Classics Monthly – May 2023
English | 134 pages | pdf | 123.4 MB

We had a picture of a rusty car in this spot last issue, and now we’ve got another – anyone would think we were obsessed with old wrecks! But in all honesty, there really is something quite mesmerising about a classic car that’s been dragged out of long-term storage in this sort of condition. I think my own fascination is caused by a mixture of amazement that such a car has survived at all and dreams of what it could yet become.
That last point is important, because to my mind a car like this has to be taken on
by somebody with the time, the skills, the determination and the money to restore it. To have survived this long, it must have been squirrelled away by somebody with either a strong affection for it, or at least some sort of plan for its future. If the car were now to be acquired by a dreamer and simply parked outside under a tarpaulin for the next ten years, then all chance of resurrection could be lost and you’d be able to sweep up the remains with a dustpan and brush.
Such a fate would be a shame for any car that had survived decades of previous neglect and was now teetering on a knife edge for survival, but even more so for such a rarity as this. Underneath it all sits an Austin 3-litre, the car intended as a replacement for the A110 Westminster. Since it was basically just an expanded Austin 1800, it never stood a chance commercially as a luxury offering – fewer than 10,000 were built from 1967-1971 and survivors are rare indeed.
However, this one has an extra rarity aceup its sleeve because it is one of just a handful of 3-litres that were converted into transfer ambulances by Wadham Stringer. I only know this because by a coincidence of timing,
= we have a feature in next month’s issue on this very model. Perhaps that will inspire somebody with the right skill set to turn this sorry 1971 example into something equally special? There is no denying it would be a mammoth undertaking, but the alternative
would be to see this one lost forever. We spotted it in the Barn Find display at the NEC (see our news report on p8 and p9 for more on that), and it was being offered for sale by an outfi t called M25 Classics. If you take on this (or any other barn fi nd project), then good luck to you, and please do let us know because we’d love to follow your progress.
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