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Martin Howey ClassicsMartin Howey Classics
Thirsk Yorkshire

tel: 01677 470875     07595 020282
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Hardly ever seen these days is the Austin A40 Cambridge - the first of the "new style" Austins to carry the Cambridge name. The A40 was introduced in 1954 (as was I) and ran for only two years during which time a mere 30,000 were built. This new design came with a 1200cc ohv engine which knocked out 42 bhp and was instantly appealing as a family saloon. This proud old girl is ideal as a useable classic. She drives really well, moving nicely between the gears via the good old column shift and shows excellent oil pressure. She is very sound body wise, both on the top and underneath and still looks the part inside with red leather seats, period dash and delightful steering wheel! With classic car prices soaring through the roof, resulting in practically every make and model you can think of doubling and even trebling in price during the past few years, then it's always a pleasant surprise to come across a car like this. The reason being, I think, is that we appear to be somewhat forgetting about the "middle classic." That is to say not a fully restored example nor a condition 1 and neither the now much heralded "barn find" ie some old girl needing a total rebuild! Instead what we have is a highly original example. The steel work is incredibly good for a 63-year-old car with fantastic front and rear wings. Even the door bottoms have stood the test of time. Naturally, there's some minor blebbing to the paintwork here and there and I would think that some areas have been touched in or blown over. But the major plus is the originality and solidity. Sills are excellent and the original jacking points (with covers) are in place. I have noted several small examples of factory primer peeping through the black coach work and that leads me to suggest that a lot of the exterior is original. She has 58,000 miles on the speedo and that is very probably correct. So, with the marketplace seeming to take on such an ethos, I personally think that more of these examples - if indeed you can find one in the first place - ought to be highly appealing to folk willing to fork out less to land themselves a car crammed with character as well as one they can jump into and drive! So, that's what we have here. A solid, 1950s car which can be used, tinkered with, improved (should you feel the need) and loved by its next owner. She is a 1955 model but carries the 1963 A plate as some registration number thief robbed her of her original number many years ago when it was still the practice to replace original numbers with A plates. The reason was that there was a surfeit of such plates left over from 1963 when only a small amount were issued! To the best of my knowledge, you can contact DVLA and have this replaced again, only this time with an age-related plate. All in all, this is a super 50s classic at a super reasonable price. Her condition is probably akin to how such a car would have looked in the late 1950s - and that's around 60 years ago! In other words, just a nice old car well maintained and serviced. Many classics which have been stripped back and re-painted will not have had such a good starting point as this Cambridge. She is so solid and strong. Personally, I would do nothing to her other than spend a weekend cutting and polishing the paintwork. A true bargain offered here when hundreds of classics around her are being advertised at a price that someone has thought of and then doubled! These honest, basically un-molested examples, are certainly in the minority these days..... All my classic cars are treated as the equivalent of motoring antiques. This one, for example, is almost 63-years-old. They cannot be compared to the wife's six-month-old Chelsea tractor and they are bound to come with imperfections, quirks and bits and pieces that will need attention even if it is some time in the future. They do however come with oodles of charm, appeal and are there to be loved like a family pet. If you are new to the classic car scene, then please bear all this in mind. This example has clearly had work over the decades and I cannot predict how much or how little she will need in the future. That, I am afraid, is the nature of the beast in the world of classic cars. Motoring antiques is what they are. I love my Georgian dining table, but I can see all the scars and signs of previous woodworm. Had I wanted a brand new table, I would have gone to Oak Furniture Land. Maybe. Demand is outstripping supply these days and they don't make the old girls any more. So, make some allowances and drive away with a smile on your face! I accept all major debit/credit cards and a ten per cent deposit is required at the point of sale with the balance due within three days. I can also assist with delivery and so please ask for a quote. Thanks for reading, Martin. (07595-020282).

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