Rover - Austin Cambridge Review

1964 Rover - Austin Cambridge 1.6 from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1964
First year of ownership1978
Most recent year of ownership1979
Engine and transmission 1.6 Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 6 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.8 / 10
Distance when acquired50000 miles
Most recent distance55000 miles
Previous carHillman Super Minx

Summary:

A British gem, if a little unreliable

Faults:

Constant starting problem and intermittent engine cut outs due to ignition problems.

Replaced spark plugs, coil, HT leads rotor arm and distributor cap to get it to run, but even then it had bad moments.

Clutch slipping after 3-4 months.

Rear shocks weak.

General Comments:

This car had its very own distinctive look, it was also known or badged as a Morris Oxford and many variants. It had sharp looks with chrome trim everywhere including on the rocket-like tail fins. It was a big old family car, with leather like seats and weighed less than many cars of its time, so went quite well!

The engine was great and I thrashed it, being 20 and at a time when there was plenty of space on motorways and country roads, I would do 90 whenever there was a long enough straight.

It had lots of little annoying electrical problems, but by this time I was learning to repair things myself, the ignition system on this car was a nightmare, the engine would splutter and die for no apparent reason, I'd fiddle with the points and connections until it started again and then it would do it again minutes, hours, days or weeks later. I replaced everything (see above) and that helped a lot, but it would still do the same thing occasionally. In hindsight I guess I drove it too hard, but hey I was 20!

The dash was all metal with a semi circular speedo, with other dials that would loll about a lot and were hard to read on bumpy roads.

The back shocks were on the way out and on certain bumps it would roll like a ship for 10 seconds, which could have a nauseating effect!

I only had this car for six months, but used it a lot, I finally scrapped it because the clutch started to slip and it was due an MOT, I knew it would fail, so I bought a Humber Scepter Mk II, but that's another story!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th March, 2004

11th Mar 2004, 20:42

This is the story of my life - I had (in India) a hindustan Ambassador - one generation away from your car - that thing was unbreakable and could be repaired for tuppence.

13th Feb 2005, 06:26

I must say I have been around Austin Cambridges and Morris Oxfords all my life and they really are a very good in all respects.

They do rust, but all cars will with time the engines and running gear are very tough, my Austin A60 Cambridge has done 200,000 miles and is still going on strong on what I believe to be the original engine.

I also have a Morris Oxford VI both cars are my every day transport and are still practical and as enjoyable as when they were new.

LONG LIVE MORRIS OXFORDS AND AUSTIN CAMBRIDGES.

17th Oct 2006, 03:49

Quite Simply the best cars ever made. They are roomy, reliable reasonably economical, simple to repair and still capable of every day use. True they can and do rust, but that can be said of all cars. I have owned and driven hundreds over the last 25 years and although I have owned and driven many other vehicles I could never be without a farina of some kind.

22nd Nov 2009, 08:31

These cars could not compete with the Peugeot 404 at the time.

16th Mar 2010, 15:37

My father owned a 1964 Austin Cambridge.

We lived in Montreal, Quebec.

He, and later I, spent many an uncomfortable time having to crank the silly thing over to get it started, especially in snowy and damp Montreal winters. Poor British electrical system design and build quality was at fault.

Mercifully, my mother finally sold it in 1974 for a North American car and I cranked no more!

Average review marks: 6.8 / 10, based on 1 review