Tractor & Construction Plant Wiki
Austin A30
Austin A30
Manufacturer Austin/BMC
Production 1951–1956
223,264 [1]
Successor Austin A35
Body style(s) 4-door saloon
2-door saloon
2-door estate
2-door van
Engine(s) 803 cc A-Series I4
Transmission(s) 4 speed manual
Wheelbase 79.5 in (2,019 mm)[2]
Length 136.5 in (3,467 mm)[2]
Width 55 in (1,397 mm)[2]

The A30 was a compact car produced by Austin Motor Company in the 1950s. Introduced in 1951 as the "New Austin Seven", it was Austin's answer to the Morris Minor. At launch the car cost £507, undercutting the Minor by £62.[3]


The bodywork, designed by an aeronautical engineer, was fully stressed monocoque construction, the first Austin to be made in this way, which made it both lighter and stiffer than most contemporary vehicles. Inside there were individual seats at the front and a bench at the rear covered in PVC but evidence of economy was seen in only having a single windscreen wiper and sun visor in front of the driver. A passenger side wiper and sun visor, and a heater were available as extras.

Austin A30 Van at the Welland Steam and Country Rally 2010

Despite originally only being offered as a 4-door saloon, 2-door variants were introduced in 1953, and in 1954 a van and van-based "countryman" estate were made available. Despite having a smaller loading capacity than the equivalent BMC O-type Minor based vans (60 cu ft / 1.70 m3 as opposed to 76 cu ft / 2.15 m3) the Austin van offered the same payload. Being slightly lighter and stiffer, it was favoured by businessmen, and saw long service for many.

The saloon car was replaced by the A35 in 1956 after having sold nearly ¼ million units but the Countryman estate lasted until 1962 and vans until 1968.[3]

The A30 had a smaller rear window than the A35 and trafficators instead of modern indicators which popped out from the B pillar when operated by a knob mounted on the centre of the dashboard.

The car was quite successful in 1950s saloon car racing and some still appear in historic events.


Its newly-designed A-Series straight-4 engine was state of the art for the time and returned an average fuel consumption of 42 mpg / under 7L/100 km. With spirited driving the A30 was able to attain a top speed of 70 mph (110 km/h) (factory quoted). In their road test The Motor magazine achieved a top speed of 67.2 mph (108.1 km/h) and a 0–60 mph time of 42.3 seconds. Braking was effected by a hybrid system, with Lockheed fully hydraulic drum brakes at the front and a body mounted single cylinder operating rods to the wheels at the rear, which despite being heavily criticised as being archaic and old-fashioned, were reported as being quite acceptable. The rod system provided good handbrake efficiency and was applied by a lever in an unorthodox position to the right of the drivers seat (Right hand drive vehicles). Bumps were handled by independent coil springs at the front end and beam axle/semi-elliptic leaf springs at the back.

A car tested by The Motor magazine in 1952 had a top speed of 62 mph (100 km/h) and could accelerate from 0–50 mph (80 km/h) in 29 seconds. A fuel consumption of 38.8 miles per imperial gallon (7.28 L/100 km/32.3 mpg-US) was recorded. The test car cost £553 including taxes. The optional radio was an extra £43 and the heater £9.[4] Performance data need to be seen in the context of fuel availability. Early in the Second World War "branded fuel" disappeared from sale in the UK, and the nationally available fuel available at the beginning of 1952 had an octane rating of just 70, which enforced relatively low compression ratios: this reduced the performance available from all cars, especially small ones. In 1952 branded fuels returned to the forecourts, available octane ratings began to increase, and compression ratios were progressively improved along with the performance figures of cars such as the Austin A30 and its A35 successor.[5]

Australian production

The A30 was produced in Australia by the Austin Motor Company from 1952 to 1954 and by its successor British Motor Corporation (Australia) Pty Ltd from 1954 to 1956.[6]


  • 803 cc BMC A-Series engine Straight-4.
  • 58 mm bore x 76 mm stroke
  • pushrod operated overhead valves
  • compression ratio 7.2:1
  • single Zenith carburettor
  • 28 hp (21 kW) at 4400 rpm
  • 40 lbf·ft (54 Nm) at 2200 rpm


There area number of examples in preservation in the UK,

  • OFK 316 - Austin A30 Van


  1. Sedgwick, Michael; Gillies (1993). A-Z of cars 1945–1970. UK: Bay View Books. ISBN 1-870979-39-7. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Culshaw; Horrobin (1974). Complete Catalogue of British Cars. London: Macmillan. ISBN 0-333-16689-2. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 Robson, Graham (2006). A-Z British Cars 1945–1980. Devon, UK: Herridge & Sons. ISBN 0-9541063-9-3. 
  4. "The A30 Austin Seven Road Test", The Motor. November 12, 1952. 
  5. Autocar 146 (nbr 4203): pages 58–61. 28 May 1977. 
  6. The Macquarie Dictionary of Motoring, 1986, page 24 & 62


  • British Family Cars of the Fifties. Michael Allen. Haynes Publishing Group. 1985. ISBN 0-85429-471-6

External links

Smallwikipedialogo.png This page uses some content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Austin A30. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Tractor & Construction Plant Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons by Attribution License and/or GNU Free Documentation License. Please check page history for when the original article was copied to Wikia