Beautiful professional build of a rare Austin panel delivery. 350 Chevy, TH350 transmission, A/C, power leather seats, tilt, stereo, back-up camera. Magazine feature car, too! Drives great, ready to enjoy!
The paint is a late-model VW color called Techno Blue, and it looks fantastic on the Austin’s dramatic bodywork. The truck was built by Hugh Brooks of Rods by Brooks in Guelph, Ontario, Canada and the bodywork was probably not this good when it was new, with great gaps, even panel fit, and even those gigantic side panels are laser-straight and distortion-free. The paint is two-stage urethane, so it has a deep gloss and fantastic durability, perfect for a truck you’re going to want to drive regularly. All the Austin’s original brightwork was retain, save for the bumpers, which have been replaced by a neat custom-made valence in front and a roll pan in back with a pair of LED taillights. Even the original semaphores (that’s British for “turn signal”) pop out of their housings behind the front doors and light up while they do it. Too cool! Of course, the chrome remains in excellent shape, from the grille—which resembles an International grille from the same period—to the neat little peep mirrors perched atop the doors.
Don’t let the Austin’s diminutive size fool you, the interior is comfortable for two and will carry plenty of gear without any problems. Tastefully upholstered in tan leather and tweed, it has a contemporary look that retains a lot of the Austin’s original charm. Those are late-model power bucket seats that make it easy to get comfortable and dig the “Flying A” armrests on the doors, sculpted to match the hood ornament out front. A modern tilt column is topped by a color-matched steering wheel and new aluminum gauge panels were fabricated to replace the originals. There’s also a Vintage Air A/C system that’s very effective and fully functional, a Lokar aluminum shifter for the TH350 3-speed automatic transmission, and a Pioneer AM/FM/CD stereo system that sounds great in the well-insulated cab. Living in its own housing above the windshield is a trick rear-view camera screen, which is a useful tool in the panel delivery, which obviously has some blind spots. In back, you have a cavernous cargo bay upholstered in matching tan carpets, tweed side panels (again with the Flying A insignia), and a custom headliner overhead. There are several neatly concealed storage bins in the walls, including one that provides access to the fuse panel. Oh, and there’s a CD changer back there, making this Austin ideal for long road trips.
A rebuilt Chevy 350 cubic inch powerplant makes for entertaining performance in the flyweight Austin. There’s a Carter AFB carburetor up top, a modest cam inside, and an Edelbrock intake manifold. A big radiator up front is cooled by an electric fan and all the accessories are chrome. Ceramic-coated headers hug the block and dump into a great-sounding stainless steel exhaust system that dumps just ahead of the rear wheels—the sound is definitely V8 but never obnoxious. It’s also well sorted, so it starts quickly and easily, idles well, and never gets fussy. We’ve had it idling for 20 minutes in the midday heat and it never gets hot or cranky, and for a hand-built machine, it works shockingly well. Get in, turn the key, and drive it anywhere. That’s the promise of most hot rods, but not many live up to the promise as well as this fantastic little van.
Underneath, you get a fully reinforced chassis with boxed side rails, custom cross-members, and all the features you want in a car you’re actually going to drive. The front suspension is a Heidt’s independent setup with polished A-arms and coil-over shocks, plus rack-and-pinion steering that’s both more precise and easier to maneuver than the original setup. The transmission is the aforementioned TH350 3-speed automatic, which feeds a custom fitted Ford 9-inch with 3.50 gears inside, all hanging on a 4-link with adjustable coil-over shocks. Everything under the car has also been painted to match, including the rear axle, driveshaft, frame, and even the brake backing plates in back, and it still has a sparkling look that suggests not too many miles since it was finished. Finally, it sits on totally appropriate Weld Racing “Rod Lite” wheels and 135SR15 Michelin skinnies in front and 295/50/15 meats in back.
This Austin is way cooler than you expect, so if you like the look, you’re going to be thrilled when it lands in your driveway. This is a fantastic way to become the star of the show anywhere you go. Call now!
For more details and photos, please visit www.HarwoodMotors.com