1969 Austin America 1300 1.3L from North America
My new baby-on-board sporty car pipe dream
Hydrolastic suspension leaked compression.
Rusted rocker panels even in dry San José CA.
Knobs & buttons loose.
Cooked wiper blades.
Fun to drive -- when it ran.
Impossible to drive on the freeway without getting a "snail" ticket.
Incredibly comfortable cabin.
Roomy with no transmission hump since the transverse mount engine included a unique front transmission and front wheel drive.
Ride was Peugeot comfortable until the car's unique Hydrolastic suspension needed impossible to find recompression recharging.
Huge trunk space - so long as you avoided perimeter rust.
Exceptional Redcoat Crimson paint job and stylish coachwork camouflaged missing or lacking weatherproofing and extensive hidden rust points.
Sports car stylish with MGB running lights and chrome trim with MG boot, bonnet, and hubcap badges.
Except for the total lack of get up and go, vaguely reminded me of my 1955 Austin Healey 100 or 1965 MG Midget.
My experience maintaining a BMC Sportster was no help since the America needed rare BMC tools as well as impossible to find parts. Boneyards were no help because so few Austin America cars were around to junk out.
Eventually replaced the America's rust collection with a 73 Midget fixer upper.
As much as it was a pain with the ever growing repair list, strangely my fondness for the plusses means at 77 I still don't regret the modest purchase. Lack of weird tools and unavailability of parts kept it from becoming a money sink.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 30th January, 2022
6th Feb 2022, 04:21
Thank you for the entertaining (and informative) review :)
18th Feb 2022, 12:13
I owned a '71 Austin America a few years after you had yours. It was a four speed; I hate to think how slow one with an automatic would have been. I sold it and bought a '71 Renault R10--just as weird (and slow) as the Austin was!