eBay : Want a 'new' Austin 1300?

Keith Adams

1971 Austin America

1971 Austin America

This unregistered 1971 Austin America has popped up on eBay USA for $8000, which currently equates to £5340. The car, which has been stored indoors from new, features air conditioning and the seller says that the car remains clean and rust-free.

According to the description, it’s clear that the car has been looked after while in storage. ‘The fuel is drained every two years and the car is run, but not driven, every six months.  Over the years various items of servicing have been performed. The tyres, battery, rear wheel cylinders, clutch slave cylinder, lower radiator hose, water pump, fuel filter, a carburetor rebuild and several oil changes have been included in the servicing.

Anyway, if you fancy a taste of BL’s high watermark output, check out the eBay sale, and place a bid… Thanks to Richard Truett for the tip!

[Source: eBay Motors]

Posted in: AROnline
Keith Adams

About the Author:

Created www.austin-rover.co.uk in 2001 and watched it steadily grow into AROnline. Is the Editor of Classic Car Weekly, and has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, Classic Car Weekly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, and the the Motoring Independent... Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasable adventures all across Europe.

30 Comments on "eBay : Want a 'new' Austin 1300?"

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  1. Northern_Eagle says:

    Just gorgeous, shame I don’t have that sort of money to spend on one 🙁

    The great thing about this one is that, if you import it to the UK, it’d be allowed to wear 10 plates too – that’d really confuse people!

  2. Richard Kilpatrick Richard Kilpatrick says:

    Wantwantwantwantwantwantwant…

  3. Ian Perry says:

    Utterly astounding – Austin America, eh? From small oak trees mighty oak trees could have grown? $8,000 it says today… but what a find for any Brit car-loving petrolhead. What a gem!

  4. Ian Perry says:

    @Northern_Eagle
    That would be a fascinating sight – a classic Austin with a 10 plate would be most wierd but, in another way, hugely satisfying.

  5. KC says:

    What exactly is the history behind this 1300? Was it bought by some rich eccentric to just sit and look at it?

    Seems it has had an amount of servicing carried out, but why is it “run, but not driven, every six months”? What kind of life is that for a car?

    Not really suspicious, just curious.

  6. Craig Tetlow says:

    Absolutely fascinating but what on earth would you do with it? Cars are meant to be driven and enjoyed but would you dare to? Putting any mileage on it would spoil its uniqueness.

    I’m not sure about the 10 plate. Wouldn’t it have to be an age-related plate due to it falling well short of modern safety and pollution equipment?

  7. Drew Jarman says:

    What a shame it’s left hand drive 🙂 I could afford it but how I could justify buying the car to the significant other? That would be an interesting conversation to listen in on… These vehicles turn up very rarely and it will make a nice show car for someone.

  8. Fevsisere says:

    That is totally amazing. A really excellent time-warp car.

  9. Paul Taylor Paul T says:

    Craig Tetlow :Absolutely fascinating but what on earth would you do with it? Cars are meant to be driven and enjoyed but would you dare to? Putting any mileage on it would spoil its uniqueness.

    I’m not sure about the 10 plate. Wouldn’t it have to be an age-related plate due to it falling well short of modern safety and pollution equipment?

    The issue regarding the 10 plate is a strange one. It would be tax-exempt for road tax because it was built in 1971. However, it would probably have a 10 plate as it would be its first registration.

    The emissions test (according to VOSA) which applies will be that applicable when the vehicle was first used on the road. By that definition the car would be subject to the 2010 test requirements as it has not been registered and therefore ‘used on the road’.

    Bearing in mind US emissions rules have historically been much stricter than UK, the car could well pass in its current spec. If you were going to use it, I think the cost of making the suitable mods would be worth it and couldn’t imagine it would take much relative to the value of the car.

  10. Paul Taylor Paul T says:

    Oh, and it wouldn’t need an MOT for 3 years!!

  11. Richard Kilpatrick Richard Kilpatrick says:

    Craig Tetlow :
    Absolutely fascinating but what on earth would you do with it? Cars are meant to be driven and enjoyed but would you dare to? Putting any mileage on it would spoil its uniqueness.

    I’m not sure about the 10 plate. Wouldn’t it have to be an age-related plate due to it falling well short of modern safety and pollution equipment?

    There’d be a risk of accident damage of course but, personally, I’d treat the £5000 as buying an amazing, wonderful cheap new car that I was going to look after and I’d apply all modern lessons regarding rust-proofing and so forth – then only use it for pleasure.

    I doubt it’d rack up more than 3,000 miles per year, it would cost less than restoring most comparable cars to the same standard and would be a bit unique.

    I’d have the A/C system converted to modern refrigerants; if I was really concerned about emissions you’d find the running gear from the very last Mini inside it (including front mounted radiator if the US-spec didn’t already include that).

