1958 Austin A35 Alexander Tuned
In Sebring blue from new with Alexander tuning kit fitted in period; twin-carbs; discs up front; loads of fun with proper Alexander history and provenance
To the untrained eye, this A35 looks much like the next, but dig a little deeper and it has secrets to tell.
The vendor informs us that it was owned for a period of some 30 years by Hewett Racing – well known for their exploits racing Midgets and Sprites. We are not sure when, but at some point it has been fitted with an Alexander Tuning Kit, a proper period addition that was a popular mod in the late ‘50s and early ‘60s.
Alexander Engineering took on the Nuffield franchise in 1953. The mechanics in the business were more used to getting the gaffer’s ERA to win races, so when they breathed on and transformed his new Morris Minor while he was on holiday, a new concept and business came into being. Larger valves, twin carbs and decent manifolds were the order of the day and they soon looked around for other cars to tune, the Standard 8 and 10 offering substantial power gains with simple improvements to breathing – better still, Standard were even happy to continue the factory warranty on converted units. Rootes soon followed suit and before they knew it, Alexander Engineering were offering factory approved tuning kits through main dealers on a wide range of new cars all over the world.
The A-Series in the Austin A35 was also given the treatment as fitted to this car here. A modified head, twin HS1 SU carbs and a bespoke manifold gave big gains in power, torque and flexibility. In this case, throw in a nicely balanced steel billet crank and Sprite front suspension and disc brakes and the end result is rather a pocket rocket.
The vendor of this one removed the head a while back and measured the bore, which indicates a 1,098cc unit – no wonder it goes rather well!
Fitted with modern seats for comfort and security, the car is solid in the right places and was resprayed a few years ago in its original shade of Sebring blue. More use and enjoy than show queen, its interest lies in its period performance conversion which makes it very entertaining to drive.
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