The company Austin, was founded in 1906 by Herbert Austin. This car designer by that time was already known as the CEO of Wolseley and the creator of quite promising models of cars. Production of cars under its own brand Herbert Austin began in the city of Longbridge in the shops where the printing plant once was located. As early as 1905, the designer presented the design of the new machine, and already in April 1906 - and the car Austin 25/30 HP.
The classic, representative model was equipped with a 4-cylinder engine. Cylinders were made by separate blocks with lateral camshafts. The Austin 25/30 HP won a good reputation and popularity, which was used by the subsequent pre-war models of Austin. Over time, Austin offered a range of cars equipped with 4-cylinder engines in the range of 10-40 horsepower. Then there was a car with a six-cylinder engine of 50 horsepower. And in 1908 two Austin cars took part in the competitions of the Grand Prix of France.
In 1909, an inexpensive car Austin 7 HP was manufactured, which marked the emergence of a series of light vehicles of this company. This model was equipped with a 1-cylinder engine with a capacity of 1 liter. In the same year, the Austin 15 HP was released. This model was often used for taxis, since the driver's seat, located above the engine, was decently separated from the passenger. The post-war models did not differ in special variety. The first car manufactured after the First World War was Austin Twenty, equipped with a 3.6-liter engine. A little later, the Austin Twelve 12 HP appeared - a light car with a 1.6 liter engine, which was manufactured until 1936 in a variety of modifications and with a 1.9-liter engine.
But the most popular, famous so far and truly legendary was the car Austin Seven, which was called the "Seven". This small model with an open 4-seat body, Herbert Austen and engineer Stanley Edge released in 1922, based on the model Peugeot Quadrilett. The car was equipped with a 4-cylinder engine with side valves of almost 0.7 liters. The engine power did not exceed 11 hp, and the maximum speed of the car reached 65 km / h. In addition, the model was different wheels on spokes.
The car was in demand because of the low price, which was important in the post-war period. In 1927 appeared Austin-7 with a sports body produced by Swallow, which was later named Jaguar. Austin Seven in various bodies was produced until 1939, constantly improving at the same time. In addition, the model became the basis for sports cars Ulster and Nippy, as well as for the Mini series.
In 1927, the Austin Twenty model was released, equipped with a 6-cylinder engine with a working volume of 3.4 liters. Soon there was a car Austin Sixteen 16 HP, equipped with a motor volume of 2.25 liters. These two models, as well as Ten 10 HP and Light Ten, became the basis for the company's production until 1931. Machines Austin Ten 10 HP and Light Ten were produced with 4-cylinder engines, respectively, 1.5 and 1.1 liters. In 1931, the lineup was supplemented by a modification of the Austin Twelve. In 1939, Austin Seven received a new engine capacity of 0.9 liters and a new name - Eight 8 HP.
After the end of World War II, Austin continued to produce the same models, to which only Austin Sixteen was added - a car equipped with a 2.2 liter engine, the body and chassis for which came from an earlier 12 HP model, modernized in 1940. Machines Austin continued to enjoy considerable popularity, despite their conservatism and simplicity.
In 1948 on Austin cars was tested an independent front suspension, installed for the first time on models Sheerline and Princess from the series A-40. The next novelty of the company was the A-90 Atlantic car, which differed in its original body, reminiscent of American cars with a rounded blunt hood. The model was intended for export to the USA and Canada, that's why it got the name and design of the body, which changed over time.
The car was equipped with a straight-row 4-cylinder engine with a working volume of 2.7 liters and a power of 88 hp, a mechanical 4-speed gearbox, an independent lever-spring suspension on the front wheels and a solid beam in the rear. The maximum speed of the A-90 Atlantic model reached 135 km / h. The first tests of the car passed in very bad weather. As a result, the car successfully passed 19 thousand km with an average speed of 113 km / h. But it never became popular abroad, which led to the closure of the production of this model.
The engine used in the manufacture of the A-90 Atlantic in volume of 2.7 liters, later began to be installed on the sports car Austin Healey 100. In 1952, the two automobile companies Austin and Morris merged. As a result of the merger, a corporation was organized by the British Motor Corporation. The first jointly produced car was the A-30, equipped with a 0.8 liter engine.
