Prior to the launch of the Austin Victoria in 1972, Authi built a range of standard-bodied ADO16 models from 1966 onwards.
Authi MG-S 1300
ALL good things travel well, including the ADO16. Because of tough restrictions on cars imported into Spain, BMC knew that the only way into this market was to set-up a local operation. The deal with NMQ was set, and the plan to produce the ADO16 was quickly put into action. So quickly, it seems, that when the Spanish Morris 1100 was launched to the press in June 1966, it was actually presented by NMQ as an Authi model, even though that company was yet to exist officially.
When production finally got under way in September 1966, it was in Morris form only, but an MG model was launched in September 1967. New models followed thick and fast – March 1968 saw the introduction of the Morris 1100 Traveller, followed by the Mk2-style MG and Morris 1300s that September. Interestingly, the Spanish-built MG 1300 used the 4-door bodyshell, at a time when only 2-door versions of this model were available in the UK.
The combination of 4-door bodywork, Mk2 rear styling and ventilated wheels marks this out as an Authi-built MG1300, as does the Innocenti-sourced rear seat.
In September 1971, a 2-door MG 1300S appeared. This came about as a result of the withdrawal of the MG 1300 from the UK market, when production at Cowley ceased during that same month, thus freeing-up bodyshells and other components to be shipped to Authi from the UK in CKD form – a practice which continued into 1973.
The Austin-badged ADO16 made its first appearance in Spain in February 1971, in the form of the Austin 1300. In April of that year, it seems that the Morris 1100 Traveller was replaced by the rather curiously-named “Austin 1300 Traveller”, but this model was renamed as a Countryman (in the Austin convention) the following year. There may also have been a model sold as the Morris 1300 Traveller, although the introduction of the Austin brand prefaced a move away from the Morris nameplate. Development of the standard-bodied ADO16 in a marketing sense had halted in favour of the newer Victoria, but the emergence of the Austin De Luxe in 1974, would show that the Spanish liked the original shape just as much as the British did.
Authi MG 1100
Authi Austin 1300
Many thanks to Graham Arnold for submitting the gallery images for this page.
Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics 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 unfeasible adventures all across Europe.