1928 Austin Heavy 12/4 Two Seat Tourer with Dickey by Mulliners

Make: Austin
Model: Heavy 12/4 Two Seat Tourer with Dickey by Mulliners
Year: 1928
Registration Number: RU 7852
Chassis Number: 48700
Engine Number: 44652L
MOT Test Expiry: Exempt
Guide Price: £21000 - 22000
Road Tax Exempt

After the First World War, like most other motor car manufacturers of the time, Austin focussed on a ‘high end’ product in the Austin 20 introduced in 1919. When sales of this model were slower than expected, the Twelve, effectively a scaled down version was introduced in 1921. With a four cylinder side valve engine (increased from 1661cc to 1861cc in 1926), mated to a four speed gearbox, live rear axle and perpendicular styling, this model enjoyed much more success, with sales peaking at 14,000 units in 1927. These motor cars came to enjoy a great reputation for dependability, which continues to this day.

Based in Bordesley Green, Mulliners Limited of Birmingham began as a coach and carriage building business in Leamington Spa before 1883. The company diversified into scientific instrumentation before moving onto motor vehicle bodies in the late 1890s. In partnership with Wigley, artillery was also produced. After the odd scandal and a take-over or two, 1924 saw the concentration of efforts into the coachbuilt bodies, with customers such as Austin, Clyno, Hillman and Lanchester providing chassis for more discerning clientele.

This fine 1928 Austin Heavy 12/4 Two Seat Tourer was first supplied on the 11th August 1928 to a Mr Lambert, a customer of Imperial Motors Bournemouth, according to the ledger entry found in the Dorset archives in Dorchester (a copy of which is included in the history file). The motor car was then registered the day after and a record of all owners from the 12 August 1928 up until recently is also included in the file. Indeed, there are supplied fascinating records of much of the 12/4’s history. Most notably, vintage Austin specialist Smallbone and Son of Birmingham began a nut and bolt, correct photographic restoration (including the fitting of a new ash frame) of RU 7852 in 1983 that took nine years to complete. The motor car was then advertised in the September 1992 issue of The Automobile for £22950, stating that it has been owned by one family for fifty years and briefly detailing the restoration and retrim etc..

Since that time, the Austin has taken part in rallies and shows both in this country and in France, winning many concours awards along the way. It has been clearly well-looked after, and remains in good condition – certainly a credit to its restorers. Recently, the engine has been dismantled, re-bored and fitted with new pistons and a timing chain.

The aforementioned leather-bound history file contains photographs, newspaper articles, a handbook, invoices, road tax discs and past MOT test certificates, copies of sales information and previous registration documents, and the current V5C registration certificate.

This lovely and unusual Austin 12/4 is ready to be enjoyed.