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Austin Twenty
MHV Austin 20 1919 01.jpg 1919 Austin Twenty
Manufacturer Austin Motor Company
Production 1919–1930
15,287 produced[1]
Predecessor Austin 20
Successor Austin 20-6
Body style(s) saloon, tourer, coupé, landaulette
Engine(s) 3610 cc Straight-4
Wheelbase 130 in (3,300 mm)[2]

The Austin Twenty was introduced by the Austin Motor Company in 1919 continuing in production until 1930. After the Austin 20/6 model was introduced in 1927, the car was known as the Austin 20/4.

Model history

Before World War I Austin had produced a range of cars but, influenced by the manufacturing philosophy of Henry Ford, Herbert Austin decided that the future was in mass producing a single model. The Longbridge factory had been considerably enlarged to meet war production and it was here that the company had a base to put the theory into practice. During the war Austin had owned a Hudson Super Six a car he clearly admired as its overall layout would form a basis for the design of the new one model policy car.[3] The car would however prove to be too large for the home market and the one model policy was rapidly dropped with the launch in 1922 of the Austin 12 hp in many ways a scaled down Twenty[3].

The engine with its 95 mm bore and 127 mm stroke had a cast iron cylinder block with detachable cylinder head mounted on top of an aluminium crankcase. It developed 45 bhp at 2000 rpm. As an advance on pre war practice the engine was directly bolted to the four speed centre change gearbox which drove the rear wheels through an open propeller shaft.

The chassis, based on that of the Hudson, was conventional with semi-elliptic leaf springs on all wheels and rigid axles front and rear. Wooden spoked artillery style wheels were fitted. Initially brakes were on the rear wheels only but front wheel brakes were fitted as standard from 1925 and a the same time the wheels became steel spoked.

Body types

At its 1919 introduction three body types were listed, a tourer, coupé and landaulette. These were joined in 1921 by the Ranelagh fixed head, two door, coupé. For 1922 the Grosvenor limousine and landaulette, a Ranelagh four door, fixed head, coupé and Westminster drop head coupé were added.

1920 tourer

A 75 mph Sports variant was added in 1921 with a modified higher compression engine and wire wheels but it was very expensive and only around 23 were sold[3].

As well as the cars, a range of light commercial vehicles was also built on the chassis.


The car that was destined to succeed the Twenty, the six cylinder 20/6, was announced at the 1926 London Motor Show with production really starting in 1928 and until 1930 the two ran alongside each other but 1929 would be the last year of full production for what was now called the 20/4.


Add any known examples in preservation to the list below:

Template:PML Austin Twenty

See also


  1. Baldwin, Nick (1994). A-Z of Cars of the 1920s. Devon, UK: Bay View Books. ISBN 1-870979-53-2. 
  2. Culshaw; Horrobin (1974). Complete Catalogue of British Cars. London: Macmillan. ISBN 0-333-16689-2. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Wood, Jonathan (August 2009), "Austin Twenty", The Automobile (UK) 27(6). ISSN 0955-1328. 

External links

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