1910 Austin 18/24hp Endcliffe Tourer  Chassis no. 480 Engine no. 487/80

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Lot 635
1910 Austin 18/24hp Endcliffe Tourer
Registration no. SV 9833 Chassis no. 480 Engine no. 487/80

£ 30,000 - 40,000
US$ 38,000 - 50,000
1910 Austin 18/24hp Endcliffe Tourer
Registration no. SV 9833
Chassis no. 480
Engine no. 487/80


  • Herbert Austin was General Manager of the Wolseley Sheep Sheering Machine Co. and was responsible for diversification by that company into motor manufacture as early as 1895. In that year the company built a prototype three-wheeler car following loosely the design of Léon Bollée, featuring a single-cylinder horizontal engine with overhead camshaft. In 1899 a more conventional four-wheeler Wolseley was built and this car participated with distinction in the Thousand Miles Trial of 1900. Again this car featured a single-cylinder horizontal engine and was to be the basis of production for Wolseley cars in the early years of the twentieth century. Herbert Austin differed with the Wolseley Board over the use of horizontal engines which he favoured, and parted company in 1905, building his first car under his own name in 1906, this car fitted, rather surprisingly with a more conventional, in-line, four-cylinder vertical engine. Early models featured T heads and separately cast cylinders, chain final drive quickly giving way to more conventional shaft driven cars. Austin launched the 18/24 model in 1907 and this highly successful 4.4 litre car continued in production through to 1913, although in 1911 the engine size was upgraded to 4.9 litres. Longbridge quality became legendary, Austin quickly establishing his new company amongst the upper echelons of quality British manufacturers. Austin catered for the full spectrum of the market with early production embracing a single-cylinder 7hp model, a commercially highly successful four-cylinder 10hp car and further models right through to the 40hp car which was aimed firmly and successfully at the market dominated by Rolls-Royce, Wolseley and Napier. The 18/24hp model has survived in small numbers, only five examples being recorded in the current Veteran Car Club Members Handbook, the other cars all being in long-term enthusiast ownership.

    This splendid Endcliffe tourer was first registered to Sir Henry Beyer Robertson of Corwen, Merioneth, on 25th May 1910 and was acquired for the heritage collection of the Austin Motor Co. Ltd. in the 1950’s. Originally a detachable top Brougham, allowing for summer or winter use as was fashionable at the time, the car has been restored to tourer configuration although we feel that the construction of a period style detachable Brougham top would further enhance the attraction of this motor car. During the period 1995-1997 the car was entrusted to the Manchester College of Engineering & Technology where it was substantially restored before going on display as a significant Austin exhibit at The British Motor Industry Heritage Trust Museum at Gaydon.

    The car was sold by Bonhams in a partial dispersal sale at the museum in June 2003, at that time bearing the registration number FF 1. The value of that registration number significantly affected the price achieved and was subsequently removed from the car by the purchaser. Since that sale the car has seen little use but was presented at the centenary celebrations of Austin held in Birmingham in 2005, taking part in the cavalcade from Birmingham city centre to Cofton Park, Longbridge.

    The car is magnificently presented in blue livery with black body mouldings and upholstered in deep-buttoned grey leather. It is furnished with nickel fittings throughout, including Lucas ‘King of the Road’ acetylene headlamps and oil side lamps and the distinctive Austin feature of a centre, bulkhead-mounted bulb horn. It enjoys the advantage of detachable wheel rims and carries a spare on the off-side running board. Passenger comfort is provided by a two-piece opening windscreen and an excellently executed cape cart-style hood. The car has seen minimal use over the last 50 or so years and, following a period on museum display, it is considered that the car will benefit from the careful inspection and recommissioning required of a car that has been standing unused for some time. This Austin has the potential to be a very serious and capable tour car for the longer distance events enjoyed by members of the Veteran Car Club of Great Britain and its potential 45/50mph touring speed will enable it to hold station fairly comfortably in modern traffic. The car is offered with a selection of photographs from the 1940’s/1950’s, copies of early registration records and a Swansea registration document.
1910 Austin 18/24hp Endcliffe Tourer  Chassis no. 480 Engine no. 487/80
1910 Austin 18/24hp Endcliffe Tourer  Chassis no. 480 Engine no. 487/80
1910 Austin 18/24hp Endcliffe Tourer  Chassis no. 480 Engine no. 487/80
1910 Austin 18/24hp Endcliffe Tourer  Chassis no. 480 Engine no. 487/80
1910 Austin 18/24hp Endcliffe Tourer  Chassis no. 480 Engine no. 487/80
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