BF Auction: 1952 Austin A40 Sports

Sold for $900View Result

In the early 1950s, finding a sports car with a lightweight aluminum body was something reserved for high-dollar, low-production cars, but Austin tried to change that. After seeing the Jensen Interceptor, Austin’s chairman, Leonard Lord approached Jensen about designing a vehicle that would be based on their A40 chassis. The finished product is unique but similar to the larger Jensen that inspired its creation. With just over 4,000 examples built, these don’t come up for sale often. The example being offered here is a field find that has been parked for the past 40 years. The previous owner thankfully removed all the important parts and stashed them inside their barn before parking the car outside. It’s now being offered here as a no reserve Barn Finds Auction!

The seller purchased this A40 from the estate of Jack Heinrich, a mechanic and circle-track race car driver in Sanger, California. After buying the car, he disassembled it and stored the engine, transmission, trim, and any hard-to-find pieces in his barn. The seller laid out and photographed all of the included parts, so be sure to inspect the photos closely.

Being based on the A40 Devon, this little droptop is powered by the same Austin 1.2-liter inline-4. To provide a bit more sporting of an experience, the engine was fitted with twin-SU carbureters, which brought horsepower up to 46. The engine is out of the car and taken apart. It appears that all the major engine components are present. The seller has provided photos of the engine’s number tag and pictures of the body and chassis numbers.

When the car was disassembled, the interior was also removed, but it doesn’t appear to have survived its time in the barn well. Given that the Sports is based on the Devon, most of the interior can be sourced. It appears that all the gauges are present and could be restored. While the aluminum body won’t rust, the metal structure underneath can. The seller notes that the floors have rust issues and need repairs.

The A40 Sports is a really interesting little car. This one will require a full restoration, but these are getting increasingly difficult to find. If you’d love to revive this unique find, be sure to bid below. If you have any questions for the seller, please leave them in the comments.

Bid On This Auction

Sold for: $900
Register To Bid
Ended: Apr 23, 2024 11:00am MDT
Winner: marbella car restauration
  • marbella car restauration
    bid $900.00  2024-04-23 09:18:59
  • amqjr bid $800.00  2024-04-23 01:24:07
  • KenS bid $250.00  2024-04-19 10:11:32

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. HoA HoAMember

    Thank you BFs for unraveling another mystery. When I did ride my bicycle, my route took me past a car just like this. I thought it had to be British, maybe an Austin, and now I know. Cars like this are a tough sell to us Yanks, the interest just isn’t there, with our ultimate behemoth dually pickups, the norm. I’m not sure what the collector car market is like in England, if these even exist over there, but I bet someone there would love to have it.

    Like 6
    • Solosolo UK SolosoloMember

      Oh they exist over here alright, just not many of them left. When I lived in Southern Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, in the mid fifties there were quite a number of them. Cute little convertibles that suited the wonderful African weather, until it rained, then it leaked like an old tap. This car needs to go to a home restorer as the cost of restoring it even semi professionaly will be horendous, but at the end of the day you will have a very rare car for C and C and people will walk straight past the Caddy’s and Tri Fives just to take a look at this A 40.

      Like 10
  2. okmkoMember

    You can see a lot of the Nash Metropolitan in this.
    Metropolitan had Austen running gear and the body was fabricated in England as well.
    First foreign made car meant exclusively for the US market.

    Like 1
  3. David G Bishop

    Of the four thousand built, the Austin Counties Owners Club in the UK estimates that a little over 200 have survived, so it is indeed quite rare. The mechanicals are all standard A40 parts from the era and easy to source, relatively. Trim and unique body parts are the issue. Last year I rescued three of them, with spare parts, workshop manuals, and literature. The winning bidder should reach out to me so that I can assist, I’m in TN, so I will not be bidding. Cheers, Dave.

    Like 7
    • first53resorter

      David Bishop, by chance would you have a set of brake drums to fit a 1953 A40 Somerset? I’m having the drop head coupe restored which has been in my family since 1962. The shop “lost” my drums. I’m in Wisconsin.

