It is still a magnificent beast, BMC’s late gift into the marriage with Leyland cars…
Following a long spell of inactivity, the 20th anniversary of the 3 Litre being featured as Car of the Month marked a good opportunity to get that car out again.
It was last seen in public at the 50th anniversary of the launch at the BMC and Leyland Show 2017 and so, in April, it was taken out of its resting place for the last five years and, over the past months, a few little niggles were ironed out.
Apart from a leaking rear wheel cylinder, nothing serious appeared to have happened during the extended rest.
With current fuel prices, taking this thirsty car over long distances would be a significant expenditure, so a fairly local event came to the rescue to show it to the unsuspecting public. A nice 40-mile drive along the hilly edge of the Eifel leads us to the Open Air Museum Kommern, which is usually a pretty (and) quiet place.
However, last weekend the place was brimming with visitors, who flitted between the collection of historic buildings and our classic cars. The gathering was for cars built up to and including 1972 – and, in the end, more than 100 came along.
As usual, the Austin 3 Litre proved to be a great talking point when parked between Borgwards, Mercedes-Benzes, Opels and Volkswagens. It also received a lot more positive feedback about its looks than one would believe after reading the lukewarm reception from the press at launch.
With just over 55,000km on the clock, the 3 Litre is still pretty tight and as enjoyable to drive as it ever was. It would nearly have been an uneventful drive, if something in the ignition circuit had not thrown a wobbly just a couple of traffic lights from home.
The coil is now on the list of suspects for not liking hot engine bays on hot days anymore. With a slightly more closed points gap, the car came back to life and brought us home safely.
- Concepts and prototypes : The Wolseley 3 Litre prototype (1969-1970) - 5 February 2024
- Our Cars : Martin’s Austin Allegro – Back in the UK again - 12 May 2023
- Our Cars : Martin’s Austin Allegro – a very good service - 15 March 2023