SMITHS UC301/UC210 CLOCK FOR AUSTIN SHEERLINE 1947 - 1954 A110 & A125 AUSTIN HEARSE & AUSTIN AMBULANCE/ BRISTOL AERODYNE 401 & 403
Quite a rarity indeed, today we have a mechanical clock for the Austin Sheerline limousine. The dial and bezel are in superb condition and the balance wheel ticks merrily but the clock would no doubt benefit from a clean.
The Austin Sheerline was a large luxury car which was produced by the Austin Motor Company in the United Kingdom from 1947 to 1954 having been designed by Austin during World War Two with production curtailed until hostilities had ceased. This was due in part to a depressed market, limited materials and of course an ongoing commitment to war production.
It was a luxurious car in the style of the contemporary Rolls-Royce or Bentley but at a much lower price, around two-thirds of the price of the equivalent Rolls-Royce but still the price of five or six small Austins. There were about 8,000 built but are now a rare sight today.
The first cars, designated A.110, had a 3,460 cc straight-six overhead valve engine but this was increased to 3,995 cc with 125 bhp and the designation then became A.125. Initially only a Saloon version on a 9-foot-11¼-inch wheelbase chassis was made, but this was joined by a limousine version in late 1949 uisng a stretched 11 ft ) chassis also used for a hearse and an ambulance. At 1.8 tons for the saloon and 2 tons for the limousine this was a heavy car, and to maintain performance a low final drive ratio of 4.55:1 with 16-inch tyres was fitted. Suspension was by coil springs at the front and half-elliptic leaf springs at the rear. The saloon version had a top speed of 82 mph.
However, this is only part of the story for if you fit the black and white dial in place of the Sheerline's glitzy gold and black one, voila, you have a UC 210 as used in the Birstol Aerodyne 401 & 403.
The Austin Sheerline is an interesting car looking like a cross between a Jaguar Mk V and a Bentley Mk 6 and now, possibly rarer in survival terms than either. It was interesting to see an episode of Father Brown the other day where a Sheerline was featured. I am really enjoying the recently screened series of Father Brown based on GK Chesterton's novels and featuring Mark Williams as the eponymous crime sleuth cleric.
Alas, my heart is captured totally by the Bristol marque and I also include a photo of a beautiful Bristol Aerodyne - a 401 actually which I should love to own and which would make a nice partner for my Bristol 411 S3. After all, every man should have the chance to admire and caress a nice pair of Bristols at least once in his lifetime!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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