1929 Austin 12/4 Mulliner Two-Seater and
Rare and attractive coachbuilt Heavy 12/4; highly original; lovely patinated condition; a sound and unmolested example; original tools; undertrays; luggage carrier; ivory steering wheel; utterly charming
Launched in late 1921, the Austin 12 was dubbed 'The Salesman's Joy' due to the way it fairly flew out of the showroom, some 70,000 examples having been sold by 1927, its peak year of production.
In combination with the immortal 7, it secured Austin's long term future and remained on sale until 1935 although a taxi version was still available as late as 1939. During this time the 12/4 became a by-word for indestructibility thanks to its superb build quality and fundamentally sound design.
The engine was a five-bearing side-valve four, initially displacing 1,661cc for which the factory claimed 27bhp at just 2,000rpm. This was sufficient for 40-45mph cruising, at which speed the 12 returned around 26mpg. Enduringly popular and beautifully designed, the 12/4 remains a favourite with Austin enthusiasts to this day and helped the Company justify its marketing slogan ‘The Dependable Austin’.
First registered on 1st March 1929, the continuation buff logbook shows VP 6208 lived in Hereford in the early 1960s. It moved to nearby Tenbury Wells before making the journey to live near Dunmow in Essex in 2011/12.
Respected marque specialists Smallbone and Sons of Birmingham subsequently handled its sale, the vendor purchasing the car in 2020 to add to his private collection.
Hi smartened the car up with a re-plated radiator surround and improved reliability with a magneto rebuild by Armoto of Sheffield. Back in 2010 it had a brake overhaul with new rear axle oil seals. There is also written evidence of new kingpin bushes and thrust bearings but we cannot confirm when this was done - although we understand around that time.
The car may have been restored, but if so, it was a long time ago. It is extremely sound and solid and has been running and driving onsite. It has a perfectly serviceable hood and side screens and nice original upholstery. It also sports a very smart white steering wheel and has even retained the original tools under the bonnet.
This old Mulliner-bodied Austin is honesty personified and has years and years of dependable service left in it.
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