2 June 2017

More than an old car #9: Austin A40

Many would not be aware of the existence of the Austin brand, except for a few sharp-eyed ones who can associate it with the Mini. However, I believe most of you are seeing the Austin A40 Farina Mk2 for the first time.

The Austin Motor Company was founded by Herbert Austin in 1905 and it merged with Morris Motors Limited in 1952, forming the British Motor Corporation. The Austin brand lasted until 1987 and currently it is part of SAIC, the Chinese car company after it was bought over in a series of acquisitions.

The A40 Farina was first introduced in 1958 and the "Farina" suffix was used to distinguish it from other models which were called the A40 also. It was an early example of what became known as a hatchback--it was a two-seater car with a large amount of baggage space. It was equipped with an I4 engine [engine with 4 cylinders], allowing it to reach a maximum speed of 121 km/h and an acceleration of 17.4 seconds from 0-80km/h. Two versions of the Farina were produced and they can be distinguished by the different front grille pattern. It was 3.68 m long and weighed about 800 kg, making it quite economical.

Only 172,550 Mk2 A40s were made, making this gentleman part of a dying breed. It seems that this specimen here was already present during Singapore's early days due to the influence of British colonial rule. I am aware of 5 that are still here. Who knows, you could be the lucky one to see such a unique relic!

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