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Join the Club: Austin Counties Car Club

by Richard Dredge
11 July 2022 3 min read
Join the Club: Austin Counties Car Club
Photos: Austin Counties Car Club

When it comes to quintessential British marques, few can compete with Austin – and especially when it was in its 1950s heyday. So if you’re a classic car fan keen to celebrate that era of one of our nation’s most popular brands, you need to join the Austin Counties Car Club so that you can immerse yourself in a bygone age.

The club began in 1975 as the A40 Register, becoming The Austin Counties Car Club in 1977. By then it had expanded to cater for the ‘Counties’ cars of the forties and fifties; the A40 Dorset, Devon and Somerset, plus the A70 Hampshire and Hereford. Owners of the Austin 8, 10 and 12 of the 1930s, the Austin 16 from 1945 to 1949, plus the glamorous A90 Atlantic and the A40 Sports were welcomed too.

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Also within the club’s ranks are commercial derivatives of the A40 and A70 as well as the K8 range of commercial vehicles, so it now caters for all Austin cars and light commercials built between 1939 and 1954, which encompasses a whopping 13 model ranges in all, along with the various commercials.

Events

Join the Club: Austin Counties Car Club

The highlight of the Austin Counties Car Club year is its Annual Rally, which took place last weekend and was incorporated into the fabulous BMC & BL Rally at the British Motor Museum in Gaydon.

As with many owners’ groups, many of the events that the Austin Counties Car Club attends are bigger gatherings. The two classic car shows at the Birmingham NEC are highlights (in March and November), and on many occasions the club has scooped awards for putting on a fabulous display, often using period literature, memorabilia and clothing across the stand. Goodwood isn’t the only place that goes in for the back-in-time vibe.

Although the Austin Counties Car Club has an international membership, its regional groups are all based in the UK. These offer monthly socials, with nine taking place in England and two in Ireland (Northern and Southern).

Key initiatives

Join the Club: Austin Counties Car Club

Many members join the club for its spares scheme, which has always been impressively wide-ranging. Encompassing lots of panels, trim and mechanical items for most of the cars covered by the club, for years new and used parts have been despatched to anywhere in the world. However, the  long-standing full-time spares officer died in 2021, and recruiting a replacement was never going to be possible due to the amount of spares offered by the club.  As a result, an existing parts supplier was able to incorporate the Counties Spares into its business (Longbridge Motor Spares), whose owner has been an ACCC member since his teens. Used parts are also still offered, by another long-standing member, Graham Potts.

Other benefits

Alongside the events and parts supply, a third cornerstone of the club is its bi-monthly magazine, which is called County Counsel. A full-colour A5 publication, it’s crammed with fascinating information about Austin’s cars and dealer network, the history of Longbridge and technical articles on the various models covered by the club. Also featuring updates on cars that have been discovered and what the club is up to locally and nationally, it’s a great way for members to keep in touch with each other.

The club’s website features a sales and wanted classified section and a forum; the latter is available only to members. Also online is a selection of technical articles that will help owners tackle all sorts of jobs with their Austin, including fitting seatbelts to an A40 Somerset, replace the windscreen on an A40 Sports, or install an original Radiomobile radio to your Austin 12 or 16. Niche stuff for sure, but where else will you find such expertise?

Need to know

Founded: 1975
Current membership: 700
Membership fees: £28pa
Publications: Bi-monthly magazine County Counsel
Club website: austincounties.org.uk
Facebook: Austin Counties Car Club

Read more

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Comments

  • Kevin Chapman says:

    I have a 39′ A10 hardtop ute. Would be great to obtain photos; literature; references to restore. Thanks!!!!

  • Paul king says:

    Hi I have some Austin county magazines from 1995 no 122 To 129 would any of your members like them,also two workshop manuals for the A40

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