1961 Austin A40 Farina Countryman 848
I loved that car, and the shape still looks great today!
Had to replace the exhaust.
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