Austin - Post World War 2 - Page 1
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The Millionth car
1946 Austin 16 hp Saloon
 
Austin A125 Sheerline
 
Austin A40 Devon
 
Austin A70 Hampshire

The impact of the new Chairman's drive and vision on the fortunes of the Company in the post-war years was to prove decisive. 1945 saw Britain victorious, triumphant and financially almost broke. Dreams and schemes of a higher than ever standard of living were many. Only the far-sighted realised it could only be earned by hard work and greater effort. L. P. Lord was one such man and he at once laid plans for a rapid expansion of Austin car production for overseas marketing.

A new post-war range would be produced. Eight, Ten, Twelve and Sixteens were planned, the latter being powered with an entirely new four-cylinder overhead-valve engine.

The first model away was the Ten and the Eight quickly followed. Then came the Twelve and the Sixteen.

In June, 1946, the Millionth Austin was produced, and this car, painted in a matt cream, was signed by the Chairman and the workpeople at a special celebration .

The winter of 1946-7 was one of the severest on record, which gave added lustre to an epic "Seven Capitals in Seven Days" run made by three Austin Sixteens from Oslo to Geneva, where, for the first time, two entirely new cars, the A110 Sheerline and the A120 Princess, were exhibited.

Britain at this time badly needed dollars and L. P. Lord was determined to obtain them. He sailed for the U.S.A. in May, and after a close study of conditions, returned to Longbridge and prepared for a large-scale attack on this most difficult of all markets, with a new car then in forward stage of development. In August, accompanied by G. W. Harriman, his Works Director, the Chairman re-crossed the Atlantic, taking two of the first production A40 Devons with him. The cars were liked, dealers signed up and plans were made for shipping them.