1961 Austin A40 Farina Countryman 848

Summary:

I loved that car, and the shape still looks great today!

Faults:

Had to replace the exhaust.

General Comments:

My late father's first car after a lifetime of enthusiastic motorcycling.

Reg: 264 DOG, each digit one less than that of the price he paid (£375).

Blue with a black roof, I used to wash it for him every week, & had a waxing regime with tops of front wings one week, bottoms next week, bonnet next, roof etc; until everything was done & then start again. Just like painting the Forth Bridge; it looked brand new!

The A40 saloon had 520/13 tyres, but the Countryman had 560/13's for the extra loads. This gave it a much sportier look.

I was in my teens then, and had driven a Morris Minor & a Mini, which both had rack & pinion steering. The A40 had worm & gear (I think that was what it was called) which had a "slack" feel at the straight ahead position. (ie: you could move the steering wheel slightly from side to side without affecting the direction of the front wheels), After experiencing rack & pinion, which did not have this play, I always found the A40 a little disconcerting in a straight line! I drove an almost brand new MkII, which was just the same. It probably wouldn't worry me now that I'm long in the tooth & more experienced!

Despite its boxy shape, the A40 was quite a streamlined car with a cd of 0.31, which was very good for the time (better than the comparatively sleek Ford Anglia). When it reached 60/70mph, it would cruise easily with very little wind noise.

My father made the mistake of swapping the A40 for an MG1300, which seemed a great step forward at the time, but which proved to be a disaster!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 27th March, 2011

23rd Apr 2011, 07:42

It was a good car - reliable and easy to work on. The only problem was that anyone who sat in the back for more than 10 minutes felt sick! My father had one too, and that was the same.

1964 Austin A40 Farina Countryman 1.0

Summary:

Cheerful classic

Faults:

Radiator burst in '89, cost £20 from breakers.

Engine mountings needed replacing when I bought the car, cost £16 from local motor factors.

Floor needed welding when purchased, local garage charged £35.

A few minor things like bulbs, points, plugs e.t.c. when purchased. But considering I only paid £60 for the car which was almost in A1 condition.

General Comments:

Very reliable and cheap car which returned almost 40mpg! Very slow, but had lots of charm.

Obtaining spares was the only problem, but luckily most parts could be sourced from older BL cars such as A35s, Minis and Morris Minors.

It was probably also the World's first hatch-back!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 10th June, 2002

3rd Jan 2004, 05:18

The "secret" with all these "older" cars is to join the relevant owners club; in this case the A40 Farina Club (www.a40farinaclub.co.uk). More information can also be obtained from info@a40farinaclub.co.uk.

Regards - Keith.

2nd Dec 2005, 20:31

I had a lovely time growing up with an Austin A40 Countryman called 'Betsy' registered CE 270 in Cyprus and DHM 44 D in the UK.

My dad had me steering it before my feet could reach the pedals.

The car almost had its roof ripped of at both A pillars when we crashed into the side of a truck, my head ricocheted into the side window catch.

There is still a lumpiness to that part of my skull.

After being rebuilt, when today it would have been an insurance right off, Mum, Dad and I piled in under a heavily laden roof rack and drove from Athens to London at a leisurely pace.

Years later '72/'73 I caught a site of 'Betsy' on a roundabout in Bexleyheath, the Cypriot sea weather was getting the better of her, so much rust was frothing beneath the Grey / White paint work, she was beginning to resemble a bubble car :-)

8th Jan 2009, 20:13

Please note that the official site address for the A40 Farina Club Ltd is now http://www.A40farinaclub.co.uk

Peter Beattie

A40 Farina Club Member

A40 MK2 Countryman 1964.