The Austin 1800
The AUSTIN 1800 - CAR OF THE CENTURY
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- Bi-monthly Newsletter
BMC Announce the Austin 1800 - A New Concept in Family motoring
Spacious Saloon of Compant Dimenstions with Transverse Engine and Hydrolastic Suspension
Luxury car standards of roominess and riding comfort within an overall length of under 13 feet 9 inches. These are just two of the outstanding characteristics of a brilliant new family car announced by the British Motor Corporation. The Austin 1800 also offers silent, high speed crusing with 90mph maximum unsurpassed road holding and cornering powers, excellent luggage space, and built in safety and longevity from what is probably the strongest body shell ever planned for quantity production.
Designed by Alec Issigonis, the new '1800' follows the basic design conception of the BMC Mini and '1100' models with transversely molunted engine and transmission unit, front wheel drive and Hydrolastic suspension with a "whell at each corner". However, the world renowned design is now combined with a standard of refinement and additonal engineering innovations, which provides a new concept of medium sized family car. It does not, incidentally, replace any model in the existing Austin range.
Although the Austin 1800 is over 9 inches shorter than an Austin A60 - itself a car of modest overall length at 14 feet 6.5 inches (4.43 metres) - the interior body and seat dimensions exceed those of cars of considerably greater external dimensions. The rear seat width at 56 inches will accommodate 3 large adults with ease, with more than the usual amount of leg room.
The biggest single factor in achieving such roominess, of course, is the 'east-west' enging location, which gives 70%
of the car's length as passenger and luggage accommodation. But other ingenious features also contribute. A large tubular cross member which braces the body shell below the scuttle is also employed to house the front horizontally located Hydrolastic suspension units. Further space is saved by positioning the rear Hydrolastic untis horizontally beneath the car, in the recess provided by the rear seat platform. This increases the storage space available for spare wheel and fuel tank, resulting in larger boot space. At the same time the smooth contours of the rear end of the car give maximum interior width to the boot, which has a capacity of 17 cubic feet (0.48 cubic metres). There is no intrusion into the boot space by the fuel tank of spare wheel both these items being mounted under the floor.
Additional convenient sotrage space is available for the impedimenta which most enthusiastic drivers like to carry reflecting the fact that the BMC senior engineers themselves have 'lived with the car' during a substantial part of its development. Such items as maps, books, document cases, gloves, etc can be swallowed easily by the rigid door pockets, yet remain conveniently to hand. Umbrellas, cameras, handbags and the like can be carried on the full width parcel sehlf below the fascia, while the rear window shelf offers no less than another 5 1/4 square feet of space for such things as huts, rugs, etc.
A high input fresh air system allows a large amount of fresh air to be brought into the car with the windows shut. Complete control over its warmth and direction of flow can be gained by joint use of the heater-demister and the independently supplied adjustable (for direction and flow) air grilles at each side of the fascia. This system is so efficient that it has been possible to dispense with the usual quarter windows of the front doors, thereby achieving further reduction in wind noise at speed.
The 1798cc, 4 cylinder, OHV engine, as a 5 bearing crankshaft, delivers a smooth 34 bhp at 5,300 rpm.
It drives via a gear train, a 4 speed gearbox with baulk-ring type synchromesh on all foward gears.
A new design of engin mounting combined with the use of control cables instead of the more usual rods linking the gearbox to the gear lever helps to insulate the car interior from all engine noises, contributing to a quiet high-speed cruising performance.
Suspension and Brakes
The now famous Hydrolastic suspension system is employed. With liquid filled rubber suspension units, (self-damping) inter-connected front to rear, a remarkably level ride is obtained coupled with superb road holding. No attention is needed, the system being sealed for life.
Build to Last
In employing the stiffest structure ever used for this category of family car, the designers have aimed not only at safety, but also at increased longevity and freedom fro distortion and rattles over a high mileage.
In conclusion it mat be said that the advanced design and quality of engineering inherent in the new '1800' is such that it is confidently expected to carry on the tradition of longevity established so convencingly by Lord Austin in pre-war days. In fact, it is unlikely that the model will be obsolete even in 10 years time and the life for any given car should be not less than 150,000 miles.
Hence owners will have the additional benefit of a low rate of depreciation.
Specification in Brief
- Engine: Water cooled, OHV 4 cylinder mounted transversely. Five bearing crankshaf. Engine in unit with clutch, gearbox and final drive. Bor 3.16" (80.26 mm); stroke 3.5" (88.9mm). Cubic capacity Maximum bhp 84 (net) at 5,300 rpm. Maximum torque 99lbs ft at 2,100 rpm.
- Fuel System: SU carburettor, type HS4 SU electric fuel pump. Tank capacity 10.75 imperial gallons (48.8 litres).
- Gear box: BMC 4 speed, all synchromesh, cable operationed from remote floor-mounted gear lever.
Overall ratios:Standard Alternative Top 4.188:1 3.882:1 Third 5.794:1 5.371:1 Second 9.285:1 8.609:1 First 13.783:1 12.779:1 Reverse 12.875:1 11.936:1
Top gear mph per 1,000 rpm 16.62 (17.93 alternative ration of 3.882:1).
- Suspension: Independent all round, Hydrolastic displacers inter-connected.
- Brakes: Gydraulic, servo-assisted, 9" diameter front discs, 9" diameter rear drums.
- Steering: Rack and pinion, 4.4 turns lock to lock
Wheelbase: 8 feet 10 inches
Track-front: 4 feet 8 1/2 inches
Track-rear: 4 feet 71/2 inches
Overall Length: 13 feet 8 3/16 inches
Overall Width: 5 feet 7 inches
Overall Height (unladen): 4 feet 71/2 inches
Ground Clearance (laden): 6 1/2 inches
Turning circle: 37 feet between kerbs
Kerb Weight (unladen + half tank of petrol): 2,535 lbs (22.6cwt or 1,149.85 kg)