Thursday, May 5, 2011

1958 Austin A55 Cambridge



"Clever design and careful attention to the smallest detail have produced, in the A55 Saloon, the proportion and slick appearance attributed to cars of much greater cost. From the powerful double-dipping headlamps – hooded with deep chromium rims – to the combined reflectors, stop tail lamps and direction indicators blended neatly into the rear end design, it is a masterpiece of harmony which satisfies the eye and instills a deep sense of pride of ownership."

A week has passed since the Royal Wedding took place in London, and one definite highlight for us was seeing William and Kate drive away into their honeymoon in a stylish Aston Martin DB6 Volante. Yet, the "Duke & Duchess of Cambridge", as the couple is officially titled now, could have picked another classic british car that even bears their name: the Austin A55 Cambridge. Well, admittedly, that wouldn't really fit to the image of a prince and a princess...

The Austin Cambridge looks tiny beside all the Detroit Iron in Cuba, and small even next to the russian Ladas or Moskvichs. Mind you, this was a proper fullsize sedan across the Atlantic. Much as General Motors in the U.S., England had it's British Motor Company, which united several british car brands under one roof. Founded in 1952 by merger of Austin and the Nuffield Organization (better known for their brands Morris and MG), BMC produced some iconic automobiles, like the MG A or the Austin Healey, but the majority of the money was made with bread-and-butter cars like the Austin Cambridge.

The A55 Cambridge was the third revision of a successful four door sedan that had started as the A40 in 1954. Austin produced around 150.000 A55 from September 1957 through 1958, before it got replaced by the much more modern looking, Pininfarina-styled A55 Mk.II. "La caja is still original, because it's a very durable transmission", told us the owner of our pictured car. "But the engine never ran really good, and spare parts are so hard to find! I replaced with the motor of a Lada."

1 Kommentare:

nlpnt said...

Cuba is probably the only place in the world where spare parts for a BMC B-series engine are hard to find...