1961 Austin Gipsy 4x4 SWB Series II Fire Tender Registration no. NFL 538 Chassis no. 5944
Built between 1958 and 1968, the four-wheel-drive Austin Gipsy was an obvious rival to the Land Rover. More advanced than the latter in some respects, most notably its tubular-steel chassis and all-round independent suspension, the Gipsy proved somewhat less durable thanks to a steel-panelled body. The trailing arm suspension used low-maintenance Flexitor rubber-in-torsion springs housed in large-diameter tubes attached to the chassis. A choice of engines was offered: Austin A70 2,199cc low-compression petrol or 2,178cc indirect injection diesel, as used in London taxicabs. The four-speed transmission incorporated a dual-ratio transfer gearbox, offering direct drive or a 2.02:1 reduction gear for off-road work. Maximum payload of the 90" wheelbase chassis was 10cwt, with a maximum draw-bar pull of 3,000lbs. A 111" wheelbase version became available on the Series II, which arrived in 1960, and with the Series IV's introduction in 1962 (there was no Series III) semi-elliptic springing was offered alongside the original Flexitor suspension, greatly improving the ride quality over rough ground.. By this time there were no fewer than 25 Gipsy variants listed. The Gispy was axed in 1968 when BMC merged with the Leyland Group, manufacturer of the rival Land Rover, by which time around 21,000 of these versatile vehicles had been made. Many Gipsies served as fire tenders with the Auxiliary Fire Service and local brigades in rural areas, their compact dimensions and four-wheel drive proving ideal for gaining access to remote sites. This example was formerly in service with Peter Brotherwood, Engineer of Peterborough. The vehicle is described as in generally good condition and offered with Swansea V5.