- Photographed at the Adelaide Heritage Run, Keswick, South Australia in October 2018

1951 Austin Atlantic

Photographed at the Adelaide Heritage Run, Keswick, South Australia in October 2018

The Atlantic was designed specifically to appeal to North American tastes (certain aspects look like a 1949 Mercury and the bonnet (hood) brightwork looks similar to the Pontiac Chieftains of this era).

The Atlantic featured up-to-the-minute detailing, with a wrap around windscreen, composed of a flat glass centre section with, tiny curved end panels. The front wings (fenders) sported twin 'Flying A' hood ornaments and swept down to a rounded tail, with spats enclosing the rear wheels.

A centrally mounted third, main beam, headlight was built into the letter-box style air intake grille, and the then unheard of luxury of hydraulically powered windows and hood (convertible top), "flashing indicators" (blinkers) rather than trafficators, (for the United States market at least) and the option of EKCO or HMV Autocrat radios.

The range-topping Austin was offered in a variety of "jewelescent" colours with names like 'seafoam green' and 'desert gold' but few of these brave new metallics were sold in the UK market.

The convertible as seen here, was a three window, drophead coupe with a simple fabric top, without rear quarter lights (opera windows), which butted up to the rear of a rather thick windscreen header rail.

The fixed head, five window, Sports Saloon (hardtop), could be had with its roof painted or covered in fabric. This gave it the popular 'drophead or cabriolet' look; all the style with no leaks.

Many photographs of this car are wrongly titled, due to observers confusing the fabric covered hardtop for a convertible.

As its final party trick, the centre section of the three piece, wrap-around, rear window, could be lowered into the boot (trunk), for added ventilation by a remote winder above the front windscreen. Few people in the car's native Britain would have ever seen anything like the futuristically-styled Atlantic before, and certainly not from a conservative mainstream manufacturer like Austin.

The radical Atlantic suffered, however, from the dramatically new Jaguar XK120, also launched at the 1948 Motor Show.

All in all, a very interesting and stylish little Brit!

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Comments (6)

  • I love these, bizarrely.

      2 years ago
    • I do too! I was stunned the first time I saw one, I couldn't believe it was an Austin!

        2 years ago
    • I also like the tie-up with the little Nashes (which I think are also great), as they use the engine from these A90's.

        2 years ago
  • This car belongs to my Stepfather & mother, It's a very nice little one & will be in the Bay to Birdwood this year 2020.

      1 year ago