1928 Austin 12 Open Tourer

TL 48 - 1928 Austin 12 'Clifton' Open Tourer

The Austin Motor Company was founded in 1905 by Herbert Austin, and a plant at Longbridge, Worcestershire (later in Birmingham) was established. The company was merged in 1952 into the British Motor Corporation Ltd.

The Austin 12/4 model was introduced in 1921, initially as a tourer, although saloon and coupe versions were later added to the range. After 1926, an 1861cc engine replaced the earlier 1661cc variety. In the early 1930s, this model became known as the 'heavy 12" as opposed to the "light 12/4" model introduced in 1933. The "heavy 12" chassis formed the basis for a successful taxi model, available until 1939, and leading to Austin's prominence in purpose built taxi building after World War 2.

This car was first registered at Kesteven County Council in October 1928, it was supplied by WP Maidens of Southgate, Sleaford to Mr Harpham, a local chemist. It then had three subsequent owners, including one of the Society’s present members, before being purchased by LVVS founder member Mr LeTall from Mr J Daymond-King in December 1961 for £75.

It has subsequently been refurbished by Society members, the work undertaken including an engine rebuild, a rewire of the electrics and the fitting of a new hood.

1928 Austin 12 Left - rear view

Right - engine
1928 Austin 12

January 2010 - The 12's dynamo has been rebuilt and is now charging with thanks to a long standing member.

July 2011 - The 12's nearside rear shock absorber has been removed from the car, stripped and painted. New friction discs have been fitted.

January 2012 - The '12' is currently off site having a repaint. Repairs to the front mudguard will also take place at the same time. The wheels will then return to their colour of black. A period Austin sales slogan was: "You can buy a car but invest in an Austin."

TL48 TL48
TL 48 undergoing repaint away from the Museum. The doors were removed for painting.

April 2012 - The '12' returned from its repaint at Lincolnshire Co-operative in time to take part in the Easter Sunday Open Day event.

January 2015 - Options for having the seats re-upholstered are being investigated as they are in very poor condition and prevent this splendid vehicle seeing more use.

July 2018 - After much research, some new shrunken buffalo leather for renewing the seats has been produced by a member of the Vintage Austin Register. We have an experienced Austin specialist in mind for fitting it over the winter.

February 2019 - The front and rear seats have been sent away to Hukes Car Trimmers for re-upholstery. Hukes have the experience and are recommended by eminent members of the Vintage Austin Register. Hopefully they will be completed by Easter. We would also like to have a look at the clutch by then.


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Vintage Austin Register

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this page last updated 17.2.19