Launched in 1956 the Austin A35 was an upgrade of the successful Austin A30 featuring a larger rear window and a painted grill in place of the A30’s chrome item.
Two commercial vehicles based on the A35 were manufactured the extremely rare 1956 pick up, of which just 475 were built and the more successful van, seen here, which out lived all other variants being manufactured until 1968. An A35 van came to fame in 2005 after a model of a 1964 version carrying a 1953 tax disc appeared in Wallace & Gromit The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.
The name change to A35 reflected a more powerful 34 hp A series straight 4 motor which could power the compact car up to 60 mph in 3rd (top) gear, a whole 15 mph fast than the previous A30.
It is possible that champion budgerigar breeder James Simon W Hunt chose this particular vehicle as his daily driver, precisely because it’s leisurely performance would not upset his birds in transit between show’s.
After James, also a well known forthright commentator on Grand Prix motor racing, died in 1993 this van was sold at auction allegedly complete with a sprinkling of Trill in the boot and cigarette stubs in the ashtray. James old van has been in storage ever since.
James 1967 van, described as a runner in need of attention for road use, has come up for auction again at the Silverstone Classic on Saturday and is expected to fetch between £10,000 and £14,000 a price which reflects James better known career as 1976 World Grand Prix Drivers Champion.
Hope you have enjoyed today’s champion bird breeders edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres’ and that you’ll join me again tomorrow for a Miami Mice edition of Ferrari Friday. Don’t forget to come back now !