Well, I purchased a mid 20's English built car. An uncle (in his mid 80s) was selling it off and I had a chance for a 'mint' restored car still fresh after 40 years.
It was considered the English counterpart of the Model T, which is where it has a 'link' to T's ;-)
The philosophy of the maker was to use the best design, the best materials, the smartest assembly methods.
As a matter of fact, his engine plant was considered to be the most advanced in the world at the time - 20 yrs ahead of anywhere else.
What car did I buy?
mmm, being NZ and the country is still full of the little buggers, I'll say Austin 7.
I go with Frank, an Austin 7
Since I still have the Austin 10 I bought in Holland in 1974, I will - out of loyalty - also go with the Austin, and also probably the 7.
It can't be an Austin 7. Adrian said it was a car, not a half sized midget!!!
Allan from down under.
I dunno, Allan. The CitroŽn 2CV has been dubbed the "Model T of France," and calling that a car is a bit of a stretch as well. (I have owned three of them.)
Well, maybe this might stir along a few things ;-)
Stirling Moss said the A7 was the only car he ever drove that had oversteer when driving straight ahead
It is the Morris Cowley: 1500 cc of pure under powered joy :-)
That is NI-ICE!
A bit over half the size of a Model T engine. Smaller than my single cylinder Cadillac. Be still, my heart!
Congratulations! Great looking car! Did you ever go for a ride in it with your Uncle when you were younger?
I tried saving the photo and rotating it but it still comes out sideways. So I tried doing a "snippet" of it and we will see if that will post upright. Perhaps it has something to do with being south of the equator? One more try:
Hap l9l5 cut off
Very nice! Like the round nose radiators, give them their own look.
Mark, here they were known as Bull nosed Morrises. It wasn't until around 1925-7 they went to the conventional flat radiator.
Allan from down under.
Morris was my guess. And that handbook excerpt looks very familiar, much like the morris owners manual.
My guess was Austin.
In the late 20ís my father drove for a Doctor in Salford, England which is a suburb of Manchester. The Doctor had two cars, remember at the time the doctors did house visits, and Dad was the driver. One car was a Model T coupe (Doctors coupe) and the other a Morris Cowley.
I wonder what his comparison of the two cars in 1926 is to that to present day Adrian?
It was a trick question when you put,
'English counter part of the model T'
It was the comparison of mechanical equivalence you had in mind.
The Austin 7 was described as similar to the model T for the British market.
Hi Frank, well, sort of. Contemporary sources called it the "English model T". probably in the sense that it was the first mass produced car made in the UK. At one stage Morris Cowleys made over 50% of new car sales in the UK - just the one model, just like Henry did. It brought prices down, and motoring to the masses in Britain - just like Henry did.
Interesting facts: The Cowley used American designed and sourced engines (Continental), gearbox, axles (front and rear) and brakes. The chassis and body were about the only British made components. Morris transitioned all components to be made in Britain, but they were still American designed.
By another quirk of fate the bolts used in the engine are METRIC threads with British Witworth heads on the bolts. Morris/ MG/ Wolsely cars stayed with metric thread/Witworth head bolts right through the '30's.
The French Hotchkiss factory was moved from outside of Paris to England early in WW1 before the Germans could capture it. It made machine guns for the duration, then on peace the French left the factory in England and moved to engine manufacture. The tooling was already set up for metric, so... metric it was. But British mechanics had Witworth spanners, hence the change in bolt head size.
Morris production demanded more engines than the factory could make, so he just bought the factory from Hotchkiss and re-arranged the production method. It was claimed he tripled production solely by reorganising the factory and production flow! Morris did not change to Imperial threads until their merger with Austin years later. Strange but true.
A second bit of trivia was that Mr Morris had a garage, called Morris Garages. They bought Cowley cars from the Morris factory and souped them up to go fast (hot-rodded 1920's style) then sold them under their own brand name of "MG" (Morris Garages...). The rest, they say, is history!
Hap, thanks for the picture change, it kept going sideways for me too! Yes I remember the car as a teenager, but never did ride in back then, but always admired it.
