Austin 8 Convertable – lot 0114
- No Reserve
- Buyer’s premium 16.5 % of the hammer price
- Location: Ambt Delden, The Netherlands
- Estimated Price: €25,000 – €30,000
- Brochure: 0114 T&T Austin 8 Tourer Rev 3.0
1939 Austin 8 Tourer
A very nice and extraordinarily special vehicle with special history and recently fully serviced
This Austin 8 Tourer, original delivered as a civil convertible is a is a very nice car with ditto history.
Something you rarely come across! Only a few survivors left word wide.
However, it is an older restoration it is recently fully serviced and in good running condition. Starts on the button!
It is delivered 3 days prior to the outbreak of WW-2. It had several owners after WW-2 including a Brunei airline pilot and a sheep farmer from New Zealand.
Current Markings: Northumberland 50th Infantry Division
For the rest: photos and description speak for themselves; WHAT A TREASURE!
Older restoration, but recently fully serviced and in good running condition. Starts on the button!
Development during WW-II
At the outbreak of the Second World War, all types of British military vehicles were in short supply. Many private and commercial vehicles had to be impressed into military service. In fact, in the first year of the war there were more impressed vehicles in military service than custom designed examples.
The first phase of customizing vehicles was to adapt civilian and commercial designs for military use. Along with the four light utilities from Austin, Hillman, Morris and Standard, the Austin 8 Tourer was an early example of this practice, although in the latter case the adaptations were few. The Austin Seven open tourer was acquired by the British Army in small batches throughout the 1930s. Based on the overall success of the seventeen-year history of the Austin Seven, the pioneer of this classic design, Lord (Herbert) Austin announced the launch of its successor, the Austin Eight in February 1939. Leonard Lord had been brought in as works manager from rivals Morris to turn around Austin’s fortunes and take charge of this and other new model launches.
The Eight was to be produced as a two- and four-door saloon, tourer and light van.
At the opening of the Berlin Motor Show on 17 February 1939, the Austin stand was minus any example of the Eight. The visiting German Chancellor, one Adolf Hitler, viewed the Austin stand and asked, “what have you done with the Seven?” Hitler’s first car had apparently been an early example of the Austin Seven!
On the release date for the Eight, 24 February, three examples were placed on display.
The Tourer was produced in two-seat and four-seat configurations, costing £132.10s and £135, respectively. As early as April 1939, the first contract for the Military Tourer was made, albeit only for a single vehicle. Interestingly this contract, DDS 1238, was not just for a single Austin, but also an equivalent from Morris. The purchase price for the Austin was for £132.10s and its recipient was for the commanding officer of MEE. Our sources tell us this may have been the Mechanization Experimental Establishment in Australia.
Once WD contracts were placed for multiple vehicles, the purchase price dropped. Contract V3621shows this figure to be £122. The first proper contract was dated 16 September 1939 and identified as V3621 for 2,800 vehicles. Five further contracts followed concluding with V3996 for 148 vehicles, dated 19 June 1940. See separate panel on the next page for WD contracts in full. No further tourers would be produced for the civilian sector either, despite the saloon going back into production after the war. Therefore, even before the Battle of Britain commenced, the Military Tourer was no longer being made. Around 9,500 cars were produced for light communication and liaison work (the exact number varies from source to source). In most cases, they were supplied to the Royal Army Service
Corps. The other initial recipient was the Royal Army Ordnance Corps.
The cars were usually driven in convoy by ATS ladies from the Longbridge factory directly to their units or, if not needed urgently, to RASC Receiving Depots or RAOC Vehicle Reserve Depots. Amongst many vehicle delivered by ATS drivers, and other army circles, the Tourers tended to be disrespectfully referred to as ‘fleas’.
Once received, the ATS would be responsible for all aspects of vehicle maintenance and preparation prior to being delivered to their receiving units. This could also include painting in camouflage and markings. We have little detail on record of those receiving units. We do know that all manner of recipients would have been allocated them as diverse as the 2 I/C of 117th Field Regiment of the Royal Artillery, the 1st Battalion of the Northumberland Fusiliers, and the Home Guard. In the latter case, the Home Guard would have received the Eight in the mid- to late-war years owing to, by then, its perceived obsolescence.
