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Old 26th May 2009, 23:36   #1
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Default Austin A90 Atlantics in India

Note from Mod : This discussion has been moved to a new thread from its original location : http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/vintag...st-09-a-2.html (MHMC-Vintage Car Rally Chennai March 1st 09)

Next up, the A90 Atlantic. Barely mentioned as a footnote in most Austin chronicles, the car was a spectacular failure.

Launched by Austin in 1948, the car was primarily meant for US markets. It was spacious, stylish and had a lot of luxurious features. Austin equipped it with a 2.7 Ltr inline 4 cylinder as well. Sadly, its target market never accepted it. Only 350 of 7981 produced were sold in the US.

Why? Lets quote Jon Pressnell from "Classic & Sports Car Magazine", who classifies the A90 Atlantic as one of the biggest failures in its day:

QUOTE

Making an American-style car meant that it would appeal to Americans, right? Not really. Not if it were made by the limeys, powered by a weedy (by American standards) four cylinder engine, and cost as much as a decent Chevrolet. What Austin boss Leonard Lord failed to understand was that Britishness - the free spirit eccentricity of the MG, the wood and leather of the Jaguar - was what pulled in the punters on the other side of the pond. The Atlantic would probably have sold very well to delusional Brits with more money than taste, but the "Export or Die" regime meant that this Longbridge Gargoyle had to be shipped across to the seas - to people who clasped their sides in helpless laughter at the three-headlamped, vinyl-roofed horror from the land of warm beer.

UNQUOTE

A month later, I saw an A90 Atlantic for sale on this site:

1950 Austin A90 Atlantic Drophead Coupe

(the site also gives a good synopsis of the car)

Yet another month later, I see an A90 Atlantic in India itself. Speechless!
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Austin A90 Atlantics in India-austin-a90-atlantic.jpg  


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Old 27th May 2009, 04:11   #2
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Austin Atlantic's were there in India, 2 convertibles and a sedan. Wasif may know, one was in Hyderabad. All other facts put are correct, it was indeed a flop. Some cars became rare because they were attrocious.

Cheers harit

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Old 27th May 2009, 09:40   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harit View Post
Austin Atlantic's were there in India, 2 convertibles and a sedan. Wasif may know, one was in Hyderabad. All other facts put are correct, it was indeed a flop. Some cars became rare because they were attrocious.

Cheers harit
That Atlantic in Hyd was a charming car with that small little beehive in the front grill that made looking into the engine bay an adventure in itself.

Did the car get saved ???

Do you remember the location where it lay ?? Close to it but on the other side of the road was a thirties BMW coupe, not sure what exact model but something from the three series.

This was and still is the only vintage BMW I ever saw in India. It was such a heart wrenching sight to see this beautifull car slowly going into the ground.

The owner was said to have kept the car as collateral with a friend for money which was never returned. The friend recovered his money by selling the engine. The car then just lay there.

Did you see this car ?

Last edited by Rehaan : 16th June 2009 at 20:49. Reason: Quoted post edited as it was split between two threads.
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Old 27th May 2009, 09:47   #4
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An A90 identical to the one pictured was lying at a Poona workshop for a long time, in reasonably complete order, but unfinished. Some colour combo too. It didn't carry a regn. number though, so I can't say if it is the same car.
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Old 27th May 2009, 10:33   #5
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@Karl/Wasif - Can you put up photos of the Pune/Hyderabad Atlantics? Surprised to know there were multiple examples of such an oddball car in India.

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Old 27th May 2009, 10:39   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by predatorwheelz View Post
@Karl/Wasif - Can you put up photos of the Pune/Hyderabad Atlantics? Surprised to know there were multiple examples of such an oddball car in India.
Unfortunately no pictures of the Pune cabrio. I do have this picture of a Citroen DS that was at the garage at the time, the Austin is barely visible in the back.
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Old 27th May 2009, 11:39   #7
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There were actually two Atlantics now come to think of it in Hyderabad. One was green and the other was off white.

The roof was a funny mesh type like a chicken coup which was then covered with vinyl to get the american car look.

I should have pictures of this car in my picture collection in Hyderabad. will try to retrieve as many as possible and get them scanned for future posting.

Last edited by wasif : 27th May 2009 at 11:41.
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Old 29th May 2009, 22:32   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wasif View Post
Spot on Harit.

That Atlantic in Hyd was a charming car with that small little beehive in the front grill that made looking into the engine bay an adventure in itself.