As to driving comparisons, the first thing you notice is how quiet the Cowley is to start and when running. Smooth as silk. Secondly, how easy it is to drive, the gearbox is smooth and clutch easy to use and steering feels 'positive' (no 'wander'). Thirdly, it is cheap to run! Back then the British had a tax system that clearly penalised "large" engines like the T's, plus is drinks fuel a lot less than the T does.
It carries 5 comfortably in a well sprung chassis. Performance is not that flash at all, but plenty good enough for the period I guess as Morris could not make them fast enough at the time.
The Cowley is well made with good steel and materials (just like the T) and so lasted well and survived hard use. It was also designed to be light and lower cost - shave off a bit here and save a few cents (does this philosophy sound familiar? :-) )
I forgot to add that Uncle Snow tuned the car to run as smooth and idle nice and slow. His comparison is to have it tick over as good as an Ö.."A" !!
Henry won in the 'gold standard' as to how an engine should run after all!
This probably shouldn't be repeated, but I can't help myself - please consider the historic significance. No intention to offend, it seems for some reason, most limericks are "dirty" :
There was a man from Boston,
Who bought himself an Austin,
He had room for his ***,
And a gallon of gas,
But his ***** hung out,
And he lost 'em !
I was wrong as well but that sure is a swell tourer
Rich, when we first came back to St. Louis from overseas, we brought a 1936 Austin Ten back with us. I joined several old car clubs and can't tell you how many times people quoted that limerick to me!
Sorry Dick, as I said, I couldn't help myself. Every oaf who repeats the same old bum jokes thinks he's original. ; - )
I have no Austin experience, first one I ever saw was at the museum in Auburn, Ind. back in '91 - a "Bantam", the mascot was a little rooster, simply wonderful !! I'll bet they're a lot of fun ! (even if they need to be "herded" rather than driven)
This is our Austin next to the Model T at a Model T club picnic some years ago. My son-in-law drive the Austin to the picnic and I drove the T.
All wonderful and interesting stuff! (Even the limerick Rich B!) I knew of Morris Garages (MG), but never made the connection to the Morris Cowley (sometimes I can be so-o dense). I have always loved the look of them, as well as most English cars of that era. Don't get to see many such cars around where I am. I remember seeing one in a museum a long time ago. I think it was Harrahs collection back when Bill H still ran it.
Dick L, I always like seeing a picture of your Austin. Those are great little cars!
I think (?) the James Harriot character in the BBC movie series a few years back - "All the Creatures Great and Small" - made his vet rounds in a car very much like Dick's - that appealed to me then as it does now. A very classy, pleasing to the eye design of coach work. Thanks for showing us !
Bull nosed Morrises
BULLET NOSE IT WAS ,- AS THE FIRST CARS APPEARED EARLY IN WW1 , AND THE RADIATOR SHAPE REMINDED ONE OF THE LEE-ENFIELD RIFLE BULLET NOSE .
The engines were supplied by White & Poppe who also made various other units for the many car makers of the day , mostly in small batches , so William Morris turned to Continental whose shipments of a couple of hundred at a time was a pain in the end , compared to thousands back in the USA so when shipments were blown out of the water by the Germans regularly , Morris went to the Hotchkiss solution .
....Victor - MG SA 1938 saloon .(Wolseley engine, Rolls Royce styled body design by H J Mulliner , built by Morris Motors to the disdain of Cecil Kimber , MG creator .
The Austin Motor appears in the most unusual places.
"The Brough Superior Austin Four was a limited-production motorcycle designed and manufactured by Brough Superior of Nottingham, UK in 1932. It was listed in the 1932 Brough Superior catalogue as the 'Straight Four' but it was commonly known as the Brough Superior Austin Four, or BS4, or '3-wheeled Brough'. The machine is unique in its design, being powered by a modified Austin 7 automobile engine and gearbox unit, from which a driveshaft emerges on the centre-line of the motor. Rather than design a new gearbox, George Brough had the inspiration to keep the central driveshaft, and use a pair of close-couple rear wheels driven by a central final drive box."