A-D memories




I was most interested in reading Bill Little’s splendid account of his motoring adventures, to see references to the 19/90 Austro-Daimler that I bought off him in 1954.

I well remember this good looking car of enormous length and formidable appearance but rather pedestrian performance, chiefly due to it being desperately undergeared, as I think it had originally been endowed with the sort of coachwork more fitting to the transportation of elderly dowagers than to the quest for speed!

When first acquired, oil pressure was non-existant and there were potentially expensive rumbling noises from the power department, so much so that it was decided to investigate further before putting it to use. After stripping down this policy proved most wise, and the crank was duly ground, the journals proving to be visibly oval.

Once on the road it proved a reliable hack and a crowd drawer with its elegant and narrow four-seater body and long mudguards, all finished in BRGN, until the fateful occasion when I stopped the majority of Bristol’s rush hour traffic by engaging at least two gears simultaneously at the traffic lights in Old Market! Quite how we extricated ourselves from this impass I cannot clearly remember, but undoubtedly a little divine intervention came into the equation somewhere, plus some energetic rocking which eventually had the desired effect. After this episode my confidence was somewhat dented, and I soon found out that anything other than a genteel and chauffeur-like take off was not to be recommended. I found myself relying more and more on the less temperamental but even more pedestrian Renault Vivastellar six, which although endowed with a funny gallic back to front gear shift at least engaged only one gear at a time!

I eventually found a buyer for the A-D, well removed from Bristol I may say, and shortly afterwards I removed myself to the Island of Jersey so avoiding the chance of a reunion with the new owner!

Denys Axel-Berg

Bath, Somerset