The Austin 12 .Watford” Saloon
Re V-E-V Miscellany. The Austin Waif,rd was certainly not a leg-pull. In 1931 Austin offered the Twelve as the “Burnham” tcoachbuilt) or “Wycombe” (fabric) saloon. the “Marlowe” being an alternative fabric style with four windows, each model cost £299. However, times were hard, so the “Watford” was introduced during the season, also with a fabric body having four windows, and with slightly more severe lines. Oddly, it still had she dummy hood irons of the more expensive model (which must have costa few shillings), but lacked the side scuttle ventilators and the expensive glass exterior sun-vizor which was a feature of Austin saloons at the time. The standard colour was black with a cream uiaist-line. and upholstery was in wool-rep cloth. Like the more expensive models, artillery wheels were standard, and the price of the car was £275— the same as was asked for the open tourer. So a few converts to the luxury of saloon-car motoring may have been made!
The same ploy was tried for 1932, when the “Burnham” saloon cost £325 (Sixteen-Six) and £288 (Twelve-Four). They therefore revived the “Windsor. name (used for the saloons before the “Burnhams”), offering this for 298 (Sixteen) or £268 (Twelve). Wire wheels came with both models, but lacking the fashionable Magna hubs. The Windsor body was a pressed steel affair, with waist mouldings giving a rather more up-to-date look than the .Burnhams”. By 1933, of course, the less expensive market was being covered by the “Light Twelve-Six” and “Light Twelve-Four.’ — though the “Heavy Twelve. could still be obtained as a fixed-head saloon at £275. Guildford JOHN WILLIS
In your .V-E-V Miscellany” you ask whether there was an Austin 12/4 “Watford” fabric saloon. There was, and according to Bob Wyatt they were produced in 1930 and 1931; the production figures were 679 and 40 respectively.
The Vintage Austin Register produces a monthly illustrated magazine, the annual subscription is £6, and anyone wishing the join should contact Frank Smith, Marshbrook, Butts Road, Ashover, Derby. Keep the good work up at MOTOR SPORT. Redland PAUL MARTYN Editor, Vintage Austin Register Magazine