      Like 2
  4. Tilak Gurusinghe

    I have 2 of these babies black one and a white one. both are complete and i have not got to them as yet because of my other cars. This car is a lot of work and they dont even show the floors on this car. Tires tell the whole story since they are flat as pancakes and it has been outside for a long time so there may be no floors at all or very rusty floors . THese cars had 2 floors one on top of the other to strengthen the body but the condition is unknown. Easiest part of this car is ?, There is none. i would have bid on it but to pay a buyers premium on top of sale price and everything else that needs to be done to the car is a deal breaker for me.

    Like 2
  5. Joe MecMember

    It’s certainly an interesting British car. The A40’s are rare in this country but that certainly doesn’t make them valuable. This car would be fun to do a period restoration (for me). I would upgrade the drivetrain and figure a disc brake setup. I would not worry about complete originality because I would build it as a driver. 99% of people who would see it would not know the differences anyway. I know that can drive the purists crazy but this car is not that well known and the buyers market would be slim. I would not be interested in this as an investment but rather a fun retro restoration.

    Like 3
    • David G Bishop

      Joe, I think you are spot on. As it’s hard/expensive to restore to original, a car this far apart is a good candidate for a British Resto-Mod. At least that would save the car. MGB motor with O/D trans, front disc’s, 3.9 rear axle, sound good?

      Like 4
      • Joe MecMember

        David G Bishop… my thoughts exactly….we’re just brothers from different mothers!!! : > )

        Like 0
    • Mark Baranoski

      A friend just texted me about the A40 Sports. I have 3 of these left hand drive. Bought the first one in 1984 in WY. They are all inside storage. I work on them occasionally, but spend more time on my German cars. I will be getting these on line for sale in the future.
      The sellar did a stellar job with pics and descriptions. This is a great DIY project.
      The last time I saw a running/driving Sports was at the Mid Ohio Vintage weekend, 30 years ago. It was British Racing green. The owner put me one to 3 Sports wheels, which are almost as rare as the car.
      I’m liking this site much more than BAT now that my friend let me know about it.

      Like 0
  6. David G Bishop

    first53, let’s take your Somerset question off this forum, please contact me at, thanks, Dave.

    Like 1
  7. Bob K

    Hello everyone-
    I am the seller.
    To clear up a question or two.
    This is a total Project Car.
    Floors are rough and pictures were taken.
    Frame appears to be in pretty good condition.
    I’m told only 50 survive (by someone who owns a couple of these)?
    I’m told there are a few rare and hard o find parts and pieces.
    As for the tires I removed the rotten ones and replaced them with some replacements and installed them onto the original 3.25” x 16” rims.
    Original motor and transmission along with other original items such as speedometer, etc.
    Questions, just ask.

    Like 5
  8. Dion

    Does the car roll (tires hold air and wheels go round) and steer (with the steering wheel)?
    Can you make a package to put all parts inside the car to make it possible for a shipping company to pick up?

    Like 1
    • Bob K

      YES I replaced the tires.
      It is a roller with steering.
      I can try to fit everything in the car.

      Like 0
    • Bob KOwner

      Yes, i exchanged the old rotten tires with a replacement set.
      I can make every effort to get all the parts and pieces in the car and trunk.

      Like 0
  9. Tracy

    Good luck finding ANYTHING for this one.

    Like 0
    • David Bishop

      Everything mechanical is available, it’s standard Austin, and in stock on every continent! Trim, not so much.

      Like 1
    • Solosolo UK Solosolo UKMember

      No problem if you order from UK. If we need parts for our Yank tanks then we have to buy most of them from America, so whatever your make of car get the parts from wherever you can.

      Like 0
  10. BobKOwner

    YES I replaced the tires.
    It is a roller with steering.
    I can try to fit everything in the car.

    Like 0
  11. Dion

    Do you have a clear title for this car?

    Like 0
    • Bob KOwner

      Yes, I have clear CA Title in my name.

      Like 0
    • Bob KOwner


      Like 0
  12. Tilak Gurusinghe

    Apparently my new comments on this car were rejected about an hour ago. dont know whats going on

    Like 0
  13. Mark RuggieroMember

    Before there was a Spriget, there was…

    Like 0

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Barn Finds