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Sold 1954 Austin A40 Somerset

1954 Austin A40 Somerset




Ooo, what a cute little car.

Yes it is, if the pygmy look is your thing, but this A40 carries the weight of some serious world financial history on its skinny little tires.

Like as in our trillion dollar deficits. Seriously. This Austin was the first import car bought in significant numbers right after WWII, which at the time was a godsend to Great Britain, helping to bail them out of their horrible debt load, the price of winning the war.

In an era of massive technological leaps forward, it was good to see that Austin among other manufacturers was still only able to afford to produce poor updates of existing, obsolete models. In the light of such technical marvels as the Morris Minor and Saab 92, Austin’s A40 Somerset was typical of this policy.

It’s an honest genuine classic today, but by using the running gear of the A40 Dorset and Devon – which was already antiquated – and giving it the same style as the A70 Hereford and the A30, the company was not able to offer a convincing case for itself at a time when it was important to tempt younger buyers with exciting products.

Its B-series engine was still pegged at a mere 1200cc and, despite independent front suspension, the chassis wasn’t able to conjure up inspiring handling for those who went looking. Despite that, the portly little car soon won a place in the British Public’s collective hearts, and the prominent sweeping line down from the top of the front wing and the distinctive grille helped stamp a strong identity on to the car. As a result, sales were reasonably good, and helped pave the way for the creation of the British Motor Corporation in 1952.


  • Low Ownership - 4 in total. First owner for 42 years, 2nd for 7 years, 3rd for 4 years and previous to us for 12 years.
  • VCC Registered - NZ Historic Vehicle.
  • Good tidy condition throughout.
  • Clean body with paintwork showing ts age but still very presentable.
  • Nice original interior in good condition
  • New carpets
  • Original hood lining in good order
  • Starts, runs and drives well.
  • Spare wheel, jack, original manual.
  • 4 speed manual coloumn change
  • Independent coil front suspension, semi elliptic rear.
  • Hydraulic brakes
  • Well maintained and serviced.

Austin was undoubtedly the best selling import in the early fifties, and maintained a prominent place during the rest of the decade, despite eventually losing the crown to VW.

A great wee collectible classic - fun and nippy little thing.

Car will be sold WOF’d and Registered.



This vehicle has been sold

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At Waimak Classic Cars, our principal interest is to ensure the preservation of classic and vintage vehicles. Please remember that our vehicles are many years old, often with further previous owners. Many have been bought by us recently. We cannot know exactly what repairs or maintenance has been done although we do our best to obtain log books and copies of invoices of work done, when, and by whom.

Our descriptions are based on our own observations and knowledge and we look for the best examples we can find. Indicated mileages are based on the records showing with NZTA and / or the vehicle’s odometer reading. Because of the age of the vehicle, this can never be guaranteed. Our inspections are generally non-invasive. Our description is based on a visual inspection and on information supplied to us by third parties.

Any sale is on the condition that the purchaser relies on his/her own judgment and does not rely on our skill or judgment or on any representation made by us. This applies even if the Buyer has not inspected the vehicle before purchase. We strongly recommend that you have the vehicle inspected by an independent assessor qualified to comment on the particular vehicle’s condition. If you are unable to organise this, then this can be organised on your behalf, at your cost.

We are proud of our reputation. However, no older vehicle can be expected to be as reliable as a new one and so all our vehicles are sold on an as is where is basis. Mechanical breakdowns, electronic failures at inconvenient times and maintenance costs are part and parcel of the ownership of classic and vintage vehicles. Reliability is a combination of the particular vehicle, how it has been driven and maintained, and luck.

For more information about this vehicle, please contact us Monday to Friday between 9:00am and 6:00pm (New Zealand Standard Time) on +64 (0) 3 310-6485 / +64 (0) 274 990-020. Alternatively, you may email us at info@waimakclassiccars.co.nz anytime.

PLEASE NOTE: As Waimak Classic Cars is NOT a car yard dealer type of operation, we do not operate through fixed opening hours. Viewing is therefore STRICTLY BY APPOINTMENT ONLY and A FEW DAYS NOTICE is always appreciated, as it is seldom possible for us to accommodate viewing on the same day of inquiry