1928 Austin Heavy Twelve Tourer


  • Year of manufacture 
  • Chassis number 
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1928 Austin 'Heavy' 12/4 Landaulette
Coachwork by Mann Egerton
Registration no. VG 731
Chassis no. 44244483

"What does a motorist demand of a moderately priced saloon car?" asked Austin's advertising for the 'Heavy' 12/4 in 1930. "First and foremost he demands dependability, not for months or seasons but for years. He wants a car that does not need looking after. He wants, after a grueling day's run, to drive his car into his garage and forget about it until he wants to drive it out again. He wants it to keep up a high average speed - to take hills in its stride - to be economical with petrol and oil. In short, he wants dependability of an outstanding kind, dependability which costs practically nothing to maintain."

Along with the Seven, the Twelve saved the ailing Austin concern, nearly 70,000 of the larger model being sold up to the end of 1930. Launched in late 1921, the Twelve owed its success to Austin's superior build quality and the soundness of the basic design. The model became a byword for indestructibility, a virtue that commended itself to the London taxi trade, which used the Heavy 12/4 extensively throughout the 1930s and beyond.

The Twelve engine was a five-bearing, magneto ignition-equipped, sidevalve four displacing 1,861cc, for which the factory claimed a maximum output of 27bhp at a lowly 2,000rpm, sufficient for 40-45mph cruising at which speed the Twelve returned around 26 miles per gallon. Effective four-wheel brakes meant that the Twelve coped with sudden emergencies better than many of its contemporary rivals. After the Light 12/4's arrival in 1933, the Heavy Twelve's days were numbered, the last example leaving the factory in 1935. Enduringly popular, the model remains a favourite with Austin enthusiasts.

This rare 1928 Austin 12/4 is one of only a believed four such landaulettes built on the Austin 12/4 chassis by Mann Egerton of Norwich, a company whose bodies were always of the very highest quality and certainly a match for those of the best London coachbuilders. 'VG 731' has had only two owners from new and still retains its original registration number, original buff logbook, and all original handbooks. Also on file are numerous bills and photographs detailing a painstaking restoration completed some 10 years ago, paying particular attention to retaining originality and patina. These works included renovation of the body and mechanicals while the interior was re-trimmed throughout in leather. Meticulously maintained and serviced, used regularly and totally reliable, this beautiful Vintage-era Austin will be driven to the sale.