Austin A40 and A50 Cambridge


(Press Release: Confidential until September 28th 1954)

Point by Point Features: The Austin “Cambridge” has been designed to meet the individual requirements of motorists all over the world. For this reason an almost unlimited range of alternative specifications are being offered – a 1200 c.c. (A40) or 1500 c.c. (A50) engine; a two or four-door body eleven different colour schemes; “family” or luxe” models; and a wide range of optional extras. The equipment on the family model comprises: leather cloth upholstery; rubber floor covering at front, carpet at rear; enamel finish for window frames, ventilating louvres and boot lid hinges; single visor and horn; push button catch for fascia lid and extras for it – additional horn and visor, front carpet, overriders, hide upholstery and side arm rests. The de luxe equipment comprises: hide upholstery; carpets front and rear; chrome finish for window surrounds, ventilating louvres and boot lid hinges; side arm rests; dual visors and horn; overriders and lock for fascia lid. Optional extras for all models are heater, radio, clock, screen washing equipment, fog lamp, loose seat covers, floor mats, anti-dazzle mirror, folding centre arm rest for rear seat.

Colour schemes are

Chelsea grey with blue, red, chestnut or green upholstery.

Streamline blue with beige or blue upholstery.

Turquoise with beige upholstery

Tweed grey with grey upholstery

Black with beige, red, or green upholstery.

The Cambridge is a completely new car incorporating a tremendous number of improvements and innovations. These include:

Roomier Body

Compared with the “Somerset” the wheelbase has been Increased 6 3/4 ins., to bring the rear seat cushion forward of the wheel arches. This increases the cushion width by 1 ft. 0 5/8 ins. permitting the seat to accommodate three average adults. Each front seat cushion width has also been increased by 2 3/4 ins.

Increased Floor Space

Simplified front seat tubular mountings increase foot room for rear passengers and the flooring is sloped under the front seats to provide a convenient foot rest for rear passengers. Pendant pedals increase the driver’s foot space.

Roomier Luggage compartment

The luggage compartment has a Capacity of 14 cubic feet against 10 cubic feet on the “Sommerset” A shelf is provided for tools at the back of the compartment which has a rubber-lined floor.

Spare Wheel Carrier

The spare wheel is secured in an enclosed carrier mounted beneath the luggage compartment. This carrier is released by a screw thread operated from the floor of the luggage compartment by means of the starting handle.

Pendant Pedals

Pendant clutch and brake pedals operate hydraulically. This isolates the pedals from all transmission vibration.

Hypoid Rear Axle

Hypoid final drive gears are employed to give quieter running and a lower body floor.

Improved Shock Absorbers

Double acting piston type hydraulic shock absorbers are employed of improved design which ensures efficient operation over a wide range of temperature variations.

Front Suspension Cross Member

The independent coil spring front suspension assemblies are mounted to a robust cross member which is secured, through insulation pads, to the frame substitute side members on the body. This design facilitates servicing and contributes to quiet running by helping to insulate suspension vibrations.

Rear Suspension Insulation

The rear mounting brackets for the semi-elliptic rear suspension springs are mounted through insulation pads to the body frame member to assist quiet running.

Smoother Gear Selection

The steering column gear change lever is connected entirely by rods to the gearbox to ensure a smooth, light and easy change.

Lighter Steering

High efficiency cam gear steering is employed, to give light but positive control.

Larger Brakes

The total frictional area of the Girling hydraulic brake has been increased from 85 sq. ins. on the “Somerset” to 121 sq. ins. Larger Windows Area. The large deep curved windscreen and almost full width rear windows together with the large door windows ensure superb all round visibility

Improved Rear View Mirror

A wide rear view mirror is employed to include the whole of the rear windows in its field.

More Efficient Dust Seals

The dust and draught rubber seals, which surround all doors, and door openings, are of an improved inclined contact design. This ensures efficiency during long usage.

Closed Fascia Compartment

The fascia compartment on the passenger ‘s side has a lid which, when open, forms a useful tray.

Full Width Fascia Tray

There is a wide, deep fascia tray for maps, gloves and other motoring miscellany and there is also a small convenient shelf at the back of the rear seat.

Wide Opening floors

All doors open 90 degrees to give unrestricted access to the interior.

Door Lock Weather Caps

Both front doors have external locks and, each being covered by spring-loaded weather caps

Chi1dren’s Safety Lock

The rear doors of the 4-door model have children’s safety locks which will lock the door on the inside while allowing it to be opened from outside.


The bonnet lock can only be released from inside the car. The ignition key also serves both front doors and the luggage compartment lid.

Carpet Guards

Alloy metal carpet tread guards are fitted at all door openings.

Flashing or Semaphore Indicators

Flashing or semaphore self-centring direction indicators are available. They are operated by a finger tip control on the steering columns easily reached with the right hand without releasing the steering wheel.

Courtesy lamp

The interior roof lamp lights when the doors are opened but can also be controlled separately.

Self Parking Windscreen Wipers

Self parking electrically operated dual windscreen wipers are employed.

Interior Ventilation Air Intake

The air intake for the interior heating and ventilating unit is mounted on the front of the bonnet at the point of maximum air pressure and at a height to avoid picking up exhaust fumes from other vehicles. Air can be directed straight into the interior or deflected through the heater unit for interior heating and windscreen demisting.


Provision is made for a fascia mounted radio.

Issued by The Press Office, The Austin Motor Company Ltd, Longbridge, Birmingham.