1960 Austin Cambridge A55 / Photos, Model History, Specifications

Featured here is a fine looking 1960 Austin Cambridge A55 Mark II Saloon. The Austin Cambridge was a medium size automobile.

austin cambridge
1960 Austin Cambridge A55

The Austin Cambridge was manufactured by the Austin Motor Company over several generations from September 1954 through 1969.  The model was also offered to 1971 as a half ton light commercial vehicle.

The Austin A55 Cambridge Styling

The Cambridge A55 replaced the A40 Somerset with all new modern unibody construction. Styling was from Pinin Farina. Styling changes included a larger boot and larger rear window. The 1960 Cambridge was an A55 model. This was followed by the A60 model in 1961.

The A55 model was a slight remodel of the previous ‘pre-Farina’ Cambridge. The Italian styled Austin Cambridge had a flamboyant, European look. The new A55 had essentially the same 1500 cc engine except with the addition of an SU carburettor. Other than that the engine was the same. Pinin Farina’s design gave a very clean line at the car’s rear

Another version of the Cambridhe came out in 1960 which was the estate version (Countryman). The rear tailgate was split which allowed long cargo to be supported while still having the rear window closed.

Austin Motor Company and Several Mergers

The Austin Motor Company came into existence in 1905 by Herbert Austin of Longbridge, England. Of significance is that the company’s Austin Seven model influenced the design of light cars in Europe and Britain. The Austin Seven was built from 1923 to 1939.

Like with several independent automakers Austin would be a part of mergers. In 1952, Austin merged with Morris Motors Limited to become the British Motor Corporation Limited. While this formed one company, Austin Motor Company had it’s own separate identity.

Another major consolidation occurred in 1966 when Jaguar Cars was purchased and British Motor Holdings was formed.  The mergers continued when in 1968 British Motor Holdings and Leyland Motors Corporation merged to become the new British Leyland Motor Corporation.

The Austin brand name continued to be used until 1987 by British Motor Corporation’s successors, British Leyland and Rover Group. After 1987 the brand was phased out.

austin auto

In 2005, the Austin trademark was acquired by Nanjing Automotive, a subsidiary of MG Rover Group. , but is now owned by the Chinese.

Austin cars continued in production long after the other marques that formed BMC were discontinued, with only the MG name that was applied to some Rover models lasting beyond 2000.

1960 Austin Cambridge A55 Specifications

The engine on this 1960 Austin Cambridge is a 1500cc Inline Four Cylinder producing 55 HP. There is also a hand crank backup starter on the car’s front.

Transmission is a four speed manual.

Brakes are four wheel hydraulic drums.

Independent front suspension, coil springs and wishbones. Rear suspension by half-elliptic leaf springs.

Dimensions include a 99.2 inch wheelbase, 178.0 inch overall outside length, 63.5 inch width, 59.7 inch height. Curb weight about 2,490 lbs.

An interesting note is that about 70 percent of all A55  models produced were shipped to the U.S. This obviously increased sales volume therefore the car’s design would have to be one that appealed to American car buyers. As it turned out sales in the U.S. were negatively affected simply because the car wasn’t suited well for the higher speed interstate highways being constructed all over the country.

Related Auto Museum Online articles…

1967 Austin Mini Countryman 

1952 Singer Roadster

Reference material used for this article includes..Austin Cars 1948 to 1990 : A pictorial History by David Rowe..Complete Catalogue of Austin Cars From 1945 by Anders Ditlev Clausager.

austin auto sales

 

The 1960 Austin Cambridge A55 Sedan is a rare car in the U.S. Current sales prices for examples in very good condition should be found in the $12,000 to $17,000 range. Condition, and mileage are the determining factors on these relatively lower price classics.

(Photos and Article copyright Auto Museum Online)

1955 Chevy Bel Air Convertible / Photos, Specs, Styling Details

A beautiful 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air Convertible which represents the first year of Chevy’s popular Tri-Five automobiles. The Tri-Fives, a name given to these models years later, covered the model years, 1955, 1956 and 1957. Marketers referred to the 55 Chevys as “The Hot One“. Chevrolet dealers began displaying this totally new designed car on October 28, 1954. There were three models…the base 150, the mid-priced 210, and the deluxe Bel Air. Within these three models were sixteen body styles.

