The Austin 10/4

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Sir,

I was most interested to see mention of the 1934 Austin 10/4 saloon in your “Years motoring” article (Motor Sport, February). My first motor car was a similar model bought for £10 in 1959, excellent mechanically but a crack in the chassis seemed likely to ruin its M.O.T. chances. However, my father made a curved plate (the crack occurred just over the back axle arch) which we bolted on and, with many disparaging remarks about M.O.T. testing mechanics, rubbed dirt and oil all over the plate for camouflage. Needless to say the car passed and I ran AXC 168 between London and Nottingham every weekend for six months, 40 m.p.h., 40 m.p.g., 40 lb. oil pressure (hot) and everything worked including the clock! I had previously learned to drive and passed my test in this car (the 6 ft. examiner sitting knees to chin in the front!), so it was a sad loss when an articulated lorry interrupted my “Nottingham—London Trunk” early one Monday morning and crushed the car from the driver’s door back to the tail. One thing I’ll always remember about that unfortunate mishap is that when I staggered out of the car to survey the damage the engine was still ticking over beautifully and all the front lights were still shining into the morning gloom.

The insurance money paid for another Austin 10/4, this time 1935, modern stuff with the semaphore indicators between the doors and a grill over the radiator! I sold this car, can’t understand why and, have now graduated through various cars including a 1926 Austin 7, 1930 Austin 7, 1935 Morris 8 Tourer, 1935 Morris 8 saloon and 1939 Morgan Climax to a 1954 Triumph TR2, but, soon to be married, I shall turn the ‘Triumph into bricks and mortar and re-invest in Austin 10/4 reliability, two of them if possible, since my “wife to be” shares my affection for the model.

Many thanks for Motor Sport, it’s worth 5 gns. an ounce!

Mike Langham – Ruddington.

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