The Home Guard was well accustomed to using older and experimental equipment rejected by the regular army. We also know from photographs that the Tourer served in North Africa and in Malta painted in the distinctive stone wall camouflage.
Tourer in German Service
Strangely, we seem to know more about the Tourer in captured use thanks to several photographs of German units at the wheel, presumably captured in France and Belgium including the withdrawal from Dunkirk.
These included the 227th Infantry Division, 162nd Infantry Regiment of the 61st Infantry Division, 1st Panzer Division, Engineer Battalion 18 and the Luftwaffe.
One such example with snow chains on its rear wheels suggests it might have served on the Eastern Front according to the photograph caption. By comparison, the Tilly Register archive has relatively few confirmed photographs of the four light utilities in enemy hands, although they certainly were used as such.
The Military Tourer differed in subtle ways to its civilian cousin. The fold-down windscreen was, however, present on both civilian and military variants. The most notable change for the Military Tourer were the engine compartment side vents. There were two vertical gill-like vents on the 8AP (the Austin Tilly had three similar vents), whilst a horizontal trim was present on the civilian version. Other military features included the khaki canvas hood in place of the black ‘leatherette‘ civilian version. All Military Tourers were two-seaters, utilizing the rear luggage carrying space to better effect.
Those of you that might have seen the classic Dad’s Army episode ‘The Making of Private Pike’, will remember this was clearly a four-seat example. This particular vehicle is a genuine military one, obviously given its rear seat after entering civilian life.
The same vehicle appeared in The Eagle Has Landed. The larger civilian headlamps were retained, like the early Austin Tilly’s.
Sidelights or headlights were embossed with WD markings on the chrome bezel.
Notably, unlike the four Tillys, the Austin 8AP’s electrics are 6-volt. As with the Tilly, but more so, the Jeep took over the Tourer’s duties as they became available. After military service, many Tourers were offered to invalided ex-army personnel re-entering civilian life. One example was EVJ 111, today owned by Keith Monk from Shropshire, but previously in the private ownership of a retired Major Hooper from Leominster. Similarly MHX 284, recently owned by John Guppy and now in the hands of Brent Hamer from Holland, was once owned by an ex-army Captain, Alan Sanders, who bought the vehicle at a disposal sale in 1946. So emotionally attached to it even after selling the vehicle on, Captain Sanders’ family tracked the vehicle down through the DVLA. He died soon after, happy that his former little car was being well looked after.
There are anly around thirty known survivors of the military version, in the UK, Europe and one in Egypt.
They are relatively well represented in museums in England.
Strangely enough, most are housed in East Anglian sites. The Dad’s Army example KHT 568 is currently to be seen at The Dad’s Army Collection within the Bressingham Steam Museum, but is owned by Roger Miles of Warwickshire, and the East Anglia Transport Museum at Carlton Colville houses MMX 979 in civilian guise. Outside the region, Tony Oliver’s History on Wheels Museum at Eton Wick has MFC 664 on display.
This Austin 8 is originally delivered as a civil car and not an original Military Tourer.
If it was active in WW-II for the Military is unknown.
Due to the severe shortage of material during the outbreak of WW-II it might be used for this application.
There was a shortage of everything. As the car cannot speak we will never know.
It is currently executed as a military tourer as a tribute to as well the British Industry as all Allied troops.
It is without any doubt a very nice car which is representative for the way of transporting officers and troops in the early days of the war.
Without taking its WW-II period into account it also has a very nice history.
With many thanks to the Austin Eight register (https://www.austin-eight.com/), we like to give you a short overview of its beautiful story.
It was first registered on 29-8-1939 in the UK under licence number DOT 724.
This registration remains on the car until 2018!
August 29th 1939 was only 3 days before the outbreak of World War Two.
On September 1, 1939, Germany invaded Poland with all its consequences!
The Austin with chassis number AP 010897 and engine number 1A 43243 was originally delivered in a black body color with bleu trim.
It had more than 12 owners including a Brunei airline pilot and a sheep farmer from New Zealand.
However, the detailed history of the first 20 years is unknown below some interesting fragments of her history after 1960.
Names are partially displayed due to privacy regulations but fully known to the register.
