Austin A40

 

The Austin A40 Farina was part of the 'squaring off' of the BMC car range - prior to this BMC cars were typically like the Riley Pathfinder and the Austin Cambridge from the 1956 launch range - rounded and organic in shape. The Farina cars all had pointed tail lamps with little pointed vertical fins and roughly square grilles with headlamps in the top corners forming the wing line which follows through the body - they also have very squared-off roof lines. They were styled by Pininfarina of Italy, who did the same job for Peugeot at the same time and being of a practical nature gave both companies the same designs. Which is why a Peugeot 404 could easily pass for and Austin Cambridge and vice versa.

I always thought that the A40s were odd having the bottom half of the back end opening, and the rear seat folding down, but the window bit at the top did not open - except on the rare 'estate' version. It was a hatch back with no hatch. My sister had one as her first car, it was the later version with the larger grille and was a very good car, reliable & practical.

The A40 was added to the Corgi range in 1959. It was available as either a freewheeling car or as a 'Mechanical', that is with a friction flywheel motor which picked up momentum as the car was pushed along making it continue under its own power when it was released. A number of Corgis around this time were offered with this feature but it was dropped after a short time as it was not that popular and sales were low. Consequently the mechanical versions are often scarcer and more valuable. The freewheeling car was deleted in 1962, the mechanical car was deleted after only one year in 1960.

The freewheeling car is usually two-tone blue although you will find it in red and black occasionally, colour does not though seem to affect value. The mechanical car is also always more highly priced than the freewheeling car and always black over red, although Ramsey mentions an all red version. These are very hard to find at a sensible price.

     
Corgi Toys 216; Austin A40; Pale Blue, Dark Blue Roof Corgi Toys 216; Austin A40; Pale Blue, Dark Blue Roof Corgi Toys 216M; Austin A40 Mechanical; Red, Black Roof
Corgi Toys 216; Austin A40; Pale Blue, Dark Blue Roof Corgi Toys 216; Austin A40; Pale Blue, Dark Blue Roof, Spun Hubs Corgi Toys 216M; Austin A40 Mechanical; Red, Black Roof

 


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Last Edit: 31/07/2022 Page Added 22/05/2022