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Can You Identify These Finds In Africa?

South African Finds

From Stephen H – I was brought up in a small country in Southern Africa called Lesotho in the 70’s. I now live in Miami. Back then the roads were dominated by old American cars brought in from South Africa – Dodge, Pontiac, Ford and old British cars – Humber, Austin, Land Rovers. My dad had an old Studebaker at one time. I had cause to go back recently almost 40 years later. I was hoping to see some of the old cars survived. Sadly this is a very poor country and every redundant vehicle is broken down with the parts used for roofing, tools, metal containers. There’s very little left.

South African Finds (1)

Now most of the cars are used Japanese imports (this is a rhd country). Most don’t last long because of the complex electronics so relatively new cars lie abandoned all over the place. They are cheap – I saw an 8 year old Mini Cooper exported from the uk to Japan and then shipped to Africa, at 125k kilometers, on a car lot. I asked the guy how much – converting to USD it was just $1,250 and that was negotiable! Choose an old Japanese econobox and they’re even cheaper!

South African Finds (5)

I did spot two old wrecks rusting gracefully at the side of the road. No idea what they were but the white one looks French? Couldn’t find any trace of badges. Thought it might be fun to see if any of you can identify what they are?

South African Finds (2)

So, who’s up for the challenge of identifying this pair? Special thanks to Stephen for sharing these with us! Good luck guys!


  1. Avatar photo Jim Gillette

    One looks like a 1937 Plymouth sedan. The other a Ford Anglia, maybe 1953.

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  2. Avatar photo Joe

    Top one may be a 37 Plymouth.

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    • Avatar photo dave


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      • Avatar photo Joe

        dave–good eye, I think you are right, 38 has same curved front grill as our mystery car. 37 grill is slightly different.

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    • Avatar photo ch

      1938 Plymouth with a 1937 rear deck lid.

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  3. Avatar photo Crazydave

    First one looks to have started life as a ’37 Mopar of some sort

    Second one seems to have a lot of Austin A40 in it’s lines – esp the nose area. Likely an English car from late 40’s – possibly a Vauxhall

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  4. Avatar photo Joe

    Second car has very similar steering wheel as 1950 English Ford Prefect

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  5. Avatar photo Robert A

    2nd car is an Austin A40 Devon (the 2 door version was known as the Dorset)

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    • Avatar photo Joe

      Crazydave and Robert A, Looks a lot like the A40. I think you are right. Just that every photo of an A40 I have found has a lower contour extending from the lower front fender to rear fender wheel opening. Maybe I am not finding the right year. Here is one with the curve clearly visible:


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      • Avatar photo chris

        Austin A-40

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  6. Avatar photo Tom

    #1 is/was a 38 Plymouth deluxe touring sedan. #2 I would guess is an Austin.

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  7. Avatar photo Kevin

    looks like a morris minor

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  8. Avatar photo Doug M. (West Coast)

    Josh, thanks for sharing this!! Kinda fills in a little known bit of “automobilia” from a different part of the glode! Very interesting.

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  9. Avatar photo Speedo

    Here is my ’38 Dodge, virtually identical except for the grill bars and badges.

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    • Avatar photo Joe

      Speedo–Very Nice. Looks real good in the snow.

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    • Avatar photo Lion

      Good pic, SPEEDO. How do you post a photo on this site?

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  10. Avatar photo Brakeservo

    The Austin, probably an A40 is pretty self-evident.

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  11. Avatar photo Jim B

    1938 Plymouth, no doubt about it.

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  12. Avatar photo Bill Wilkman

    The second car is clearly an Austin A40, probably a 1949. I own two Devons and a Dorset, so I’m quite sure of what I’m saying. I’d love to have the rear bumper off the car pictured. Any chance the owner could be reached? If anyone knows where I can find the exterior door and quarter panel chrome trim from a Dorset, I’m looking for that too.

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  13. Avatar photo Ed Williams

    I think you guys are correct that the American car is a 1936 or ’37 Plymouth. When I was a kid we had a ’37 Dodge which you all know is identical except for the grill.
    The Engish car I’m not so sure of so I’ll leave it up to you.

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  14. Avatar photo David McKee

    That second one looks like an A-40 Austin…My Dad owned two of those as a young man, here in Canada.

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