A Trio Of Rare Austin Gipsy 4x4s!

The Austin Gipsy was created by British Motor Corp. to compete against the success Land Rover had in getting lucrative government contracts for producing utility vehicles. The Jeep-like early SUVs were built between 1958-68 until the BMC merger with Leyland Motors ended its run. The seller has three of these interesting “trucks” with one of them being in a near-operating state, while the other two are strictly for parts. Located in Hayden, Idaho, this trio is available here on Facebook Marketplace for $2,000 – a package deal.

This wasn’t Austin’s first foray into the 4X4 market. Before the Gipsy, there was the Champ, another small, light vehicle that wasn’t popular with its target audience, British troops. They preferred the Land Rover which was larger and easier to service. The Gipsy was built to out-Rover the Land Rover as a more advanced vehicle with a chassis that featured a unique four-wheel trailing-arm system using an inexpensive rubber torsion-type suspension. Unlike the Rover, the Gipsy used steel body panels instead of aluminum. It was powered by a 2.2-liter gasoline engine that produced 55 hp (diesel optional). The SUV didn’t fit in the company’s future when British Leyland was created, so production stopped after 21,200 units.

Of the three Gipsy’s offered in this package deal, one of them looks somewhat complete, residing in a semi-covered shed. That may be the titled 1960 edition which came as a hardtop model, something the seller said was rare in the U.S. (weren’t all Gipsy’s rare in the States?). It was running a couple of years ago when it was moved to its current location. The second one has a frame, body, and axles, while the third is a chassis with no frame but several boxes of parts.

I can’t imagine how hard it would be to get parts for these vehicles nowadays, so perhaps the two bad ones can be used to turn the hardtop into a complete, serviceable vehicle. For those of you who are into Rovers and think these project cars can be of use, none of the parts and pieces are said to be interchangeable between brands. The successful buyer will have to take all three vehicles as he’s not selling anything here piecemeal.


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  1. DelBoy

    Unique in that the chassis were total sealed (unlike Landies) so rusting there was suppose to be unlikely. My ’81 Landrover died due to it’s chassis rotting from the inside out.


  2. DelBoy
  3. peter

    I think the Champ had a RR engine fitted, and was told it was as fast in reverse as it was forward.

  4. Fred Seelig

    A lot of parts were shared with other Austin vehicles, including the iconic London taxi. There were relatively few unique parts, and there are online groups of afficiados who share info and parts.

    Like 1
  5. Pierre

    Tell me more about this interesting white peugeot 504 station wagon, in the background, next to the red one…

  6. Derek

    These always lead me to Uriah Heep…

  7. Kelly Breen

    Austin was a parts bin company if there ever was one, and I actually mean that as a compliment. I know nothing about this vehicle but I suspect that it was a new body but all the running gear components came from vehicles they already had in production.
    Parts should not be hard to find.
    I would also check and see if some of the things like starter and alternator are shared with the Massey Ferguson tractor.

    Like 1
  8. Bill McClure

    I have just completed one that hadn’t run in 40+years. Done now but drooling at parts.

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