Project 16 – 1969 Austin America

Since finding out my father owned one of these back in the 60s to spare his E-type from the Montreal winters, I’ve had a hankering to pick up one of these innovative and sporty family cars. When Mini Mania was in Milpitas, and I worked down near there, I had the opportunity to test drive a functional car that was for sale for $1400. At the time, the car was just as sharp as the Mini Moke my parents had rented a couple of years earlier while we were on vacation, but I ultimately decided against buying it since my Spider was still busy draining any car funds I had. The great thing about this car is, you can have some of the style and handling of the Mini, but at a far more attainable price.

Speaking of price, here’s an example in Oklahoma City for $2900. Given the questionable status of the engine, a cash offer might net you this for something lower than asking, but as an indoor-stored dry-state car, it has good potential. It also appears to be very complete, right down to the hubcaps and all the trim.

1969 Austin America front

Check out this video to see how capable these are:

Needless to say, this car is not in that condition. But it has the more desirable manual transmission, and the off-white color looks great on older English cars. Give that hydrolastic suspension some attention and you’ll be showing the twisties who’s boss in no time.

1969 Austin America rear

The back end also looks clean, with panel fit that’s correct for a British car of that period. Check for any crash damage, but it’s likely just the way it is. Is that a Melee sticker in the rear passenger window? This would be a fun, comfortable ride for an event like that.

1969 Austin America interior

Look at those sumptuous naugahyde covered arm chairs. The steering wheel position is a little funny, positioned more like that of a bus, but so it is in the Mini as well. If you’re lucky, a bit of vacuuming and tidying is all you need here.

1969 Austin America engine

Engine compartment is not terribly clean, but hey, it’s a 40-year-old car. The US-market cars sported a 1275cc A-series engine with 60bhp, but if you’re looking for more power, it’s readily available, as this engine was used in many sportier cars. Since it shared a fair amount with the Mini, tune-up and drivetrain parts should be easy to get. So break out yer negotiatin’ skills and git yerself down to OKC for some supersized Mini fun!


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2 Responses to “Project 16 – 1969 Austin America”

  1. Roger Says:

    I think $2900 is all the money in the world for this car. If it were me, I’d start by offering $1000 (if you’re feeling generous) and see what happens! They come and go on CL up here in the soggy NW, and they always start up around this price and are still there a year later, closer to three figures. There was a very nice looking one recently for $1700 (automatic, mind).

    They’re neat cars but not worth a bundle.

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