First there was the Mini (original version). Then came the Austin/Morris 1100/1300. The next size up was the Austin Maxi, and the largest front wheel drive version of the same idea was the Austin 1800 “Landcrab”, which actually came third in the series. This one is up for sale here on eBay, along with a parts car, for the unbelievably low price of $1,250 (buy it now)! I hope it’s still there when this post goes live! It’s located with our northern friends in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada, and I wish I were in a position to go there and bring it home!
This is actually a fairly large car, especially for a British car. Amazingly, the sellers tell us that it’s rust free. Let me repeat that–a 1970’s British sedan is rust free. Okay, now pick your jaw up off the floor and someone buy this car so I stop being tempted! Remember to figure out how to get that parts car home, too, because there sure aren’t many of these on this side of the pond! The low appearance of this car means the suspension will need recharging. Here is a company that makes a pump system for doing this yourself (according to the owners club).
It looks like there are some paint issues on the passenger side front fender, but at this price, I’d expect a lot more problems! I could live with the paint for a good while, couldn’t you? Even the chrome looks pretty nice! By the way, there are a lot of Landcrab enthusiasts out there, as evidenced by this site and this other one; I even found out how the car got its unusual name: according to this forum, the Austin 1800’s nickname came about as a result of a casual comment by an Australian journalist, who when taking rally pictures from a helicopter through a telephoto lens remarked that the cars looked like “Land Crabs” as they cornered sideways.
The car has been converted from an automatic to a four speed; you can see the third pedal here. Unfortunately, we don’t get a view of either the front seats or the 1798 cc engine that is similar to an MGB’s. That being said, this is a lot of car for that kind of money, and if I had to find an MGB engine or mechanicals to install, that’s not a problem. Like I said above, one of you please buy this car so I’m not tempted any more!