Did the car get saved ???

Do you remember the location where it lay ?? Close to it but on the other side of the road was a thirties BMW coupe, not sure what exact model but something from the three series.

This was and still is the only vintage BMW I ever saw in India. It was such a heart wrenching sight to see this beautifull car slowly going into the ground.

The owner was said to have kept the car as collateral with a friend for money which was never returned. The friend recovered his money by selling the engine. The car then just lay there.

Did you see this car ?
Hi Wasif, refer to your older post which somehow got burried. When you leave a post to attend to for later, it gets burried.
If I remember right, two Atlantic's were in Hyd, one convertible and one sedan. The sedan had this mesh on the roof covered with vynil, this was also seen on 1946 and around Riley's.
The second convertible was in Mumbai, on Nepean Sea Road. I used to see her regularly between 1968 when we shifted there till around 1972 or so. This was red with a black top. She was lying outside Jyoti building.

The BMW, yes I saw the pic. This was, if I remember white and a sedan. All the trim was removed. I never saw any cars in Hyderabad personally except Captains home and photographs. I have my friends walking around and taking pics. This was the only BMW vintage I have seen other than the BMW-Fraser Nash.

For Pedrator, BTW these 108/109 Merc had the spotlights as a common accessory. These were normally Bosch, and often holes were drilled into the bumper to fit.

Cheers harit
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Old 29th May 2009, 23:05   #9
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Harit.

The BMW I am refering to was so rusted couldn't tell the colour but was probably pale blue. This car was burried upto the doors in the ground and it was missing its engine and a couple of rims.

This means counting the white car you mentioned there were two vintage BMW cars in Hyd.

Thats awsome and sad at the same time that such important cars could be so badly neglected.
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Old 13th June 2009, 15:02   #10
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I came across these 2 photos of a white Atlantic, courtesy xoticars. I have no details where or which car this is.
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Old 13th June 2009, 15:16   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karlosdeville View Post
I came across these 2 photos of a white Atlantic, courtesy xoticars. I have no details where or which car this is.
Probably the Hyderabad car, can Wasif or DKG confirm? And do you recognise the place?

Cheers harit
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Old 13th June 2009, 17:37   #12
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A local dealer who was originally based in Madras told me that his father had an Atlantic in the 70s/early 80s, which he sold for 6000/-

No idea about the regn. or colour though.
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Old 14th June 2009, 10:20   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harit View Post
Probably the Hyderabad car, can Wasif or DKG confirm? And do you recognise the place?

Cheers harit
Could be the Hyd car, not sure though. It used to be parked in a workshop in teh lane going to Skyline / Sterling theaters. The wall behind the cars looks exactly as it was in this garage.

The other , hardtop was lying out in the open though.
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Old 16th June 2009, 17:55   #14
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Default Its raining Atlantics!

Quote:
Originally Posted by karlosdeville View Post
I came across these 2 photos of a white Atlantic, courtesy xoticars. I have no details where or which car this is.
As for white Atlantics, I am surprised to know that there was a white A90 Atlantic in Dhanbad sometime in the 1960s! (The source of info is the same friend's dad who owned an A40 Devon.) Apparently the Atlantic owner was a good friend of his, and he claims to have a pic of himself driving the car! Naysayers, please hold your horses until I manage to post the pic!

(Useless banter) - Great! So out of 7981 Atlantics produced, taking out 350 sold in the US, we've managed to trace about 6 in India. Now for the remaining 7625!

Last edited by predatorwheelz : 16th June 2009 at 17:56. Reason: Couldnt resist some useless banter!
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Old 17th June 2009, 01:19   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by predatorwheelz View Post
As for white Atlantics, I am surprised to know that there was a white A90 Atlantic in Dhanbad sometime in the 1960s! (The source of info is the same friend's dad who owned an A40 Devon.) Apparently the Atlantic owner was a good friend of his, and he claims to have a pic of himself driving the car! Naysayers, please hold your horses until I manage to post the pic!

(Useless banter) - Great! So out of 7981 Atlantics produced, taking out 350 sold in the US, we've managed to trace about 6 in India. Now for the remaining 7625!
remaining 7625 in India? Again just kidding.

But I would not say that there are/were 6 Atlantics in India. We do not know how these cars migrated within India. Absolutely sure is one convertible and one hard top. Perhaps a second convertible. Now we have to get the registration number of the white one. There may have been a car in Dhanbad, try to get more details.
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