JoeyM HalfDork
5/15/10 9:54 p.m.

the daily mail said: Rare Austin which stood in garage for 50 years discovered... and starts first time! It may have been built during the dark days of the 1929 Wall Street Crash, but back then the British knew how to make cars that lasted. The tatty Austin 12/4 had been languishing in a garage for almost five decades when Roger Bulled decided to take a look at the old family jalopy. He thought after standing still for so long the rare fabric bodied motor his dad had driven since it was all shiny and new would have seized up, but how wrong he was. Still running: The functioning 1929 Austin 12/4 was last moved in 1961 The 81-year-old vehicle with just one very careful owner had not moved an inch under its own steam since his father Leslie parked her up for the last time. But in an incredible tribute to 1920s British engineering the Austin's engine turned over despite the car being off the road since 1961. Retired Roger, 63, from Metheringham, Lincolnshire, said he could not believe it when he discovered the old car - which had been locked away in his father Leslie's garage since 1973 - was still in working order. ‘I pumped up the tyres and they stayed up,’ Mr Bulled said. ‘The rubber is cracked but the inner tubes are obviously still intact, which is remarkable really. ‘And the engine turned over when we tried it with the starter handle, but I didn't try to start her up in case I did any damage but I'm sure it would go. ‘I've never seen another fabric bodied saloon, even in a museum.’ The car, which was built at the company's Longbridge factory in Birmingham, comes complete with an Austin 12 handbook, the licence belonging to its only driver, and a black and white photograph showing the car in its prime. Mr Bulled explained: ‘My grandparents bought it in 1929 for my father to drive them around in. We lived in Barnet in North London and used to go on holiday to Cornwall or Devon. ‘We used to set off very early in the morning, so I used to sleep on the floor in the back, there was no transmission tube so it was flat, and my sister laid on the back seat. ‘It had none of the safety features you get today, there was no seatbelts and it wasn't a high performance car. ‘I was taken off the road in 1961, that's the last time it was taxed and it's never had an MOT.’ Glory days: The Austin with its current owner's father Leslie Bulled Roger's father passed away in 2008 at the age of 95, but he had been driving up until 12 months before his death. The Austin 12/4 was introduced in 1921 - the second of Herbert Austin's post-First World War models. It was built right up until 1940 - the last off the production line was sent to the War Department - but fabric bodies were phased out in 1931. Mr Bulled added: ‘My dad retired when he was 62 and kept saying he was going to do it up, but he never got round to it. ‘I used to build kit cars but I was never into vintage cars, and my son was never interested either, even though he's a mechanic, but it's something we would love to see restored. ‘I'm going to the sale because I would be interested to know who buys it, hopefully someone will cherish it.’ The car is expected to attract nationwide interest when it goes under the hammer at Unique Auctions in Lincoln on April 5. Auctioneer Terry Woodcock said he was amazed when he saw the car for the first time. ‘I can't believe it is complete and standing square,’ he added. ‘The suspension hasn't even sagged. ‘I'm told six months ago they were considering putting it in a skip. But the wheels alone are worth £100 each, it's incredible. ‘Restored it will cost a fortune, but for someone it will be a labour of love, and it will be lovely because you don't see vintage cars around anymore.’ Read more:
integraguy HalfDork
5/16/10 7:17 a.m.

Sorry, but I can't believe ANY British car EVER built will sit for 24 HOURS....then start right up.

(Sorry, went back and re-read to see that it didn't start, but turned over.)

Not sure if the non-stuck motor means good engineering...or way huge tolerances in manufacturing.

DrBoost Dork
5/16/10 7:28 a.m.
integraguy wrote: Not sure if the non-stuck motor means good engineering...or way huge tolerances in manufacturing.

Yeah, I think on those cars you fill the crankcase with oil through the spark plug holes

iceracer Dork
5/16/10 11:04 a.m.

What is a fabric bodied motor ? OK, I know what he meant.

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