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Car In A Box: 1951 Austin A90 Atlantic


It’s hard to believe but the Austin Atlantic was designed to appeal to American tastes and then only 350 were imported. This Austin is listed here on craigslist and is located in a shipping container in Oakland, California with an asking price of $5500. There’s not much known about the condition except that the upholstery is in poor shape and the car is complete. The seller doesn’t even know what model the car is.


This is what it’s supposed to look like. The styling is very unusual and said to be influenced by the 1946 Pininfarina Bodied Alfa Romeo cabriolet, the 6C 2500.


As you can see, the interior is in just as rough as the outside (if not worse). Seeing the interior in this condition give us more anxiety than some surface rust ever could. Finding all the trim to restore this one is going to be tough.


Not much can be seen of the old car, but it does look complete and there’s no apparent rust. Very few have survived due to the typical rust situation and many were scrapped for parts for the Austin-Healey 100. This is another very rare car that is not worth much, with an average sale price under $12,000 according to Hagerty. It would be a unique and rare car to own, but is it worth the cost of restoration at this time?


  1. Rick

    Bet that things really smells like you-know-what

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  2. dj

    Rat attack.

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  3. Scotty G

    So, a nice version of this rarely-seen car would sell for an average of $12,000?! I find that very, very hard to believe. I would have guessed that this car would be priced at $12,000 in this condition and that fully restored this would be in the $30,000 to $40,000+ range.

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    • David Frank David Member

      Rare does not mean expensive. Here’s a partially restored convertible for 10,000 pounds or about $15,000. http://www.carandclassic.co.uk/car/C678798
      They say they’ve spent $5000 AU on the interior alone. Fully restored this sad Austin in a the box could bring close to $30,000, but it woud take a lot more than $30,000 to restore it.

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      • Scotty G

        Thanks for the link, I thought that I had seen them in the $30,000 range. It rarely pays off to restore a vehicle, a person does it for the love of the make or for the experience and the memories, I think.

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  4. Fred

    Probably not enough sales records on this one for Hagerty fo give an accurate value figure. Not sure how they would come up with a value at all.

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  5. Donnie

    Schrodingers cat / Should not have open box.

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  6. YoungCrone

    I think it’s adorable, but it seems like going for a 100 percent original interior would be a lost cause. I think I’d simply try and get the spirit of it right and call it a save if that can be put on the road again. :)

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  7. bcavileer

    Thanks Donnie, obscure and appropriate anology.

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  8. David Ward

    I do not know if you good people on the “other” side of the pond realise or not that this automobile carries exactly the same mechanicals as the Austin Healey 100. The engine is the same as the BN1 & BN2, the gearbox is that of the BN1 only. Differential is the same as the BN1 only. GOOD LUCK.

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  9. Jason Houston

    That ugly windshield should tell you what kind of budget they were dealing with, to build a baby Tucker with Pontiac stripes, EEK! It’s so typical of foreign cars.

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  10. m leavitt

    Looking for info on the buyer. I have one in a barn in NH and would like to see someone get some use out of it.

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