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Austin A40 Farina Photo Gallery
Austin A40 Farina Austin A40 Farina Austin A40 Farina Austin A40 Farina Austin A40 Farina Austin A40 Farina Austin A40 Farina

Austin A40 Farina Description
Manufacturer : BMC       Year : 1958

The Austin A40 Farina was a compact car introduced by the British Motor Corporation in 1958.

The Countryman version was an early example of a hatchback, combining many of the virtues of a saloon and estate car in one body. There is more headroom for the rear passengers because of the angular instead of curved lines of the roof, while as a two-seater it provides an exceptional amount of luggage space. The normal luggage boot has a tail board that lets down (the rear window remains fixed) and the space behind the rear seat is usually covered by a tonneau cover. This can be removed, and the rear seats folded to permit the whole of the back of the car to be used for luggage. The body has been designed and developed over a period of three years in consultation with Pinin Farina, the Italian coachbuilder.

The car was a popular choice, in modified form, for competition work. Several examples are still to be seen taking part in historic saloon racing.

Presented as a Saloon at the London Motor Show in October 1958, the A40 Farina was intended to replace the Austin A35, and was a capacious thoroughly modern small car, with a brand new distinctive 'two box' shape and headroom in the back seat. It was a saloon, the lower rear panel dropped like a then conventional bootlid, the rear window remaining fixed.

The Countryman hatchback appeared exactly a year later in October 1959, and differed from the saloon in that the rear window now lifted up and had its own support while the lower panel was now flush with the floor and its hinges had been strengthened. It was a very small estate car with a horizontally split rear opening having a top-hinged upper door and bottom-hinged lower door. October 1959 also saw the standardisation on both cars of self-cancelling indicators and the provision of a centre interior light and, in early summer 1960, a flat lid was added over the spare wheel in the rear luggage compartment.

An A40 Farina Mark II was introduced in 1961. It had a 4 in (102 mm) longer wheelbase to increase the space for passengers in the back seats, and the front grille and dashboard were redesigned. The Mark II had more power (37 hp/28 kW) and an SU replaced the previous Zenith carburettor but was otherwise similar mechanically. An anti-roll bar was fitted at the front. The 948 cc engine was replaced in the autumn of 1962 by a larger 1098 cc version with an output of 48 bhp. The car now shared its engine with the recently introduced Morris 1100, although in the A40 it retained the "conventional" north-south orientation of the earlier unit. An improved gearbox was fitted at the same time.

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