Austin A40 Farina Buyers Guide

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mab01uk
Posts: 6090
Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2010 7:08 pm
Location: S.E. England

Austin A40 Farina Buyers Guide

Post by mab01uk »

"The Austin A40 Farina is an intriguing car that can be overlooked despite its fine classic credentials. Here’s how to buy a great one...
The original A30 had been developed by Austin as a replacement for the long-serving Seven as a car which could compete with Morris’s successful Minor. Despite its destiny as an economy car it was technically adventurous in featuring unitary construction – in fact it was one of the first cars to adopt the idea wholeheartedly, since many early unitary designs still featured some kind of recognisable ‘chassis’ arrangement underneath.
It was a success, the finished bodyshell boasting a torsional rigidity more than twice that of the Minor and the styling by Dick Burzi boasted a hint of transatlantic glamour in its cute curves… albeit a ’50s Chevy which had shrunk dramatically in the wash.
With independent coil-sprung front suspension and a leaf-sprung rear axle, the A30 was a modern drive for its day despite the 28 bhp on offer from the newly developed 803cc A-Series engine and managed to undercut the Minor neatly on price too.
Launched in 1952, the A30 became the A35 in 1956 when the engine jumped from 803cc to 948cc and a handy 34 bhp – by now shared with the Morris Minor since Austin and Morris had become BMC stablemates. By then the Mini was already on the drawing board and the A35’s days were numbered, but it was one of Prince Philip’s legendary gaffes which gave rise to the existence of the A40.
Touring Longbridge in 1955, it’s said that the Duke of Edinburgh was asked his opinion on the newest BMC models and in typically forthright terms commented that they looked rather dowdy in comparison to the Continental competition. No doubt Philip was referring to cars like the Citroën DS launched that year, but the criticism must have wounded BMC chairman Leonard Lord to the core. Shortly afterwards he picked up the phone and placed a call to the Turin headquarters of Pininfarina where he invited Sr Farina to Birmingham with a view to having him overhaul the look of the range.
In short order a radical new style was developed which added European glamour to the workaday Austin models and the first fruit of the collaboration was the A40 – known universally as A40 Farina from day one – which began production in 1958.
Although it was effectively an A35 under the skin complete with its 34 bhp A-Series engine, the A40 Farina lost its predecessor’s cutesy curves and was a useful four inches wider, too. The following year the Countryman model was launched which had the distinction of being one of the world’s first hatchbacks, with its Range Rover-style split opening rear window and tailgate....."
More here:-
https://classicsworld.co.uk/guides/buyi ... ustin-a40/
gazza82
Posts: 42
Joined: Thu Oct 24, 2019 5:17 pm
Location: Buckinghamshire

Re: Austin A40 Farina Buyers Guide

Post by gazza82 »

My wife's first car .. the MkII 1098cc version. I had an A35.

Having had to work on both the A40's "tin" was visibly thinner but I did like the brakes. So much when we scrapped the A40 due to accident damage I kept the 8" drums and put them on my A35 .. but never actually got the A35 back on the road .. I've just taken them off and boxed them up to sell to another A30/A35 owner. I'm going with discs.

The A40 was hit from behind while parked and both ends damaged so we replaced it with an MG Midget MkII. Some of the A40 bits were used to get that road-worthy!
morris-miner
Posts: 464
Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2010 10:50 pm
Location: Sunny Devon

Re: Austin A40 Farina Buyers Guide

Post by morris-miner »

I’ve always loved the baby Farina, Jensen bodywork’s even made a convertible !!
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