Austin Of England: 1949 Austin A40 Sports

1949 Austion A40 Sports

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I’ll never understand why it is so hard for some seller’s to take decent photos of their cars, but for whatever reason some just can’t do it. I would normally skip over a listing like this one, poor quality photos, misnamed, and little information, but this 1949 Austin A40 Sports is just so unusual that I can’t help taking a closer look! Find it here on craigslist in Andover, New Jersey.

Austion A40 Sports

Now obviously I’ve done considerable editing to the seller’s photos in an attempt to make them easier to look at, but there is no magical method to make a poor quality photo good. After cleaning them up a bit though, it’s a bit easier to judge the car’s condition. It is clearly going to need extensive work. The body might look decent, but I’m sure the alloy body is hiding some serious structural rust underneath. It does however look quite complete.

Austin of England

This A40 isn’t interesting just because of its quirky styling and alloy body. As you can see, this is badged as an Austin of England, a branding choice the company used for a very limited amount of time. A number of parts suppliers in the United Kingdom resented the branding, as it suggested the cars were built just in England and had no ties to the rest of the country. When Austin was merged into BMC in ’52, the name was reverted back to just Austin. While it doesn’t increase value, it makes for an interesting conversation piece!

1949 Austion A40 Convertible

The A40 shares some styling cues with the lovely A90 Atlantic, but that unusual nose gives the car some added character. I’m not sure this particular example will be saved from further decay. I hope there is someone on this side of the pond with the motivation and desire to save it! So do you appreciate this British roadster to overlook the terrible photos and give it a home?

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  1. HoA HowardMember

    Now Josh, we have to remember, some of us just don’t have an eye for photography. My photos resemble crude drawings, at best. I was devastated when they stopped making Polaroid film for my “One Step”. I got a digital camera a couple years ago, and it’s been in the drawer ever since.
    As far as the car, where on this side would one ever find parts?

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  2. Jamie Palmer JamieStaff


    Kip Motors helps a lot of British orphans out on this side of the pond. A quick look at their site has some items in their catalog for this one. It’s a pretty simple car apart from trim…that would be difficult.

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  3. DolphinMember

    I have the same reaction to bad photos as Josh. Most people whose cars get onto CL and Ebay live in the USA, the most connected and enterprising place on Earth. They are surrounded by promos and ads every day, and can grab a digital camera and take endless bad, and then with practice, maybe good photos for a few bucks. It beats me why they don’t. It also beats me why they don’t try very hard considering they want other people to give them money….sometimes lots of it, based on what? Not very much in many cases.

    This Austin has a quirky charm all right, but it’s not an Austin Healey, a brand that did not exist before 1952. But it still needs to be preserved because people need to be able to go to Brit Car Day and see a car like this to understand what British carmaking was back then. This reminds me of those great British murder mystery series like ‘Foyles’ War’ and ‘Poirot’ where cars like this or even earlier are everyday characters…or carry the characters around, anyway.

    The thing that would concern me would be alloy body panels that end up like fine lace at the edges, barely hanging on. In a resto there’s really no way to save panels like that because they just disintegrate into oxidized silver dust at the touch of a torch…or maybe I just don’t have the skills, of which there are many.

    Too bad there aren’t any photos to show what things look like down there along the bottom edges of those panels. It’s not like there’s even a top on the car to bother removing for an inside photo, and it looks like the hood doesn’t even close. I wouldn’t go across town to see this car without seeing some easy-to-take inside and engine bay shots first.

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  4. Rancho Bella

    I never call when there is no price. Just like dealers selling collector cars…….inquire.
    As for this car I don’t recall viewing a convertible……….this would need to be a total labor of love. Cute as button she is

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  5. Capt Doug

    This car is worth saving. If it is truly a 1949 it would seem to be the London Show car since production models were not introduced until the 1951 model year.

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  6. Tom S.

    CL so often seems like a contest for bad photography.

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  7. Don Andreina

    Love that ‘Austin of England’ badge. Jensen bodied these around the same time as their first Interceptor…

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  8. Fletcher

    Guy refers you to one on a UK website, which is actually in Netherlands, with a price of 16+++ USD. Car looks almost the same, but somewhat better bumpers. Very strange listing, maybe very old guy or clueless relative? Not sure if it is a scam of some sort, or a seller who is looking for big bag gold. If this one has been sitting as long as it seems, it will have no frame at all. I do not know how they attached the body to frame, but comments about panel edges are valid – especially anywhere there is steel/aluminum contact. I decided had had enough aggro already, though it is only 300 miles from me.

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