Exclusive: 1970 Austin America

Josh MortensenBy Josh Mortensen

If you are a fan of the Mini, but want something a bit bigger, the Austin America might be the car for you! Reader Greg L has decided it’s time to part ways with his Austin America and thought one of his fellow Readers might enjoy having it. It isn’t perfect but runs and drives great as is. With an asking price of just $2,450, it seems like a fun little project that can be enjoyed as is. If you have any questions for him or would like to make him an offer, you can contact him via the form below!

What Makes It Special? Runs great, Manual Trans, Rebuilt Motor with Performance Mods, New Clutch, Tires, Etc.

Body Condition: Poor Repaint, Needs Rocker Repair, Floors are Done.

Mechanical Condition: Excellent, Driven Weekly. Needs nothing mechanically.

  • Asking Price: $2,450
  • Location: Durham, NC
  • Mileage: Unknown
  • Title Status: Clean

Contact The Seller

Our thanks to Greg for listing his Austin with us. If you have a daily driven classic that needs a new home, please consider listing it here on Barn Finds!

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Comments

  1. AF

    A decent 20 footer . Don’t understand stickers and that sunroof. Do your research before you snag this one up. Just saying

    2
    • PatrickM

      If that car is 20 ft long, I need to be admitted to a hospital

      4
      • redwagon

        i think the reference is looks decent from 20 feet.

        6
      • glen

        Another way to put it is; Good from afar, but far from good.

        5
  2. Wayne

    So does “floors done” mean they are toast as in they need replacement? Or does that mean they have already been replaced?
    I was looking for one of these for a couple of years. And never found a reasonably priced one like this. I have since headed in a different direction so no longer have the urge.
    Good luck on your sale!

    5
  3. Stephen Walton

    The mail box spoiler is way cool.

    6
    • Rodney-GSM

      Yes, sellers, please look at the whole frame before taking your photographs. I looked at this with the same thought, “What is a Postal Spoiler?”

  4. Tom Carmicheal

    a 1970 Austin America is just over 12 feet long

    2
  5. Fordguy1972

    My mother had a ’69, called an Austin 1300 in Ireland and England. 1275 cc engine, 4-speed, 45 HP. My brother and I flogged the hell out of that little car, I mean we really pounded on it. We “borrowed” it all the time, it’s what I learned to drive solo in.

    In about 1971, we blew up the gearbox and had to drive to Belfast to buy a new one. This was during the “troubles” and English soldiers were everywhere. At that time, all street signs in Belfast were removed so the IRA lads from south of the border would have a hard time moving around the city. Well, my brother and I went up a one-way street the wrong way and were pulled over by some Brits in an armored car. We were ordered to get out of our car and face a wall with our hands up while about six soldiers kept their auto rifles trained on us, ready for trouble. We produced our American passports and they backed off but suggested we get out of Belfast. Pronto. Scary stuff for a pair of young car guys just looking for a gearbox.

    Mom’s Austin 1300 was a great little car that held up pretty well despite her gearhead sons. Apart from my bad luck with animals (I killed a donkey and a dog with it) and almost getting mowed down by the Brits, I have very fond memories of that little car.

    7
  6. That AMC Guy

    At least this one doesn’t have the grenading in-sump 4-speed automatic transmission! That led a lot of these to an early end in the boneyard. Other trouble spots are rust (of course) and the hydrolastic suspension. For some strange reason I’ve always had a soft spot for the Austin America. Fortunately this one is too far away!

    Lots of tech information on these cars here:

    http://www.austinamericausa.com/

    1
  7. ccrvtt

    Childhood neighbors finished a sabbatical in Africa and came home through England. While there they bought a set of matching 1964 MGs: an MGB and one of these in the 4-door MG version. Both were red. The dad, a professor at Michigan State, drove the B for awhile, but with 3 daughters it was deemed impractical and he sold it. They kept the little 4-door.

    My adolescent mind thought it was the dumbest decision ever.

    My nearly septuagenarian mind knows I was right.

    2
  8. Howard A Member

    My brother had one of these once. I believe he got it for free with some other car. It had that automatic and the funky suspension. Never did get it driving.

