving range, and on safe country roads, it cruises at 70 m.p.h.
It feels less like a four-cylinder than the previous car, and its get-away is excellent. The fuel mileage figure is down on the earlier car, but this was largely due to an average speed of 50 m.p.h. over my back-country test route, as against 44 m.p.h. average for the Mk I car.
The potency ratios in the test-loaded condition are:
Torque: 76 lbs-ft per ton
Power: 65.7 b.h.p. per ton
Top gear gives a road speed of 16.4 m.p.h. for every 1,000 revs.
On tour, wind noise is not noticeable either with windows open or closed, but there is a good deal of road noise from the tyres over stony roads.
The wheelbase and track of the Austin 1800 are long, and as a consequence, the car sits down particularly well over any surface. Add to this, the feature of front-wheel drive and we have a car that corners flat and fast.
The elaborate and expensive all-independent suspension system shows to advantage over rough stony roads and the rear seat ride is excellent. The car bottomed occasionally over culverts taken at cruising speeds.
The rack and pinion steering is precise and quick, with 3.8 turns from lock to lock. It does not transmit road vibrations to the hands.
The front power disc and rear drum brakes are really good, and are fitted with a pressure-limiting valve which prevents dangerous rear-wheel locking on hard applications. The car stops straight (hands off) and the brakes are virtually free from fade under repeated applications.
The driving position is upright for vision and command, and the large seat is comfortable, with a reclinable squab.
The wheel is somewhat too upright, but the resultant extended-arm driving position is not tiring and gives good control.
The floor gearshift is pleasant to use, and synchro on all gears is effective. The pedals are well spaced and light in operation. All controls and rocking switches can be reached with the three point harness correctly adjusted.
The instruments comprise a linear speedometer, and gauges for temperature and fuel, whilst sensibly large warning lights are provided for ignition, handbrake, oil filter and oil pressure.
The front seats are reclinable, and all seats are comfortably soft. Moulded carpets cover the floors and the interior is well finished for the price class. Particularly large and useful stowage spaces are provided for both front occupants, augmented by large open pockets on each door.
The boot is well shaped, with an unimpeded flat floor, a low sill, and a clear capacity of 17 cu. ft. The spare winds down from beneath the boot.
An effective ventilating and heating system is standard, in addition to cold-air vents at the ends of the fascia, which adjust to any angle.
The car is suspended on the unique Moulton rubber system, comprising massive arms carrying the wheels and operating on large rubber buffers in shear and compression.
The front and rear wheels on each side are interconnected by hydraulic lines, which virtually eliminate pitch and contribute largely to the good ride of the Austin 1800.
Engine bore and stroke are 80.3 x 88.9 mm. and the engine drives the front wheels through an integral gearbox, the overall ratios of which are:
Top: 4.2 to 1
Third: 5.8 to 1
Second: 8.6 to 1
Engine access is particularly good.
The latest version of the Austin 1800 is a much refined car, having notably better acceleration and top speed, coupled with smoother engine operation in town.
It is a robust car with exceptional passenger accommodation and a spacious boot, and it rides well over really rough surfaces.
The interior finish and appointments are good and the car can be driven hard.
The Mk II was submitted for test by The British Motor Corporation of Australia, the manufacturer.
ABOUT THIS CAR
INCLUSIVE PRICE: $2,476
BODY: Spacious five seater, good boot. Individual front seats with safety belts. Rear bench seat, belt anchorages, ventilating and heating system plus separate fascia ventilation.
Wheelbase: 8ft. 10in.
Track: 56.5 in.
Length: 13.75 ft.
Clearance: 6.5 in.
Tyres: 175x13" radials.
Fuel Tank: 10.25 gals.
Fuel range: 280 miles.
Touring weight: 23.5 cwt. (test load 3 cwt.)
Four cylinder transverse engine of 1798 cc. driving front wheels. Gross power of 87 b.h.p., torque 101 lb-ft. Four speed all-synchro gearbox. All independent rubber suspension system, interconnected front to rear. Powered front disc brakes.
AUSTIN 1800 Mk II
PERFORMANCES AND COMPARISONS WITH Mk I MODEL
MAXIMUM SPEEDS: Mk II Mk I
Top gear..................... 95 m.p.h. 84 m.p.h.
Third gear................... 78 m.p.h. 72 m.p.h.
Second gear.................. 51 m.p.h. 48 m.p.h.
Touring fuel consumption
over test route.............. 27.1 m.p.g. 30.3 m.p.h.
Ton-miles per gallon......... 36 40.2
Fuel efficiency rating....... 1800 1780
0-50 m.p.h. through gears.... 8.8 secs. 12.9 secs.
Third, 20-40 m.p.h........... 5.4 secs. 8.0 secs.
Third, 30-50 m.p.h........... 6.0 secs. 8.4 secs.
Third, 40-60 m.p.h........... 6.4 secs. 11.1 secs.
Top, 20-40 m.p.h............. 8.0 secs. 11.4 secs.
Top, 30-50 m.p.h............. 8.7 secs. 11.8 secs.
Top, 40-60 m.p.h............. 9.1 secs. 14.1 secs.
Printed by John Fairfax & Sons Ltd. Broadway, Sydney.