Historic Truck Brands
The Austin Motor Company’s first commercial vehicle was the mechanically interesting, four-cylinder, 20hp twin-shaft truck, launched in 1910.
This vehicle had a differential behind its four-speed transmission that split the drive to two prop-shafts: one for each rear wheel.
Sales were modest, but some 2000 were sold during World War One, in various guises, including an armoured car. After the War, Austin released a 3.5-ton version, but sales were hampered by mechanical dramas and the twin-shaft was discontinued around 1922.
Austin commercials were car-based derivatives until the late 1930s, when the K-Series, bonneted truck range was launched. These trucks became known as ‘Birmingham Bedfords’, because of the similarity to the bonneted Bedford range.
World War Two generated huge business for Austin, which supplied around 115,000 four- and six-wheeled trucks to the military effort.
After the War, Austin released a forward-control van with side and rear doors and five-ton K-model.
In 1950 the Loadstar, streamlined bonneted range, was released, featuring three-man cabs and a 4×4 version was launched in 1952.
In 1952 Austin surrendered its independence by joining with Nuffield ( Morris & Morris Commercial) to form the British Motor Corporation. From then on, forward-control models were based on Morris Commercials. BMC Australia was formed in 1954.
Series III Austin forward-control models were introduced in 1955 and the FF series in 1957, with BMC diesel engines, rated at 58hp (four-cylinder 3.4-litre) and 90hp (six-cylinder 5.1-litre).
The snub-bonnet FG was launched in 1959.
In 1967 a new Austin/Morris van series replaced the old Austin LD and shortly afterwards BMC merged with Leyland motor Corporation to form British Leyland Motor Corporation.