Silvia S., contacted the register in 2021, mentioning she owned DOT 724 in the past and did send an image of the car 1966.
Silvia is now living in Florida USA. With lovely memories of DOT, she just wrote this!
“Just to fill in a little history I know of DOT 724 between 1960 and 1968
I first rode in DOT when she belonged to Elizabeth B.. She was a PE teacher in Wootton Bassett Wilts. I was in Grammar School in Swindon and would go play hockey on Saturdays with the ladies-club.
Buffy moved to Aylesbury, but we stayed friends. I went to Birmingham University the same year Buffy emigrated to New Zealand.
It was my second year and Buffy said I was welcome to have DOT.
DOT had been left in a barn, with the chickens at her brother’s house.
Yes!! He was the airline pilot! Our family arranged to pick up the car and pay the £5 MOT. DOT came with a few spare parts including a starter motor and an engine. Over the summer of 1966, my dad painted her blue, replaced the carpet and the interior panels so she was ready for Birmingham in the fall.
We were together for only 2 years! In 1968 I got a position at Edinburgh University in the Physical Recreation Dept. My parents did not want me trying to drive in Scotland with DOT or be driving back and forth to Swindon.
In the summer of 1968, I was a summer camp counselor in Maine USA.
When I returned, my Mum had sold DOT to a friend of ours Angela R. The strangest this goes was that this family had bought the house in Wootton Basset that my friend B. had lived in. DOT returned home for a while anyway!!
Some years later, mid 80s I think, a now different owner wrote to my home in Swindon requesting information about her history.
There was a photo of DOT, but I have a feeling she was painted brown.
She was shown as a wedding car! Anyway, I sent my special momento of DOT… the original flat key on a ring that had her registration number on it.
Alas, I never heard back. … that is the last I heard of DOT until my sister who lives in Exmouth found a photo of her advertising spare parts for antique cars!
They say you never forget your first car… oh so true.
My friend B. is still alive, she was the sheep farmer.
I will share the information you sent with her! I am living in Florida. Spent my life working with college students teaching outdoor skills and now run a kayak club for seniors….appropriately named YOLO Adventure Club…. You Only Live Once!
I am so grateful DOT was part of my history!”
Thought to be only one of twelve remaining survivors, this Eight Tourer was the subject of a restoration in the 1990s. After completion it was purchased by a lady owner in 1998, since which time further important work has been carried out.
Needless to say, that such a pretty Austin, affectionately known as ‘Dotty’ (DOT as registration!) has featured in several magazines and newspapers and has participated in classic rallies both in the UK and in Bergerac, France.
In 2013 the car was sold on an Auction to a UK owner.
He used it until 2018 when it was sold to France. Unfortunately her original registration (DOT 724) changed to the French registration number FE-254-GQ.
In this period, it also changed colour from black into the WW-II military version.
In this execution it was taking part of the 75th Anniversary of D-Day in Normandy France in 2019!
Later that year it was sold to a collector in The Netherlands.
By the end of 2020 the DOT arrived in The Netherlands.
There it was registered under licence number DZ-80-91.
On March 1st, 2021, it was bought by its current owner.
Since them the brakes totally renewed; electrics rewired and the vehicle is fully serviced, and all loose ends tied up.
A beautiful tribute to a great history!
Car 2-seater 4 x 2 (Austin 8 HP Tourer)
The Austin Motor Company Limited, United Kingdom
13 ½ CWT (685 kg 1,512 Ib.)
Austin Eight 4-cylinder, I-L-W-F gasoline engine, side-valve, liquid-cooled
Compression ratio: 6.5 : 1
4-speed manual, 1 reserve
Semi-elliptic leaf springs with hydraulic dampers
Tire size: 4,50 x 17
Max. speed: 59 mph (95 km/h)
Halfway to full unitary construction. Main member was a pressed steel floor pan with a box section welded down each side of the car with three others going across the floor. The body was then bolted to this structure.
Length: 149 in (3,785 mm)
Height: 64 in (1,625 mm)
Wheelbase: 88 in (2,235 mm)
Since this vehicle will be delivered without armament basically no specific permits are required.
However, in / export regulations will be applicable.
