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Thread: Austin A40 Farina (ADO44) 1958-1967

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    Austin A40 Farina (ADO44) 1958-1967

    The Austin A40 Farina was a compact car introduced by the British Motor Corporation in saloon (1958) and Countryman (1959) versions. Although usually referred to as the A40 Farina, to distinguish it from previous A40 models, it was badged simply as the Austin A40. Unusually for BMC at the time, the body shape was only sold as an Austin, with no other marque names being used to badge-engineer it.

    Mark I

    Presented as a Saloon at the London Motor Show in October 1958,[10] the A40 Farina was intended to replace the Austin A35, from which it inherited much of its running gear, and was a capacious thoroughly modern small car, with a brand new distinctive 'two box' shape and headroom in the back seat. It was a saloon, the lower rear panel dropped like a then conventional bootlid, the rear window remaining fixed.

    The Countryman hatchback appeared exactly a year later in October 1959, and differed from the saloon in that the rear window was marginally smaller, to allow for a frame that could be lifted up, with its own support, while the lower panel was now flush with the floor and its hinges had been strengthened. It was a very small estate car with a horizontally split tailgate having a top-hinged upper door and bottom-hinged lower door. October 1959 also saw the standardisation on both cars of self-cancelling indicators and the provision of a centre interior light and, in early summer 1960, a flat lid was added over the spare wheel in the rear luggage compartment.

    At launch the car shared the 948 cc A-Series straight-4 used in other Austins including its A35 predecessor. The suspension was independent at the front using coil springs with a live axle and semi elliptic leaf springs at the rear. The drum brakes were a hybrid (hydromech) arrangement, hydraulically operated at the front but cable actuated at the rear.The front drums at 8 in (200 mm) were slightly larger than the 7 in (180 mm) rears. Cam and peg steering was fitted.

    Individual seats were fitted in the front, with a bench at the rear that could fold down to increase luggage capacity. The trim material was a vinyl treated fabric. Options included a heater, radio, windscreen washers and white wall tyres. The gearchange lever was floor mounted and the handbrake between the seats. The door windows were not opened by conventional winders but pulled up and down using finger grips, a window lock position was on the door handle.

    A de-luxe version tested by the British magazine The Motor in 1958 had a top speed of 66.8 mph (107.5 km/h) and could accelerate from 0-50 mph (80 km/h) in 19.5 seconds. A fuel consumption of 38 miles per imperial gallon (7.4 L/100 km; 32 mpg-US) was recorded. The test car cost 689 including taxes of 230.

    Mark II

    An A40 Farina Mark II was introduced in 1961. It had a 3.5 in (89 mm) longer wheelbase to increase the space for passengers in the back seats, and the front grille and dashboard were redesigned. The Mark II had more power (37 hp/28 kW) and an SU replaced the previous Zenith carburettor but was otherwise similar mechanically. An anti-roll bar was fitted at the front. The 948 cc engine was replaced in the autumn of 1962 by a larger 1098 cc version with an output of 48 bhp. The A40 shared this engine with the Morris Minor, which was also rear-wheel drive - both models retaining the traditional north-south engine layout - and also with the recently introduced front-wheel drive, transverse-engined Morris 1100. An improved gearbox was fitted to the A40 at the same time.

    Further changes were minimal. However, in 1964 a new fascia with imitation wood veneer covering was fitted. This version of the model remained in production through to 1967. The brakes also became fully hydraulic, replacing the semi cable operated rear system that the Mark I had inherited from the A35.[3] Nevertheless, the introduction at the end of 1962 of the similarly sized Morris 1100, followed by an Austin badged counterpart a year later, left the A40 looking cramped on the inside and outclassed in terms of road holding and ride; sales of the A40 Mark II progressed at a slower rate than had been achieved by the Mark I.

    A Mark II was tested by The Motor in 1962. The updated version had a higher top speed of 75.2 mph (121.0 km/h) and faster acceleration from 050 mph (80 km/h) of 17.4 seconds. The fuel consumption at 36.5 miles per imperial gallon (7.74 L/100 km; 30.4 mpg-US) was slightly higher. The car cost 693 including taxes of 218.

    Source: wikipedia.org
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