A CHEEKY CHAPPY
Classics Monthly|February 2020
The Austin A30 and later A35 are tiny by today's standards, but back in the 1950s they were everyday transport for many a family. With all the charm of a puppy they had a tendency to worm their way into owners' affections, and Ray Lewis' lovely 1957 example is no exception to this rule.
SIMON GOLDSWORTHY

This Spruce Green Austin A35 two-door Deluxe was built on 19th November 1957, and sold new by Aberdeen Motors Ltd on 17th March, 1958. The current owner is Ray Lewis, and he has traced much of its history from new. The first owner was Alexander Johnston, and he sold it to his nephew Peter in the mid-1970s. It then passed to Peter's daughter Janet and her husband Donald in 1987. At this stage the car required some restoration, but nothing too extensive – the front panel needed some new metal and a touch of paint, plus both sills were replaced.

This work was done over a couple of years, and the car was MoT'd and back on the road in July 1990. Janet and Donald then used it for local rallies, but didn't add much to the minimal mileage – it was recorded at 10,388 for the MoT in July 1990, and it still only had 10,743 on the clock when it was MoT'd in September 2002! By this time it had been sold out of the family in March 2002, and then passed through a few more hands before Ray bought it in January 2016, by which time the mileage had only crept up to 16,000.

It has yet to click over 20,000 miles, and that shows in just how fresh and original everything looks. The faces and needles on the gauges look like new, and very little has been changed or added. The Rexine interior trim is original and in perfect condition, the dash has not had any holes made for extra dials or switches, it still uses the original key and the engine and gearbox are the ones it came with from Longbridge. Carpet has been fitted instead of the rubber mats and the original headlining has been painted at some point, but the only other changes are sensible and discreet tweaks such as a 1¼in SU carburettor, windscreen washers that were fitted early in the car's life, a taller-geared differential from a Morris 1000 and radial ply tyres instead of crossplies, all changes that were made before Ray's ownership.

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