55 chevy
1955 Chevrolet Bel Air Convertible

The Chevy Bel Air’s from 1955 through 1957 were designated the “second generation” Bel Air’s as opposed to the “first generation” models built from 1950 through 1954.

The 1955 Chevy Bel Air is known for great new styling, performance and quality construction. In the 1950’s, an automobile was one of the highest expressions of American status and independence. and the Detroit automakers built some terrific cars.

Totally New Styling

Styling for the 1955 Chevrolet was totally new compared to anything before it. Chevy literally changed from building little economy sedans to producing sleek automobiles that attracted a younger buyer demographic. The new 1955 Chevrolet had smooth straight panels on the sides and hood.

The 1955 examples highlighted a new grille influenced by Ferrari. The dash board had a Corvette look to it and buyers were offered a two-tone color scheme plus a new V-8 engine was made available. The chrome was minimal and the body lines gave a low profile look. The flared rear quarter panels of the 54 models was gone which gave the 55 model a sleek look.

Looking to 1956, the Chevy Bel Air had a V added to the front of the hood and the side trim ran almost the entire length of the car. In addition the grille on the 56 ran almost the full width of the car.

Targeting a Younger Market

General Motors wanted to attract younger car buyers to it’s dealer showrooms and the younger buyers wanted more horsepower.  The mid 1950’s was a time of drive-in’s and cruising and the younger generation wanted “cool cars”. A cool car at that time was the 1955 Chevy and the 1955 Ford Victoria. Both of these models were top of the line and offered modern styling along with attractive trim.

1955 bel air

The difference between the two had to do with the introduction of Chevy’s 265 cubic inch small block V-8. Two different configurations of this engine delivered impressive horsepower of 162 and 180. The Chevy small block 265 became a very popular high performance engine. To broaden the market of potential buyers who loved the new Chevy styling but weren’t necessarily interested in 0-60 MPH performance there were the automatic transmissions.

1955 Bel Air Features

The all new 1955 Bel Air came with several upgraded features such as stainless steel window moldings, interior carpet, redesigned instrument cluster, and front grille which was inspired by Ferrari.

1955 Chevy Bel Air Specifications

Engines offered with the 1955 Chevy Bel Air included a 235 cubic inch inline six with configurations for 123 and 136 HP along with the 265 cubic inch small block V-8 with configurations for 162 and 180 HP.

Brakes are four wheel hydraulic drums.

Front suspension were coil springs with rear semi elliptic leaf springs.

Dimensions include a 115.0 inch wheelbase, 195.6 inch overall length, 73.0 inch width, 60.5 inch height. Curb weight estimated at 3,330 lbs.

The 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air Convertible production totaled 41,292 units. This model was priced at $2,300.

The first year of the Tri Five Chevy’s was a huge success. Chevrolet production that year totaled nearly 1.8 million vehicles. According to the book “American Cars of the 1950s” by Robert Genat and David Newhardt, Chevrolet’s accounted for 44% of the low-price passenger cars purchased that year and 24% of all new cars sold that year. The biggest seller for Chevrolet in 1955 was the four door Bel Air Sedan at 366,000 units.

The 1955, 1956, and 1957 Chevys sold in the millions and became the holy Tri-Five, sometimes referred to as Shoebox Chevys (because of their boxy profile).

Related Auto Museum Online articles include..

1956 Chevy Bel Air Convertible

1955 Ford Fairlane Victoria

Reference material for this article includes..Complete Book of Collectible Cars by the Editors of Consumer Guide..The Hot One, Chevrolet 1955-1957 by Pat Chappell..Chevy Classics : 1955, 1956,1957 by Anthony Young..Tri-Five Chevy Handbook by Jim Richardson.

The 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air Collector Car

The 1955 Chevy’s remain very popular collector cars. While the 1957 Chevy Bel Air is one of the popular collector models, many believe the 1955 Chevy, the first year model with the new modern design ranks just as high or higher with some mentioning the milestone status of the 55’s with their new 265 cubic inch V-8. The 1955 Chevrolets overall received very high marks from the public, and sales were excellent that year.

