Lot 20 - 1928 Austin Heavy 12/4 Clifton Tourer

Lot 20 - 1928 Austin Heavy 12/4 Clifton Tourer

Lot 20 - 1928 Austin Heavy 12/4 Clifton Tourer

Lot Number 20
Registration VJ1013
Chassis Number 48472
Engine Number 486801
Odometer reading 30,131 miles
Estimate £12,000 - £16,000
Result Sold - £12,992

The Austin 12/4 was introduced by the Austin Motor Company in 1921. It was the second of Herbert Austin's post World War I models and was in many ways a scaled-down version of the 20/4, introduced in 1919. Initially available as a Tourer, by 1922 three body styles were offered, these being the four-seat tourer, the two/four-seater (both at 550 GBP) and the coupé at 675 GBP. The car enjoyed success throughout the vintage era with annual sales peaking at 14,000 in 1927. The Heavy 12/4 really came to feature strongly in the public eye however when Gumdrop, ably piloted by its owner, Mr. Hardcastle, came to be staple reading at bedtime for children up and down the country. Some 17 titles were eventually penned by the real owner, Mr. Val Biro. These extremely engaging stories revolve around the car and his owner and the search for replacement parts for Gumdrop or in this author's personal favorite, a trip to the BBC in London and the ensuing adventure. Whilst Gumdrop's adventures are fictional, the car is not. Mr Biro and Gumdrop are frequent visitors to car shows and other events in Sussex and surrounding area and often alongside the Clifton Tourer featured here today.

Like so many motorcars during 1939-1945, this example certainly did its duty for the war effort used, as it was, on a farm and 'Digging for Victory'. It was subsequently discovered in a barn in the West Midlands and rebuilt by its then owner, a BOAC engineer. The workmanship was accordingly of an extremely high quality. It was then acquired by Peter Blackwell of Worcestershire and used during the 1950's before it passed to Bernard Crockford from Suffolk. Finally, in 1985, the current owner was recommended to purchase this elegant example. It now resides at home and sadly, it is only due illness, that the car is offered here today.

 Over the last  25 years, various works have been undertaken as you expect from not only a De Haviland tained mechanical engineer but also a keen social and active participant in the classic car scene. In 1995, the engine was removed for a re-build with the brakes re-lined in 2009. In 2006, the car was stripped back and repainted with the original colour scheme of 'Nigger Brown', this Austin colour was appropriately changed to 'Moroccan Brown' when Austin merged with Rover. With Roi de Belge style seating in the rear and front bench with separate squabs in the front , full weather gear, including tonneau and all instruments fully functioning, this extremely usable vintage motorcar has taken part, with Gumdrop, in many classic runs and rallies including the Great Parks Run, Forges-Les-Eaux in Normandy and the Riverside Run. It has come away with many trophies and plaques including first prize in a Concours D'Elegance in 1983. Both husband and wife have enjoyed many years of trouble free ownership in the comapny of VJ 1013 and leave her in fine order for the next generation.

Interested parties should satisfy themselves as to the description and condition of each lot prior to the sale. Accordingly, buyers are on notice that each vehicle is offered ‘as is/as seen’ subject to the Terms and Conditions for the auction. Buyers are advised to inspect the vehicle in person or use a professional to carry out this service. Historics will not entertain disputes over descriptions.

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