  9. ken TILLY

    I bought one of these back in the eighties for the wife and found it to be a great little four door car. Mine had the 1275cc engine and hydrolastic suspension and, apart from fitting a new clutch, never gave me a problem. Rust was a different story!

    1
  10. gregl

    From the Seller: The hood has been painted with a little “Art Car” type graphics for fun, as the paint job is pretty poor. Floors are patched , seam sealed and painted, not original but serve the purpose. The car has a MG 1100cc transplant with the matching 4 Speed Trans. Big Valve heads, lightened Clubman flywheel, High Compression pistons and a street performance cam. Greg

    1
  11. Jerry

    No pictures of the interior? Can’t even consider buying a car that is lacking pictures of the interior!

    2
  12. ICEMAN from Winnipeg

    I like the ones with the trunk. The Limeys called them LandCrabs.

    1
    • ken TILLY

      @ICEMAN. The Land Crab was a much larger, 4 door car, with an 1800cc engine. They even made a 3000cc which wasn’t very popular.

      • TVC15

        The 3000cc was an Austin 3 litre with rear wheel drive shared the same doors but a completely different animal , but you are right not popular

        1
  13. Jim

    My English wife bought one new in Boston, after about six monthsthe automatic would no longer operate in reverse. Took it to the dealer who was unhelpful. Returned at night, chained it to a parking meter in front of the dealership with a big lemon sign inside. Money was returned in exchange for the key to the lock

    5
  14. Dave

    Had a ‘68 that I found for 500 bucks back in 1977 – fun little car! Biggest memory was wrapping a stereo in foam and jamming it under the seat to have a radio – had to insulate it because the car had what the Brits called “positive earth” and it would have shorted things out otherwise!

    Had a straight pipe exhaust you could get to go off like a shotgun if ya run it up in RPM and let off the gas too long in first gear.

    Last trip was four guys going out of town – the hydro suspension blew on the passenger side so I had all three of my buddies crammed on the left side of the car to keep the right side tires from rubbing too hard – guy came and hauled it off for 150 bucks – I STILL miss that car!

    1
  15. Nevis Beeman

    There is an Austin 1100 of about 1967, ( not the export ‘America’ model, but very similar) sitting at the junction closest to the Police Station, Cotton Ground, Nevis, St Kitts & Nevis, in the West Indies, awaiting rescue. Recently removed from a near by shed that was falling down.

    1
  16. andyp

    No worries if the sunroof leaks, it will just drain out of the rust holes in the body

    2
  17. Will Owen

    These are very comfortable cars considering their outer dimensions, but then I lived happily with Minis for many years. The rocking-horse motion on acceleration/deceleration can be annoying until you get used to it, and if BMC had kept Alec Moulton’s original design of cross-linked corners that would not occur … but that’s hardly the first time some Suit tried to out-think a real genius.

    I’ve driven only an automatic America, and it was pretty wretched – felt like it was full of gravel, and needed a heavy foot to get anywhere, though the rest of the car was pretty nice. The warming-over this 1100 engine has received probably helps a lot, though I’d rather see a 1275 in there; it was actually a much sturdier engine, and a better revver. Probably a good thing it’s on the opposite coast, given how much trouble I’d be in if I dared to look at another car just now.

    1
  18. Andrew

    Along with the Morris Minor and Allegro, probably one of the ugliest cars ever made!!

    • AF

      boo!

  19. Kenneth Carney

    Used to have an Austin America dealership in my hometown of Normal,
    Ill. in the early ’70’s. The guy who ran
    it would sell you the car but wouldn’t
    or couldn’t service what he sold. Oh
    sure, he had a small shop ’round back
    to use as a front to make the prospective
    buyer believe that service was available
    should you have a problem. That wasn’t
    the case though and the customer was
    left holding the bag when it came to getting their cars serviced properly.
    About six months later, he and the
    dealership pulled up stakes in the
    middle of the night leaving over a
    thousand customers with cars they
    couldn’t get serviced when needed.
    That’s why, to this day, I’ll never own a
    foreign car. At least you can still take
    your American car to the dealership you
    bought it from to get sevice when you
    need it. Other than that, neat little car
    but I wouldn’t buy one.

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