    Sacrilege, perhaps, but probably doable whilst storing the original running gear and without making permanent modifications to the car.

  12. Chris Kirman says:

    My understanding is that this 1300 would be subject to the latest new car regulations because it has never been registered for the road. Just to conform to current lighting regulations would mean detroying the character of a unique vehicle with hazard warning lights, a rear fog lamp and high visibility brake lamps. Then there’s dual circuit brakes – the list is endless and I’m sure impossible for a vehicle of that age to meet.

    I still want it though!

  13. Paul Taylor Paul T says:

    As an afterthought to earlier comments, is it possible the car would be given an age-related plate because it was imported or would DVLA normally use the info on a foreign registration document?

    I had a Mk5 Cortina that got an A plate when I changed it over from the NI plates, but that was because the log book stated registration was August 1983. If it had no log book and was ID’d through the VIN and engine numbers etc., would it then get an age-related number?

    Maybe we are looking into this a bit too much!!!!!

    Richard, the very last Mini unit would require a full rewiring of the car as well for the MPi system – I’d turn down the mixture on the carb for the emissions test!!

    That’s actually a relevant question as there are a few unregistered Minis that appear on eBay and there are still dealers holding unregistered Rovers and MGs from 2005. The Mnis especially (examples being RSP Coopers and Mini 25/30 LE’s) would all need similar upgrades to meet current regs.

  14. Richard Kilpatrick Richard Kilpatrick says:

    I don’t think they would need those upgrades if they could be proven to be a certain age – Japanese imports over 10 years old are subject to a less-strict test, for example.

    Rewiring wouldn’t worry me! They’re still very simple 🙂

  15. Glenn Aylett says:

    Makes you wonder that the American version of the car came with air conditioning and the best a British buyer could hope for was a puny one speed fan that was hopeless in summer, even on the Vanden Plas model.

    Mind you, even back in 1971, Americans demanded their cars came with gadgets and extras that would only be found on a Rolls-Royce over here and a basic spec ADO16 would be overlooked.

  16. Jonathan Carling Jonathan Carling says:

    A lovely vehicle. I’m afraid I couldn’t be trusted not to use it!

  17. Mark Gooding says:

    The car will get an age-related number plate and not need to be altered.

    About 2 years back the Chinese shipped over a batch of 1953-ish BMW copies which had been in a storage depot. Despite being brand new, they needed an MOT and they then got pre-1972 free Car Tax status.

  18. Craig Tetlow says:

    @Paul T
    Thanks everyone for their comments regarding whether it would be suitable for a ’10 plate. Does anyone know definitively?

    I only ask as I seem to remember some of the very last Maestros built from kits from around 2001 not being allowed 51 plates because they didn’t pass some form of modern legislation and so had to be registered on G plates.

    I wasn’t suggesting the car would need ridiculous amounts of safety upgrading just to be allowed to be registered over here, rather whether it would carry either a 10 plate or an age-related.

    Incidentally, on the subject of delivery mileage old cars, about 10 years ago I read somewhere that a garage in Ireland still had a 1970 Morris Minor and a 1970 Ford Cortina Mk2 unregistered and unused. Does anyone know what happened to them?

  19. Manwell says:

    Mr Forty will be pleased!

  20. Hilton says:

    Takes me back to the ’70s… a car with character!

  21. Richard Kilpatrick Richard Kilpatrick says:

    Craig Tetlow :
    @Paul T
    Thanks everyone for their comments regarding whether it would be suitable for a ’10 plate. Does anyone know definitively?

    I only ask as I seem to remember some of the very last Maestros built from kits from around 2001 not being allowed 51 plates because they didn’t pass some form of modern legislation and so had to be registered on G plates.

    That recollection would be inaccurate – I’ve seen Ledbury or similar Maestros with 51 registrations and I think most people have spotted R and S-plate cars trotting about. I nearly bought a 51 plate Maestro in February.

    IIRC around 2005 SVA rules changed and so it’s possible that any remaining unsold cars around that time would have been a lot harder to justify, but then an age-related plate would probably have been applicable under the DVLA’s points system.

    Now, it may be that some VROs got shirty, but there was no legal barrier to them being registered “new” and, similarly, I’ve seen mis-described imported Japanese cars running about on much younger plates (there’s an L-reg Mk 1 MR2 that crops up sometimes for example).

  22. Dennis says:

    Glenn Aylett :Makes you wonder that the American version of the car came with air conditioning and the best a British buyer could hope for was a puny one speed fan that was hopeless in summer, even on the Vanden Plas model.

    Mind you, even back in 1971, Americans demanded their cars came with gadgets and extras that would only be found on a Rolls-Royce over here and a basic spec ADO16 would be overlooked.

    You’d probably find the aircon slaughters performance and fuel economy.

