Wednesday 21 November 2012
The Austin Cambridge (sold as A40, A50, A55, and A60) is a motor car range sold by the Austin Motor Company in several generations from September 1954 through to 1969 as cars and 1971 as light commercials. It replaced the A40 Somerset but was entirely new with modern unibody construction. The range had two basic body styles with the A40, A50 and early A55s using a traditional rounded shape and later A55s and A60s using Farina styling.
Note that the A40 number was re-used on a smaller car (the Austin A40 Farina) from 1958 to 1967, and that the Cambridge name had previously been used to designate one of the available body styles on the pre-war 10 hp range.
Initially the Austin Cambridge was only offered with a 4-passenger, 4-door saloon body, although a few pre-production 2-door models were also made. It had a modern body design with integrated wings and a full-width grille. Independent suspension was provided at the front by coil springs and wishbones but a live axle with anti-roll bar was retained at the rear.
A van derivative introduced in November 1956 and a coupé utility (pick up) introduced in May 1957 remained available until 1974, some 3 years after the demise of the cars on which they had been based.
The A55 Cambridge Mark II, known as the first "Farina" model because of its Pininfarina design, was produced from 1959 through to 1961. It was a rebadged Morris Oxford and retained the 1.5 L B-Series engine, now with an SU carburettor, and producing 55 bhp (41 kW) at 4350 rpm.
The interior had individual leather trimmed seats in front spaced closely together to allow a central passenger to be carried. The gear change was either on the column or floor-mounted and the handbrake lever between the driver's seat and the door. Other improvements highlighted at the time included an enlarged luggage compartment with counterbalanced lid and increased elbow width on both front and rear seats. A heater could be fitted as an optional extra.
A "Countryman" estate model appeared in 1960. Austin Cambridge Estates were called "Countryman". (Morris Oxford Estates were called "Traveller".) A55 Mark II and A60 Estates were identical from the windscreen back; the later models never got the reduced rear fins and modified rear lights of the A60 saloons.
The engineering of the car was conventional with coil sprung independent front suspension and a live axle at the rear with semi elliptic leaf springs. The braking used a Girling system with 9 in (229 mm) drums all round.
Just under 150,000 were built in total.
The rear side of Austin CambridgeA MkII A55 was tested by The Motor magazine in 1959 had a top speed of 75.5 mph (121.5 km/h) and could accelerate from 0–60 mph (97 km/h) in 24.5 seconds. A fuel consumption of 31.0 miles per imperial gallon (9.11 L/100 km; 25.8 mpg-US) was recorded. The test car cost £878 including taxes of £293.
- engine: 4 cylinders
- capacity: 1500 cc
- horsepower: 55 HP
- gearbox: 4+1
- top speed: 145 km/h