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Austin A70 Description
Manufacturer : Austin Motor Company       Year : 1948

The Austin A70 Hampshire and later Austin A70 Hereford are large cars which were produced by the Austin Motor Company of Britain from 1948 until 1954. They were conventional body-on-frame cars with similar styling to the smaller A40 Devon and A40 Somerset models respectively.

Most Hampshires were 4-door saloons, though some estate and pickup versions were also built. The 2.2 L (2199 cc) straight-4 pushrod engine provided the same power output, at 67 bhp (50 kW), as it had when installed in the earlier Austin 16 hp. The new car was nevertheless lighter, and probably also benefited from reduced wind resistance: published acceleration and top speed figures were correspondingly brisker. Accelerating from 0 - 80 km/h (50 mph) took 14.5 seconds and the maximum speed was 83.3 mph (134.1 km/h).

Production of the A70 Hampshire model ended in 1950 with just over 35,000 built. In 1950 the UK price was 648 which included the heater.

The A70 Hereford replaced the Hampshire in 1950 and was wider and slightly longer with an extra 3 inches (76 mm) in the wheelbase. A new addition to the range of body styles was a 2-door convertible with coachwork by Carbodies of Coventry. A notable mechanical change was the use of hydraulic brakes. The smaller A40 Somerset had similar styling and even shared the same door panels.

The car retained the 2199cc 4-cylinder engine first seen officially in 1945 on the Austin 16. Performance was adequate by the standards of the time, but the car was not particularly quiet and an Autocar Magazine road test in 1950 reported a "small vibration at about 40 m.p.h. on the overrun" on their test car. Austin had given a lead after the war in equipping their cars with interior heaters at no extra cost, and the Hereford came fitted with "the latest Smiths fresh-air installation" as standard equipment. The road tester found the heater, like the engine and indeed the windscreen wipers, "rather noisy in operation", however.

Sales were slow, with just over 50,000 produced when the A90 Westminster replaced it in 1954. A rare variant was the Hereford pickup. This shared the same platform as the estate, but with fully faired bodywork aft of the driving cab. The interior of this rather plush workhorse was the same as the saloon, with a large split-bench seat, and full instrumentation set in the middle for easy completion whether for left- or right-hand drive.

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