Austin - Pre World War 1 - Page 1
Page 1 of 2 Pages Next Page

On November 17th, 1905, the Motor Show opened at Olympia, and there Herbert Austin, complete with blue-prints, high hopes and enthusiasm, sought orders and got them. On paper the first Austin was described as a 25-30 h.p. high class touring model with a 4 inch bore and a 5 inch stroke, magneto and coil ignition, a four speed gearbox, and a chain driven rear axle. Only the highest class of materials would be used in its construction and the supervision during manufacture would be such as to secure the best results. It was expected that the first model would be delivered at the end of March, 1906, at a list price of 650.

Before March, 1906, the car was ready for trial and, driven by Herbert Austin himself, left the assembly shop, reached the road and made a very successful run.

Skilled workmen soon found their way to Longbridge and in the first full year 270 of them turned out 120 cars in the original 212 acre factory. Expansion and extensions followed and other cars were added to the range. Austin coachwork, with its large selection of Phaetons, Limousines and Landaulets, came to be admired and respected as much as the dependability of the chassis. Herbert Austin was thorough in everything. It is said of him at this time that he could do any job in his works, and that he knew the position of every machine.

In 1908 three special 100 h.p. racers were built and entered for the French Automobile Grand Prix. Two of the cars driven by J. T. C. Moore-Brabazon (now Lord Brabazon) and Dario Resta, came in fifteenth and sixteenth respectively, having put up a very creditable performance. At Brooklands a private sportsman, O. S. Thompson, driving a modified 25-30 h.p. Austin named '' Pobble,'' achieved consistent success. Other models did well in reliability trials and in the hands of the private motorists at home and overseas and the Austin reputation for dependability steadily grew.

By 1908 nearly 1,000 workers were employed and a night shift was found necessary. A single cylinder 7 h.p. car and a 15 h.p. Town Carriage were added to a range that now included 10, 15-24, 40 and 50 h.p. models and a 15-cwt. van. More additions were made to the factory and an output of 1,000 cars a year was planned.

Austin 18/24 hp Park Phaeton
Austin 25/30 hp Endcliffe Phaeton
Austin 18/24 hp
Austin 100 hp Racer
Austin 7 hp - single cylinder


Austin 40 hp Endcliffe