With its long wheelbase and front-wheel drive layout, the 1800 would have made the ideal starting point for a range of commercial derivatives.
Sadly, only the Australians saw fit to put such a vehicle into production…
This mid-Sixties panel van proposal never made it past the drawing board, and that’s a shame because it could also have spawned a capacious estate car using the same bodyshell. However, BMC noted that its existing A55 van – with its taller rear bodywork and vertical rear doors – offered a 20%-greater load space than this proposal would have done, so the A55/A60 was allowed to soldier on until it was finally replaced by the similarly-configured Marina-based van.
Austin 1800 Utility
“Utes” (or pick-up trucks) have long been popular in Australia, and in the Fifties and Sixties, a variety of familiar British saloons were redesigned and produced locally to serve this market. Indeed, the Austin 1800 Utility (to give it its official name) was introduced in 1968 to replace the locally-produced A55 Utility. The 1800 Ute remained in production until 1971, during which time well over 2000 were built. They continue to have a following in Australia today, with some having been restored to a very high standard, while others simply continue to earn their keep.
Created www.austin-rover.co.uk in 2001 and built it to become the world's foremost reference source for all things BMC, Leyland and Rover Group, before renaming it AROnline in 2007.
Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Clsssics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...
Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasable adventures all across Europe.