The American Austin Car Company was an attempt to popularize the European idea of an economy car for America. In 1929, buoyed by the success of the tiny Austin 7 in Europe, Sir Herbert Austin of the Austin Motor Company of Birmingham, England traveled to America with plans to license out production.
This amphibious car was designed by Hans Trippel. It has a unibody steel two-door cabriolet body with electrically-welded joints and is powered by an 1147cc Triumph Herald engine mounted at the rear and driving the rear wheels. Two propellers are activated for propulsion when the car is in the water.
The Austin Mini Moke (British slang for “donkey”) began production in 1964. It was designed as a four-wheel-drive jeep-like utility vehicle for the British army. Although it was rejected by the military because of its low ground clearance, a two-wheel drive version became popular around the world as an inexpensive “fun” vehicle ideal for hot climates.
The Austin Mini Reptune GT Gullwing is a body kit designed for the Austin Mini, and the brainchild of British-born designer Dennis Prophet. He was responsible for the import of the Austin-Healey 3000 and its racing activities but soon started his own business in Scarborough, Ontario called Reputation Tuning Services, or Reptune.
In the mid 1960s, Austin decided to produce the Mini in South America. Knowing the production volumes would not be large, they could not afford to make another set of stamping dies for another factory.
Known affectionately as the “Bugeye” in the US and “Frog-Eye” in the UK, the Mark I Austin-Healey Sprite was an entry level British sports car introduced in 1958. Designers Donald Healey and Leonard Lord saw a chance to fill a gap in the market below the larger and more expensive MGA.