Ross Capern's 1950 Austin A40 Ute - Reader Ride

By: Ross Capern

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Ross Capern's 1950 Austin A40 ute is a family hand-me-down former hay hauler


1950 Austin A40 Ute

This was my great uncle’s farm ute he bought from Keidge Motors in Ipswich in 1950 and used it for many years until my cousins, who used to drive it between the farms, had an accident one day and it got parked in the hay shed and sat there for many years.

I started to get interested in cars when I was 16 so I asked my aunt if I could pull the old Austin out of the shed and she said "You can have that bit of rubbish". Two years later me and my father had restored it.

I’ve always liked classic cars, steam trains, all that sort of thing. My dad had a HQ which I bought off him when I was 19 and drove around for many years so I’ve always liked old cars. My kids (daughter Sophie, 13, pictured) are already asking, "What’s going to happen to the Austin when you can’t drive it anymore?" It’s a 1200cc four-cylinder with a Zenith carburettor and four-speed manual. The original colour was olive green and black but in ‘83 we changed it for the maroon, it makes the car stand out a bit more and is an original Austin colour, just not on the Devon. It had a metal back but it had been badly damaged in the accident and back in 1984 it was too expensive for me to get it done. Thomas & Sons in Ipswich used to put wooden backs on the A40 as the metal ones used to rust.

Luckily there was an old guy who lived behind us who worked for Thomas & Sons then who built us a new wooden tray. Mum tells me they used to sit along the back and go to Sunday school, like an olden days seven seater!

Value guide: Condition-dependent $10k-plus price-tags are possible


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