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1957 Austin A35

Sold Price

£3,976

  • Mileage~56,457
  • TransmissionManual
  • Engine1.0L
  • LocationReading

SOLD

1957 Austin A35

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Introduction

Darren Rungasamy
Automotive Editor, Photographer and Consigner

Graham Hill and James Hunt were both huge fans of the A35, there's a charm to these cars for sure.

Based on a concept drawn by Raymond Loewy, the Austin A30/A35 was the brand's entry-level model for post-war Britain, but its ability goes way deeper than its charming 'Teddy bear' styling. As Austin's rival to the Morris Minor, the car utilised a more modern and stiffer monocoque construction, which instantly gave Austin a headstart. Boosted by the later addition of the 948cc engine, the A35 gained a successful reputation for motorsports, partly due to the excellent tuning potential of the famous A-Series BMC engines and its well-sorted chassis. It has since forged a formidable sideline in historic classic saloon racing as a "giant killer" and it's well documented that both Graham Hill and James Hunt were very fond of its abilities.

This 1957 car has a provenance of paperwork stretching back to the mid-70s and is believed to be an original unrestored example. With just 6 previous owners under its belt, the car has covered just over 12,000 miles in 35 years but has seen a routine of attention and maintenance, and even found time to appear in the club magazine. A truly cherished example with a very honest presentation, the lively A35 is a superb alternative to both the Mini and Morris Minor.

This auction listing was written from information supplied by Darren after meeting Chris the owner, and having visited and photographed the vehicle.

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Secure Auctions

We verify all our sellers and buyers to keep our community safe whilst also providing the highest levels of website security.

Full Transparency

8 out of 10 people that buy cars via our service don’t feel the need to visit due to the transparency and thoroughness of our listings.

Vehicle Delivery

We're there every step of your buying journey and will even arrange pick-up and delivery of your new vehicle.

Meet the owner

I had to get an A35, so much history as a giant killer, I had to get the curiosity out of my system!

Chris took on the car three years ago, having bought it on somwhat of a whim. He was looking for a small car to fit in his garage, as an alternative to a Mini. Purchasing the car from a collector who had previously developed a well-known presence within the owners club, the previous ownership was reflected in the cars condition and gave Chris confidence in this little car.

With a lack of use since purchase, and the need to create more space, Chris has decided it's time to part with this Austin. He'll be happy to answer any question on the car in the comments section below.

Chris
Vehicle Owner

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Exterior

The tweed grey paint has been enhanced by a two-tone effect which really highlights the charms of the car

Wheels and Tyres

The Firestone tyres are in very good shape, having covered not much more than 2,000 miles since they were installed in 2014. The steel wheels are somewhat worn but solid, painted cream with attractive chrome hubcaps. The spare wheel appears to be unused.

View the photo gallery to see the detail.

Bodywork

The car presents well, with evidence of a good structure, especially the engine and boot bays. The underside appears to be solid, with a quick check under the front cabin carpet and boot well to confirm this.

There are a few odd patches of surface corrosion starting to creep through in places but the chassis rails look solid. The inner wings are good, with minor signs of age creeping throughout the undercoat but nothing in terms of its upsetting its structural integrity yet. The panels are straight and are free from damage, with minor signs of age on the front scuttle plates, lower sections of the wings and sills but are by no means unsightly.

The doors open and close without effort, the passenger doors are not quite a true fit but are solid. The rest of the panels flow nicely.

Paint

The tweed grey paint has aged reasonably well partly due to its decades of garage storage. The finish is in line with a well-kept car of this vintage, with a decent paint match and a reasonable lustre. There are a few chips observed but in line with the age and use of the car.

Watch the video review to see the paint across the whole body.

Glass and Trim

The chrome work has lasted well, with no significant blemishes or dents, the fetching sun visor has a few signs of pitting on the chrome but overall well within the expectations of a car that has not seen many miles in the last 30 years.

The glass is in good shape, with its rubber seals looking healthy. The door well rubbers are decent, with the odd sign of perishing noted on the passenger doors.

Interior

Close to the original factory finish, the cabin has been beautifully preserved over all of these years.

Seats and Carpets

The interior has benefited from gentle use and as a result, it's in very presentable condition. The front seats are in generally good order, with all but a little damage noted on the left-hand side of the driver squab sidewall. There is a patch of vinyl on top of the driver's seat, but otherwise, both front seats are firm. The back seats are in good shape too, with the odd nick noted. The carpets are in very good shape, with no suggestions of dampness.

Dashboard

The spartan but appealing dashboard is dominated by a beautiful centrepiece that acts as the interior focal point. The speedometer and fuel gauge function as expected, with no issues with the rest of the controls - the heating was not tested on this occasion.

Chris has fitted an audible dashboard-mounted buzzer, which acts as a reminder to switch off the indicators! The car also comes with a temperature gauge ready to be installed by the next owner. The door cards are in good condtion, with the headlining in excellent shape.

Steering Wheel / Gear Stick

The steering wheel appears to be completely original and none the worse for it, with no integral damage, just a little healthy patina to remind you that it is a 65-year old car after all. The gear-lever is decent, with a similar aspect to its vintage.

Mechanics

Spritely in its urge, the A35 has seen a careful record of maintenance over many decades.