At the same time, a 2-door Metropolitan was launched for the American company Nash. This car was equipped with an engine of almost 1 liter, increased over time to a liter and a half, and differed in bodywork with a design characteristic of many American cars of that time. In 1955 models A-50 Cambridge and Westminster were presented. The A-50 had an engine used in the A-40 series, and the Westminster was equipped with a 2.6-liter engine. In 1958 appeared the model FX-4, which was used specifically for taxis. Today on the basis of this car other popular among the taxi companies of Great Britain are produced.
In 1959, the Mini model was released, but this name car, developed by Alec Issigonis, was not immediately received - it was originally introduced to the market as the legendary Austin Seven. The innovation was the placement of the gearbox and the engine in front transversely, which allowed to create a fairly compact car with 4 local body. The basis for designing a new light car was the model Morris Minor-1000, whose engine capacity was 0.95 liters. But for Mini, the engine volume was reduced to 0.85 liters, and its power was about 32 "horses". Mini car, released in 1959, could reach a speed of 115 km / h.
Thanks to the location of the engine and gearbox, made in one unit, the Austin Mini was recognized as revolutionary in the automotive industry. In addition, the double-body body (when the trunk is part of the bodywork, and not a separate structural solution) of this model for that time was still unusual. An effective solution was the placement of small wheels clearly on the corners of the body, which gave greater stability.
Since the release of the first copy of the Austin Mini model, the car has been upgraded many times. A sports Mini Cooper was launched, equipped with engines of different sizes from 1 to 1.3 liters. The power of these machines reached 75 horsepower. Over time, the suspension was replaced by hydropneumatic Hydrolastic. We started using an automatic transmission, disc brakes instead of drum, as well as airbags. In Australia and Portugal, based on Austin Min, a model with an open body Moke was produced.
In 1964, the Austin Mini car won the Monte Carlo Rally, in 1965 won first place in the British Rally, and in 1967 won the Acropolis Rally. For all the attractiveness of a small car, several disadvantages have been recognized, among which a noisy salon, a not strong enough body and a high cost with not very high comfort. Nevertheless, even today this expensive car is quite popular, especially among young people. The modern Mini is equipped with an engine ranging from 1.3 to 1.6 liters with a power of 53 to 95 horsepower. At the same time, its maximum speed reaches 185 km / h.
In 1964, the Austin-1100 was produced with a completely new hydropneumatic Hydrolastic suspension for the automotive industry, which was later used in the Austin-1800 model. In 1968, there was another association of automakers: the Navy and Leyland formed the British Leyland concern, which became the largest in Britain. The merger on the eve of the global crisis gave its results. In 1969, the Maxi was launched, equipped with a top-valve engine of almost 1.5 liters. Nevertheless, this model was also a modification of the very popular Mini. In 1970, Maxi received a 1.75-liter engine. The Mini model was also modified: it was equipped with a motor whose engine capacity was 1.1 liters, and power - about 50 "horses".
A little later, there was a model Mini OT with a sports body. In 1973, the Allegro model was introduced in a sedan-type body. This car, which continued the series Austin-1100 and 1300, was produced with engines with a working volume of 1.1 and 1.7 liters. Almost every year new models appeared and old ones were improved. The mid-70s and early 80s of the last century were marked by an extremely active development of the automotive industry. So in 1975 the Princess model was presented - a car with a sedan and an engine, the volume of which was from 1.7 to 2.2 liters. This machine was also equipped with hydropneumatic suspension Hydragaz.
In 1980, the Maxi-2 was launched, equipped with a 1.75-liter engine. The power of this power unit was 92 horsepower. At the same time, the Mini model was modified, on the basis of which a car was called Metro, with a much more modern body. The motors that were installed on the Metro car had a working volume of almost 1 and 1.3 liters. In 1983, the Maestro was launched, which has a two-bodied body. And in 1984 there was a model Montego, equipped with a three-barrel body.
It should be noted that the Maestro and Montego machines were equipped with the same chassis. Volumes of engines of these models ranged from 1.3 to 2 liters, and power - from 65 to 113 "horses". In 1984, a seemingly powerful Austin-Rover concern was created, but in 1988 British Aerospace bought out an automotive corporation and until 1989 was also involved in the production of Austin-Rover cars. However, soon the brand of produced cars was named Rover. So until now is produced quite popular car Rover Mini, inherited from the concern by the company Austin.