This Austin 1800 is thought to be the only pre-production 1800 that survives today. The car is well known to the Landcrab Owners club.After an initial build of 2 hand made cars,production moved to the Car Assembly Planning Department of BMC in Longbridge,Birmingham.The first prototype is thought to have hit the road in May 1962 and this particular car (Chassis number 17) most probably followed later in 1963. It was first registered in June 1964 to a gentleman who was head of one of the Experimental Departments at Longbridge.The 1800 was launched later that year at the Earls Courtg Motor Show.
For many years this particular gentleman kept the car and used it as a rolling test bed for several new features on the Landcrab and the larger ill-fated Austin 3 litre cars.The car was still fully engaged in official company business, the car was at the Press launch at Garvin in Scotland (see one of the photos with Sir Alec Issigonis stood next to this actual car) and there after noted down in BMC records as being part of their press fleet but never going out on any road test, driven by journalist that can be traced.
The aforementioned first registered owner was known to fill the sills of this car with engine oil and drive off into the Worcestershire countyside, slowly letting the oil dribble out and coat not only every surface in and around the bottom of the car in oil and also a fair proportion of the country lanes in Worcestershire.
The car was used in all manner of tests and development ideas and at one point was a left drive. which might explain why until recently, it was the only Landcrab to have the wipers parked on the left! The steering column has a very early trial fitment steering column lock with it's original key.
In 2002 some 39 years after the car was registered the first owner sold the car was sold to a gentleman in Stockport. In 2004 the car was purchased by the last owner a serial Landcrab collector who set about a total restoration of the car and judging by the history file cost in excess of £20,000.
This car is a very impotant part of Austin/BMC/Longbridge history and would make an ideal addition to a BMC collection.
Part exchange welcome, ancient or modern, funds either way.
Please call me on 01676 533949 or 07860 804390 for an appointment to view.