Lot 219 - 1952 Austin A90 Atlantic
|Odometer reading||89,121 miles|
|Estimate||£20,000 - £26,000|
|Result||Sold - £41,440|
The Atlantic was one of the first post-war cars engineered from scratch by Austin. The car was almost certainly influenced by a 1946 Pininfarina-bodied Alfa Romeo cabriolet which just happened to end up at the Longbridge factory in mid-1947, a few months before the light blue 16hp sports prototype made its first appearance in the experimental department and on nearby roads around the factory. With the then Government edict of "Export or die", and steel allocated only to those who generated much needed dollar revenue, the Atlantic was designed specifically to appeal to North American tastes.
The car featured up-to-the-minute detailing with a wrap around windscreen. The front wings sported twin 'Flying A' hood ornaments and swept down to a rounded tail with spats enclosing the rear wheels. A centrally mounted third headlight was built into the letter-box style air intake grille and the then unheard of luxury of hydraulically powered windows along with the option of EKCO or HMV Autocrat radios. As its final party trick, the centre section of the three piece, wrap around, rear window, could be lowered into the boot, for added ventilation by a remote winder above the front windscreen. Few people in the car's native Britain would have ever seen anything like the futuristically-styled Atlantic before and certainly not from a conservative mainstream manufacturer like Austin. However it did not make sense in the USA with only a few hundred sold against the mighty Detroit built home market V8 machines.
With only a few thousand produced over two and a half years, they became rare even after the 1960s with a rough estimate of under 60 units surviving today. This superb example was restored from 1999 at a cost approaching £70,000 and is without doubt the best available. This fine example has been in a car collection for the past 14 years and remains in near perfect condition with a stately yet stylish appearance. There are several boxes full of history on the car and all tools, handbooks are also complete. A truly unique and exquisite example of this rare motor car.