Austin A40 Sports
This is an unusual car in that it was in the late 1940s that the design was first looked at. Jensen Motor Co. of West Bromwich was looking for engines to power its Interceptor range, Austin's Chairman Leonard Lord was approached on supplying the 4 litre 'D' series. On viewing the Interceptor, he was impressed by its styling, so decided to ask Jensen to design a body that could use the A40 Devon mechanical components.
After various styling exercises the A40 Sports was announced to the public at the 1950s Motor Show. Although called a Sports car it took the form of a four seater coupe. Power was from an up-rated engine giving 50 hp an increase of 25% over the saloon by using twin SU carburettors and modified cylinder head.
Although starting off with a centre gear change, this was changed to the steering column, to bring it in line with the saloon in autumn 1951.
The bodies were built by Jensen and transported to Longbridge to have the mechanical parts fitted.
A new strengthened chassis was designed to take the aluminium Sports body
Jensen publicity picture showing completed cars outside the Jensen Works
It was hoped that the car
would find favour in export market, but in reality it did not
succeed. To try and improve sales, Alan Hess the PR chief took in
1951 a A40 Sports round the world (a large part of the journey been
spent in an aircraft) and ending back in London at the Festival of
It covered approximately 10,000 land miles at an average of 440 miles per day over the three weeks, at an average fuel consumption of 29 mpg.
A40 Sports at the Festival of Britain
Reasonable Boot Space
Date when launched 1950
Discontinued in 1953
Total produced 4,011
1200 cc 50 bhp at 5,000 rpm Max torque 61lbs/ft at 3,000 rpm
Length 13ft 3.3ins Width 5ft 1ins Height 4ft 9ins
Wheelbase 7ft 8.5ins Track front 4ft 0.5ins rear 4ft 1.5ins
Price ex Works
May 1951 £818 . . . May 1952 £913
May 1953 £831 Note the price reduction