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The 1958 Austin A55 Cambridge


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That’s lovely. I’ve always liked these. They look just right. My dad got one just after I was born to replace his Triumph Renown. My mum was learning to drive and her instructor had an A55 which she found much easier than the Renown so my dad did the decent thing. Dad’s A55 was old English white with red interior. VGP 272. He kept it for 3 years until he got a new Cortina in 1964. Very nice indeed.

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When i was 15 our local village shop owner had one of these and he paid me to wash it once a week,it was a lovely looking motor in blue and cream, registration number 947SMY, i used to sit in the drivers seat and marvel at it with it's column change and bench seat. It must have made an impression on me as my first car had column change and a bench seat! Austin 1952 A40.

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Wonderful!

I’m with SpottedLaurel on this, I mainly remember seeing these around in van and pickup form - which I think continued in production until versions of the Marina replaced them around 1972.

That looks like a lovely example, and very practical with a huge boot. 

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I remember in the late 60s having a short ride in one of these. I sat in the back with the other kids and my overriding memory is that the back seat had completely collapsed so that we were almost sitting on the floor.

Odd that the dash is painted white while the outside of the car is grey. Repainted ?

 

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Wow, that's a lovely looking thing. 

It's just crying out for a Rover K-Series*.  As for the drivers seat you can get something like a paste which "welds" the tears or gouges together. You'd be well to find a leather upholsterer to do this for you. I've seen it done on the Repair Shop by the lovely Suzie**. 

 

 

*this is a joke, keep it stock.

** it's odd that I've got a bit of a crush on a quite clearly older woman, but it is what it is.

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Hopefully I can see this car in the flesh in the near future! What a beaut.

I’ve got an A55 Mk1 the same. Same year, but black instead of Tweed Grey. In hindsight I wish I’d bought a decent one and cut out all the welding. It’s not far off the road really, but lockdown prevents tinkerage at the moment :(

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9 hours ago, paulplom said:

Would the radio have been a standard fit back then? or it it aftermarket? Lovely car btw.

Aftermarket, it was left to the owner to deicide on what make and model to fit. I have a receipt in the history file from 1998 for the refurbishment of a Radiomobile 20X Valve Radio like this one, however this is long gone and an unplugged 70's Transistor set is now in its place. 

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Thanks everyone for the advice on the drivers seat, I'd like to avoid a retrim so will look into how it could be repaired. I'm also monitoring ebay and the Cambridge Facebook group on the off chance a good seat from a scrapper comes up! 

It does have some bodywork blemishes up close however I'm not too fussed, I'd rather have an old car with some patina and imperfections than a minter that could only be used sparingly. With the B Series it should be easy to maintain and ideal for Sunday jaunts or Weekends away, avoiding Motorways if possible. Hopefully the past few years it's spent being religated for shows will become a thing of the past... 

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23 minutes ago, The Mighty Quinn said:

There is an article in one of those 1970's AA Drive magazines about a young lad who bought an A55 as his first car in 1971 - I shall try to find it.

I remember that!  Pale blue IIRC.

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On 5/2/2020 at 4:11 PM, The Mighty Quinn said:

I love cars of this era. The styling, the willing old OHV engines and the smell of the interior and the sense of history they have. These, Oxfords and Consuls, still not too dear to buy one.

 

The last time I saw one in daily use was around 1980. That was grey as well. 40 years ago, and they were ancient then.

A 50's saloon has been on my want list for a long time- These Austins aren't the most desirable of them but cars from this era don't come up for sale often and there's plenty of bodged up crap around I could have wasted time and money viewing. This one I saw back in 2012 drew me to the A55- not perfect but it was a daily driver and used for touring both at home and abroad. Also had the rare optional Borg Warner Overdrive fitted. 

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...

Back on the road at last! Me and a mate decoked the Head and replaced the Gasket but I ended up having to farm the Oil change out to a garage due to the awful position of the Filter on these cars. Took it to an evening old car gathering at the pub last week where I met a couple of friends of the previous deceased owner who were happy to see it again.  Plan to take it to chez @flat4alfa soon as he was ferried around in an identical example as a young un. 

 

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