3 Litre

Austin’s flagship Westminster replacement was a little too long in development, and suffered visually by being saddled by ‘those doors’. Powered by the torquey C-Series engine, and suspended by a self-levelling variation of Moulton’s brilliant Hydrolastic suspension set-up, but was pulled out of production with around 10,000 sold in 1971.

The cars : Austin 3 Litre development history


Celebrated as one of BMC’s greatest white elephants, the Austin 3 Litre emerged the way it did because circumstance was not on its side… Here, we tell you why… Misunderstood THE Austin 3-litre was a disaster. There is no other way of putting it. The thinking and ideology behind the creation of the 3-litre was […]

Engines : C-Series

The C-Series engine was the shortest lived out of the triumvirate of BMC engines, and has since gained infamy for being the motive power behind of the MGC and Austin 3-Litre. Sadly, it’s been underrated ever since – unless you’re a Healey owner. Words: Tony Cooke Unloved, but not unworthy THE C-Series engine was the […]

Those doors

When the ADO17 was launched as the Austin 1800 in 1964, few people can have imagined that one of its defining features – its doors – would later appear on a series of cars ranging from a 1.5-litre family hatchback to a 3-litre executive saloon. But the story doesn’t end there. As well as being […]

The Wolseley 3 Litre prototype

One of the most eagerly anticipated set of pictures to arrive at austin-rover.co.uk Towers in a long time – a full set of pictures of the Wolseley 3-litre protoype, as photogrpahed at the Longbridge Elephant House in 1967. Alexander Boucke, a leading authority on these cars tells us about this important car… Another missed opportunity? […]

Crayford 3-Litre estate

Seen as a replacement for the discontinued Morris Oxford Traveller and Austin Cambridge Countryman, this behemoth offered seating for up to nine passengers, and a few examples still exist today. The car’s capacious interior also lent itself to use as a private ambulance (while other converters, such as Wadham Stringer, offered an alernative way of […]

In-house designs : Rolls-Royce projects

Rolls-Royce projects During the early-to-mid 1960s, Rolls-Royce entered into a collaborative venture with BMC, with a view to jointly producing a range of saloons and coupés. Rolls-Royce was thinking in terms of down-sizing at this time, a reaction to the general down-turn in demand for their traditional coachbuilt models during the post-war years. In due […]

In-house designs : Vanden Plas

Vanden Plas prototypes The coachbuilding firm of Vanden Plas had been purchsed by Austin in 1946, and thus became part of the BMC empire that was created by the merger of Austin and Morris in 1952. Until the end of the 1950s, the factory at Kingsbury in north-west London was chiefly used for the production […]

Car of the month : September 2008

ALWAYS a rare car even when new, the chances of spotting a 3 Litre on the road these days are akin to enjoying a big win on the Lotto. This particular car, owned by Bernard Phillips, is in such good condition that it qualifies as a genuine timewarp car, looking no older than one year […]

Car of the month : April 2002

A more obscure Car of The Month for April. This time, I thought I’d go for the charms of the big and imposing Austin 3-litre. That being the case, the best example that I know of is that of Alexander Boucke – which is unusual for being left hand drive. Alexander is deeply passionate about […]

Archive : Austin 3 Litre road test

THE GUARDIAN AUSTIN’S ANACHRONISM Eric Dymock tests the Austin 3-litre Depending on your criteria for style, you may describe the Austin 3-litre as functional, or plain, or perhaps an architectural catastrophe. You may stretch to well proportioned or even well intentioned. But if you call it handsome you are either impressed by size or else […]