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Lot No. 114 - 1950 Austin A90 Atlantic Convertible

Sold for: £25,300

Italian-influenced futuristic Austin Convertible aimed squarely at the American market.
Details Specification

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  • This gorgeous convertible has clearly been well restored at some point
  • UK, right-hand drive, manual column change, 29,965 miles indicated
  • Finished in Seafoam Green with US-influenced styling cues including five chrome strips running down the bonnet, a built-in centre spot lamp, a "Flying A" mascot on each front wing and rear-wheel spats
  • Nicely refurbished tan interior and green carpets. All very attractive
  • Tidy engine bay. Has obviously been well-cared for although currently a non-runner
  • Potentially an excellent show car. No history file or paperwork

NB. On offer from a private collection, this vehicle has not been used for some time. It is a non-runner and is strictly sold as seen.

Launched in 1949, the wonderful A90 Atlantic was by far the most flamboyant model in the otherwise staid Austin range. Looking like no car before or since, it ultimately proved a brave gamble that did not pay off. 

The retro-futuristic styling (art deco with a rocket age twist) was penned by Ricardo ‘Dick’ Burzi, Austin’s chief stylist who had been poached from Lancia after being forced to flee Italy when he insulted Mussolini (not a good idea in the 1930s!). A riot of chrome, curves and quirkiness, the Atlantic was aimed squarely at the American market and was instantly identifiable by its Cyclops-style third headlamp.

Available as a Sports Coupe or a Convertible, it featured almost unheard of luxuries such as powered windows and, in convertible form, a hydraulically operated hood. A range of innovative ‘Jewelescent’ metallic colours was also offered in shades such as ‘Seafoam Green’ and ‘Desert Gold’.

Powered by the same torquey 2.6-litre four-cylinder engine that later found fame in the Austin-Healey 100/4, it had a four-speed column-change gearbox and could cruise all day at 80mph with another 12mph on tap when needed. To prove its sporting credentials, a convertible A90 broke 63 'stock car' records at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in April 1949, pounding round the track non-stop for seven days and averaging over 70mph including halts for fuel.

Sadly for the A90 though, its launch was totally overshadowed by the even more sensational Jaguar XK120 and fast though it was, its Steady-Freddy four-cylinder engine did not have the appeal of a US V8 or the Jaguar 6-cylinder. Despite Austin’s best marketing efforts, only 350 were sold in America and just 7,981 were made in total before production ground to a halt in 1952. With only a handful still surviving, these glamorous machines rarely come to market and are increasingly sought after today.

Finished in Seafoam Green, his gorgeous convertible has clearly been well restored at some point. It displays all the US-influenced styling cues including five chrome strips running down the bonnet, a built-in centre spot lamp, a "Flying A" mascot on each front wing and rear-wheel spats and has a nicely refurbished Tan interior and green carpets. All very attractive.

It's UK, right-hand drive, manual column change, with 29,965 miles indicated and has obviously been well-cared for although currently a non-runner.

Year of manufacture:
1950
Make:
Austin
Chassis number:
BDZ74878
# of cylinders:
4
Transmission:
Manual
Engine capacity:
2600
Body colour:
Seafoam Green
LHD/RHD:
Right-hand Drive
Registration number:
GUN 537
Model:
A90 Atlantic
Engine number:
100289
Interior colour:
Tan
Odometer Reading:
29965
miles

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