Engine and Gearbox

The engine components are in good condition, with evidence of regular maintenance. Some items such as the wire harnessing show signs of age but the nature of the simple set-up and the opportunities to access everything will encourage the next owner to address any aesthetic issues.

The hoses and radiator are in good shape. There are no reported issues with the starting of the car, having started up without hesitation and warmed up comparatively quickly. No issues were noted in terms of excessive exhaust smoke and no fluid leaks were noted at all. The car idles sweetly.

Suspension and Brakes

The braking system is good, considering the basic set-up, with the owner stating that it didn’t need too much effort to slow the car down but like anything built during this period requires pre-planning for modern road use. The brakes did grind somewhat during the short test drive, but this is likely to be due to the drums not seeing much use in recent years. The steering was positive, with not much in terms of play and directs the car without problems.

The Drive

Even when static, this car attracted so much goodwill and attention, perhaps more than a classic costing ten times as much. Once on the move, the car drove well, the suspension damping absorbing the road well at low speeds. The clutch and gearchange are said to be good, with no issues with the change or the resistance of the clutch. No creaking or thuds were noted during the drive.

Electrics and Other

The basic electrical system is in good shape. The owner has not needed to replace much more than a few bulbs during his ownership.

As mentioned, the car is fitted with a useful and very attractive sun-visor. It's not recorded whether it is a genuine BMC dealer fitting but looks the part and along with its two-tone paintwork, helps the car stand out.

History and Paperwork

Coming to market with what appears to be bags or originality, this A35 had a ~£3,600 mechanical overhaul just 2,000 miles ago.

Originally registered in Wiltshire in June 1957, the paperwork suggests that the car has spent much of its life in the Berkshire area. Well known within the Austin A30/A35 owners club, the car has just seen 6 previous owners over its 65 year lifetime, with invoices that support a regular regime of maintenance, including the all-important suspension care.

It also comes with some fascinating handwritten journal-type accounts of its monthly record of work, repairs and maintenance from the mid-70s to the early 90s. There is also a note summarising the work carried out prior to Chris’s ownership of the car, which outlines minor improvements. Bills stretch over 5 decades, with a new clutch, strip down and reassembly of the brakes, steering system overhaul along with new tyres in 2014 (around 2,000 miles ago) with a bill for £3,600 confirming this. Earlier work covers minor exterior panel work, the usual sundries and servicing work but according to the owner it has not seen much in the way of restoration and appears to be largely original.

We’ve done all our usual seller checks, including photo ID, V5 and also actioned an HPi check on the vehicle.

We've summarised our view on the car based on information gained from the seller in the listing above, however, and as you can see, we go to great lengths to photograph and video the car in hi-resolution detail - this has been done for you to make your own assessment from the comfort of your sofa. So please sit back, have a cuppa and take your time to review everything on this listing in order to make your own assessment on the vehicle's condition. Viewings are also welcomed with all our listings, so please get in touch with us to arrange a suitable time - we just need to speak to you first and receive a valid photo ID before confirming.

If there's anything you're unsure about, no matter how small, then please first ask the owner in the comments area below before placing your bid/s, as bids can't be retracted and form a binding contract if you win the car - just like a traditional auction house.

Service History
Date Type Mileage
21-01-2014 MOT 54,110
08-06-2004 MOT 53,760
24-06-2003 MOT 52,479
03-07-2002 MOT 50,680
01-05-2001 MOT 50,581
25-06-1999 MOT 49,675
05-09-1996 MOT 49,614
05-07-1994 Service 49,495
05-07-1994 MOT 49,495
24-08-1991 Service 48,506
24-08-1991 MOT 48,502
26-03-1991 Service 47,284
25-09-1990 Service 44,597
18-08-1990 MOT 44,379
03-09-1985 MOT 44,076
27-11-1975 MOT 35,330
Key Details
  • ModelA35
  • TransmissionManual
  • Reg. Date07-06-1957
  • CC948
  • Mileage~56,457
  • HistoryYes
  • ColourTweed Grey
  • Interior ColourRed
  • Interior TrimVinyl
  • Chassis #A255HCS44739
  • Engine #2A/HCS/44739
  • Matching #sYes
  • RestoredNo
  • MOT ExemptYes
  • Road Tax ExemptYes
  • Former Keepers6
  • Tyre BrandFirestone
  • LHD or RHDRHD
  • VisitedYes
  • Sale TypePrivate
  • Owned~3 years
  • Key FeatureOriginality with recorded low miles







Vehicle Sold

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Ask Questions
Post a comment or ask the owner a question about the car.
Adam - Trade Classics
Admin

*** UPDATE *** I’ve just spoken to Chris and he’s decided to remove the reserve on this car. So it will be sold to the highest bidder this evening. Good luck 🙂

oxbikes
Member
oxbikes

Why don’t Trade Classics tell us the reserve so we don’t waste our time?

Kulraj Salh
Admin

Hi,

That’s not how traditional “English” style auctions work, it’s ok if you’re new to this. We often disclose when the reserve has been met, but this is not always the case, we leave bidders to bid what they feel the vehicle is worth, rather than against a reserve price.

Good luck with any further bids this evening.

Best, Kulraj – Trade Classics

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Vehicle Location

Reading, Berkshire

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