The Beginning    

     Pre World War 1

     The War Years   

The following pages are a transcript from the "AUSTIN - 50 years of car progress" booklet. It was published by The Austin Motor Company Limited in 1955 and is Publication No. 1235.

     Between the Wars

     World War 2

     Post War

     Facts & Figures


Immediately upon the outbreak of war, the change-over from peace-time to war-time production began. The same machines and hands that a short time back had turned out highly finished cars, took in their stride the production of a whole miscellany of intricate parts for the nation's war machine. The variety and quantities of articles produced were staggering. Over one-and-a-quarter million rounds of 2, 6 and 17 pounder armour-piercing ammunition and twice as many ammunition boxes.

Over half-a-million jerricans, nearly as many steel service helmets, and almost as many assemblies of one sort or another for mines and depth charges. A hundred thousand bogey suspension and driving gear units for Churchill tanks was considered almost a side-line.

And all this against a steady output of wheeled vehicles of various types to a total of over thirty-six thousand.

The shadow factory at Cofton Hackett, which started production with Fairey Battle light bombers and Mercury and Pegasus aero engines, ended by turning out Lancaster four engined heavy bombers. The latter were too big to be flown from the Longbridge flying ground and so they were assembled elsewhere, as were the Stirling bombers which preceded them. Nearly three thousand of these aircraft, along with Hurricane fighters, were ultimately produced, in addition to aero engines, Horsa Glider, Beaufighter and Miles Master fuselages.

Britain at war with Germany 

1940 W.D. Austin 8 hp Tourer 

Austin R.A.F. Wireless Truck


Hawker Hurricane

Avro Lancaster

Fairey Battle

Lord Austin died on May 23rd, 1941, after a short illness. He was succeeded by E. L. Payton, who retired four years later on November 28th, 1945, whereupon L. P. Lord became Chairman and Managing Director.


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