  23. Dennis says:

    Chris Kirman :My understanding is that this 1300 would be subject to the latest new car regulations because it has never been registered for the road. Just to conform to current lighting regulations would mean detroying the character of a unique vehicle with hazard warning lights, a rear fog lamp and high visibility brake lamps. Then there’s dual circuit brakes – the list is endless and I’m sure impossible for a vehicle of that age to meet.

    I still want it though!

    Not really true, the V5 would show the date of first registration as 2010, but the date of manufacture as 1970. A dating letter from BMIHT would confirm this. The date of registration is simply that i.e. when the car was first registered in this country.

  24. Dennis says:

    Richard Kilpatrick :

    Craig Tetlow :@Paul T Thanks everyone for their comments regarding whether it would be suitable for a “10″ plate. Does anyone know definitively? I only ask as I seem to remember some of the very last Maestro’s built from kits from around 2001 not being allowed “01″ plates because they didn’t pass some form of modern legislation and so had to be registered on “G” plates

    That recollection would be inaccurate; I’ve seen Ledbury or similar Maestros with 51 registrations, and I think most people have spotted R and S-plate cars trotting about. I nearly bought a 51 plate Maestro in February.
    IIRC around 2005 SVA rules changed, and so it’s possible that any remaining unsold cars around that time would have been a lot harder to justify, but then an age-related plate would probably have been applicable under the DVLA’s points system.
    Now, it may be that some VROs got shirty, but there was no legal barrier to them being registered “new”, and similarly I’ve seen mis-described imported Japanese cars running about on much younger plates (there’s an L-reg Mk 1 MR2 that crops up sometimes for example).

    I’ve seen plenty of 51 plate Maestros too – it’s about the only thing that makes them stand out as being a Ledbury-built car. Anything on an L plate is just another Maestro.

  25. @Paul T
    I believe that the DVLA required the two former MG Rover Dealerships which were still offering a few remaining MGR-built models for sale to register them by the 31st August, 2008.

  26. Geoff says:

    Interesting. I’ve had a look at this on the eBay and noted a few things. Did BL have two spec cars for their US market? I clearly remember seeing some Austin Americas when I was out in California in ’74 (I owned a 1300GT at that time) and the cars were more like a 2 door 1300GT, without the GT engine and grille (this car has a Mk3 grille) but with the same embelishments, the wide rubbing strips down the doors, tinted windows, rear heated screen, chrome inserts around the front and rear screens and different badging front and back.

    However, the most intriguing item of note on this 1300 is that it has a manaul gearbox, because all the US cars I thought were delivered will AP automatic boxes! This car must be one of the very last cars exported to the US because BL stopped exporting these in 1971.

    I note the seller has a reserve on this – I would expect he’s looking for around $9000. Nice car!

  27. Paul Taylor Paul T says:

    In terms of unusual registrations, I have seen (in the metal) a 51 plate classic Mini Cooper Sport, 39th from the end of the line, and a 07 plate MG ZT V8 (owned by the local hairdresser!).

    I know some specialist car builders, like W&P and Z-cars have had ‘new’ registrations because the cars have been constructed from all-new parts. The W&P Margrave 50, supposedly being launched last year, seems to have dipped below the radar in terms of profile.

    I emailed them asking some questions that have been raised here by readers on this thread and, surprisingly, didn’t get a reply! While I know BHM provide new Mini shells, I couldn’t see how W&P could hold itself out, in effect, as a first party car builder and sell cars that they didn’t own the design/Type Approval for and wouldn’t meet current legislation, regardless of what plate it would receive.

    If someone has the answer I would appreciate hearing it as I do not know how such a car would be badged and registered with DVLA (e.g. W&P/Z-Cars/A N Other Mini) and how insurance companies would look at this?

    Personally, I think cars should have an age-related plate, with a set maximum term to be registered by after build, and meet the regulations applicable to build date. MOT requirements should also relate to age as a car lying about for 3 or 4 years (or more) cannot be expected to be in as acceptable condition as one that has just rolled out the factory.

  28. Iain says:

    Re the Ledbury Maestros – I do recall reading somewhere that they were supposed to be registered with G-plates, but this doesn’t seem to have happened, as all the ones I’ve seen were registered between R and 51 reg.

    The DVLA are a law unto themselves when it comes to registering imports, as there was a 1994 double decker bus imported about 12 years ago from Hong Kong, which was given a K-reg instead of an L or M, plus a 1976 Chevrolet which ended up with a P(96/97) registration. Given the DVLA’s legendary incompetence, they probably choose any old date and hope that nobody notices…

  29. Russell says:

    @Ian Perry
    I don’t think it would get a ’10 plate as it wouldn’t meet any of today’s legal requirements. It would probably get an age-related plate (as did my 3 year old unregistered car when I bought it) or a Q plate.

  30. Ianto says:

    Anyone know what this 1300 went for?

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