1955 Chevy Bel air

Current asking prices for the 1955 Chevy Bel Air in very good to excellent condition. can range from $60,000 to $130,000. The convertible Bel Airs can range from about $85,000 to $140,000.

(Article and photos copyright Auto Museum Online)

 

1955 Chevy 210 Custom Wagon / Photos, Specs, Model History, Styling

1955 chevy 210
1955 Chevrolet Two Door 210 Wagon

Here is a great looking 1955 Chevrolet Two Door 210 Wagon. This two tone example represented the first year of the Tri-Five Chevys. This covered the model years, 1955, 1956 and 1957. This includes the well-known One-Fifty, Two-Ten, Bel Air, and Nomad models. The 210’s were the popular sporty mid range series with the Bel Air being top of the line.

The 1955 Chevrolet was a milestone car and represented a major move forward for the Chevrolet Division of General Motors.

The first year of the Tri Five Chevy’s was a huge success. Chevrolet production that year totaled nearly 1.8 million vehicles. According to the book “American Cars of the 1950s” by Robert Genat and David Newhardt, Chevrolet’s accounted for 44% of the low-price passenger cars purchased that year and 24% of all new cars sold that year.

1955 Chevrolet Styling

Styling for the 1955 Chevrolet was totally new compared to anything before it. Chevy literally changed from building little economy sedans to producing sleek automobiles that attracted a younger buyer demographic. The new 1955 Chevrolet had smooth straight panels on the sides and hood.

The 1955 examples highlighted a new grille influenced by Ferrari. The dash board had a Corvette look to it and buyers were offered a two-tone color scheme plus a new V-8 engine was made available. The chrome was minimal and the body lines gave a low profile look. The flared rear quarter panels of the 54 models was gone which gave the 55 model a sleek look.

The top of the line Bel Air, the highest priced Chevy passenger car, came with the maximum amount of exterior chrome and bright trim.

chevrolet Nomad wagon

Options for the 1955 Chevy 210

Plenty of options were available for the Chevy 210 Wagon, several of which are standard equipment on most automobiles today. These included backup lights, courtesy lights, air conditioning, deluxe heater and defroster, dual electric windshield wipers. floor mats, electric clock, power brakes, locking gas cap, and more.

1955 Chevrolet 210 Wagon Specifications

Brakes are four wheel hydraulic drums.

Dimensions include a 115.0 inch wheelbase, overall length 197.1 inches74.0 inch width, 60.8 inch height. Curb weight 3,450 lbs.

Total 1955 Chevrolet Production was 1.775,000 vehicles. Out of that number there were only 29,415 two door 210 Handyman Wagons produced. In total, the Chevrolet Division built 160,000 wagons in 1955. The biggest seller for Chevy that model year was the four door Bel Air Sedan at 366,000 units. As far as market share, Chevrolet produced almost 25 % of all new cars sold that year.

In regards to our featured 55 Chevy Two Door 210 Wagon , only 29,400 examples were produced making this a fairly rare classic automobile.

Related Auto Museum Online articles include..

1955 Chevrolet Nomad Wagon

1957 Chevy Bel Air Convertible

Reference material for this article includes..Complete Book of Collectible Cars by the Editors of Consumer Guide..A Guide to Building a Tri-Five Chevy by Ron Ceridono..Tri-Five Chevrolet by Patrick Hill.

1955 chevy

The 1955 Chevrolet 210 Collector Popularity

As sales numbers clearly demonstrate, the 1955 Chevrolet was a big hit with buyers. Here is a milestone automobile that ushered in the modernized Tri-Five Chevy years. All of the Tri-Five Chevy’s including those from 1955 remain popular collector cars.

Those looking to restore or freshen up any of these Tri-Five models should find parts relatively easy to find.

Sale prices for the 1955 Chevrolet 210 Wagon’s in good to excellent condition have been in a range from about $35,000 to $60,000 depending on both condition and originality.

(Article and photos copyright Auto Museum Online)

Chevy nomad