Austin 8 Handbook
Austin 8 Service manual
Date of Delivery:
August 29th 1939
Dutch Road Registered (DZ-80-91)
Included in the delivery
Location: & Collection
Current location of this object is Ambt Delden, The Netherlands.
Local collection is available for this lot. Depending on the destination the Buyer shall obtain an International Import Certificate / End User Certificate. Some of the items listed in the auction may require special licenses or permits.
Please email [email protected] if you have any questions or concerns.
No item will be allowed to be collected without 100% of all legal requirements being fulfilled.
Margin / VAT
This object is offered by Tracks & Trade pursuant to consignment sale on behalf of a private individual. Therefore, the margin scheme will be applicable, so no sales tax (VAT) over the hammer price will be applicable. For more info see General Conditions of Sale Article 9.
Inspections are open on Friday June 17th and June 24th 2022 but are conducted (if applicable) in Covid -19 safe conditions:
- Inspections will be strictly maximum 1 hour long escorted inspections,
- Maximum of 3 customers per escorted tour,
- Customers must book in prior to inspection,
- Inspection times are 9am 10am 11am 1pm 2pm 3pm 4pm,
- Please note that these inspections might be performed at several locations,
- Inspections for a longer period or outside these hours can be organized for a refundable fee. (Refundable off purchase price of Auction lot).
To make a booking please reply to [email protected] at least 48 hours before the inspection with the following details:
Full Name(s) and contact details and phone number of the people that are coming to inspect. The LOT number(s) and Auction Name that you wish to inspect (items are stored on several locations, and we will need to retrieve them prior to your arrival).
Parts, accessories, and militaria
The batches of spare parts and various accessories are sold as is, stored in the best conditions and without any guarantee of functioning.
Cars and motorcycles, trucks, cannons, and armored vehicles are sold in as is condition , with or without registration.
Parts, accessories, and militaria
The collection of the lots, subject to payment, starting Monday July 11th 2022 by appointment only.
Vehicles can be picked up, subject to payment, starting Monday July 11th 2022 by appointment only.
Handling costs for the removal of the vehicles will, when applicable, be applied at cost.
Arms & weapons
The Auction House will not supply ANY item unless the correct paperwork and licensing – if needed – have supplied in full.
If required and applicable (fire)arms can be made inoperable or permanently disabled by BAIV in The Netherlands as being a licensed Arms & Weapons Dealer Registration Nr. NL20191618779. In this case all relevant cost will be charged to the Buyer in addition and have to be paid in advance in full. Collection by appointment only!
Delivery and Storage
Removal of lots must be completed by Saturday August 6th 2022 after full payment and 100% coverage of all legal requirements.
No storage fees will be applicable until that date.
Lots not picked up by Buyers before Saturday August 6th 2022 will be returned to secure storage at Buyer’s expense. In this case storage fees will be applied as follows :
- Parts & accessories: € 25,- / lot / week
- Cars and motorcycles: € 50,- / lot / week
- Armored vehicles, tanks, cannons etc. € 75,- / lot / week
Storage fees are excluding VAT.
General Conditions of Sale
General Conditions of Sale Version 2.0 dated 29-04-2022 are applicable
Bids on internet
The live auction will be broadcast on: www.aution.tracksandtrade.com
- Register for the auction (log in or create an account)
- Bid live.
Please use a computer to follow the live auction!
If any item listed causes offence, or is not correctly or incompletely described, please advise us immediately and we will address your concerns.
Please note this auction date may change due to unforeseen circumstances.
Nigel Hay FR
MV Historian, Editor Milweb.net , Long term contributor to Classic Military Vehicle Magazine and Market Watcher a.o..
This is a rare opportunity to buy an Austin Eight Tourer.
It was made in 1939 and was first registered only 3 days before the outbreak of World War Two.On September 1, 1939, Germany invaded Poland.
The car is an older restoration but recently fully serviced including brakes and renewal of the entire wiring. A very special vehicle that, compared to the many jeeps, absolutely steals the show at every MV event.
Please note this car is a militarised civilian model, not a genuine Military Tourer, hence the price. However, it might be used by the Army already in WW-II as many civilian vehicles have been used for army purposes in these days..