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Features '52 Austin A40 Somerset Gasser

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Brucekoukalaka, Oct 24, 2013.

  1. Brucekoukalaka
    Joined: Sep 16, 2012
    Posts: 137

    Brucekoukalaka
    BANNED

    I recently picked up a 1952 Austin A40 Somerset for parts to fix one that I already have. So I figure that after I remove the drive-train what will remain is a reasonably straight body, why not build something I've always wanted? The cars are both 4 doors and fairly small so I'm thinking on a 302 with a C4 trans to back it up. This is what one looks like;
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  2. Those little fender marker lights are cool. Not the small chrome one, ( seen lots of those ) the other one.
     
  3. Brucekoukalaka
    Joined: Sep 16, 2012
    Posts: 137

    Brucekoukalaka
    BANNED

    From what I understand those matching colored lights were a $17.00 dealer installed option in 1952 thus very few were produced.
     
  4. 1971BB427
    Joined: Mar 6, 2010
    Posts: 7,051

    1971BB427
    Member
    from Oregon

    I'd build a gasser from it too! But I'd figure some way to make that front end tilt because the small hood opening of the Somersets is a pain to work on a V8 engine through! My '46 Austin A10 had a similar sized hood, but removeable side panels. I didn't relish working on my 327 Chevy with the small access either, so hooked the whole front end together and made a steel tilt out of it.
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    The 4 door Somerset is a little tough to radius the rear wheelwells, if you run big tires, as the rear door goes right down to the wheelwell opening, and you'll need some work to do a radius. But it's a fairly strong frame and with some bracing it can handle a medium HP small block with ease.
    Are you going to go straight axle on it also? The stock front suspension is pretty wimpy!
     

  5. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,608

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    Some tech hints:

    You probably already know this but the hood on those cars was basically for checking the oil. If you want to do any serious work on the engine, the whole front clip lifts off after removing 4 bolts from the cowl area. They were designed this way for easy servicing.

    Second, the basic chassis and engine design was laid down in 1947 and continued to be used into the 80s. An MGB has suspension, engine etc derived from your car. If you can find a rusted out MGB the disc brake front end, 1800cc engine, rear axle etc will fit your car.

    I think it would be cool to fit it with disc brakes, more modern rear axle, and an OHC 4 cylinder out of a modern car. BMW still makes rear drive small cars, and some Japanese pickup trucks have RWD and decent engines.
     
  6. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    falcongeorge
    Member
    from BC

    Tom McMullen had one of those...
     
  7. Brucekoukalaka
    Joined: Sep 16, 2012
    Posts: 137

    Brucekoukalaka
    BANNED

    I'm thinking about the tilt front end for my choice of engines; SBF with a C4 trans. and yes it will get the straight axle. The car in this pic is in rough shape so I'm suspecting it will become the "Gasser" As for radius on the rear fenders I'll probably be welding the rear doors closed anyway so I think it will be feasible. But this is still up in the air until I get more into it. I forgot to mention the engine in this car runs like a champ!!!:D:D:D BTW I would never insult a British saloon with a rice grinding engine!!!
     
  8. Here's an idea. Lots of work though.
     

    Attached Files:

  9. Was it mcmullens A40 that had twin small block chevys in it ? Remember reading a magazine aticle 100 years ago but my memory not as good as it used to be, the car owner was a magazine photographer, car I think was red with a ladder rack on the roof for photo shoots. Anyone remember this car
     
  10. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    falcongeorge
    Member
    from BC

    Thats correct! You win a valuable prize, to be disclosed at a later date! :D
     
  11. Brucekoukalaka
    Joined: Sep 16, 2012
    Posts: 137

    Brucekoukalaka
    BANNED

    I love the "coupe" 34 Gaz
     
  12. Could always weld up the rear doors, then do the radius. Looking forward to seeing this thing happen!
     
  13. Brucekoukalaka
    Joined: Sep 16, 2012
    Posts: 137

    Brucekoukalaka
    BANNED

    Looks like I get a spare (or 2) Somerset tomorrow:D:D:D!!!! A guy in Edmonton is offering to swap me for my '79 Funcraft camper van. This suits me fine as I really don't need or want it. He had them advertised on Kijiji awhile ago for $2,000.00 for the pair. I've already looked at them and they are both in better shape (body wise) than mine. Let you all know tomorrow evening how things stack up.;)
     
  14. 1971BB427
    Joined: Mar 6, 2010
    Posts: 7,051

    1971BB427
    Member
    from Oregon

    I sold the "supposedly rebuilt" engine in my A10 to a friend when I pulled it out for the 327 swap. Told him I'd charge him $200 if it ran, and if it didn't he could scrap it and send me whatever he got. Two weeks later he calles me and tells me to listen as he holds the phone near the purring little flathead 4 cylinder! Sent me a check a few days later for the $200, and said it was just a broken wire in the distributor that stopped it from running!
     
  15. Weasel
    Joined: Dec 30, 2007
    Posts: 6,693

    Weasel
    Member

    I think these are really cool cars - my grandad had one. The convertible is ace....

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    [​IMG]
     
  16. Tman
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 34,945

    Tman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    \
    I need to dig that old SRM out and read it again!
     
  17. Panel Pete
    Joined: Feb 8, 2007
    Posts: 146

    Panel Pete
    Member

    The chop and two door conversion make the proportions look spot on!

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  18. Ive posted this before somewhere here. I have 3 of these (but 54's they look the same to me) Two convertibles and one of the sedans like you have.

    I covered them in tarps many many years ago and just sort of forgot about them. Now they pretty much belong to mother nature.
     
  19. Brucekoukalaka
    Joined: Sep 16, 2012
    Posts: 137

    Brucekoukalaka
    BANNED

    Too bad CG they are very unique little cars I still need grills and possibly a windscreen.
     
  20. Let me take a look next time I'm out to the farm and see if anything is salvageable. do you mean the center grill or the smaller ones down low. No idea if the windshield is any good ... Ill check that too.

    I drug (literally) them out of the black berries quite a few years ago because some fella said he wanted them. Too far gone back then. My FIL pushed them back, not sure how careful he was =)
     
  21. Brucekoukalaka
    Joined: Sep 16, 2012
    Posts: 137

    Brucekoukalaka
    BANNED

    Yes the center grill as all 3 of mine are toast
     
  22. Brucekoukalaka
    Joined: Sep 16, 2012
    Posts: 137

    Brucekoukalaka
    BANNED

    For some reason that does not surprise me at all. I find the old engines to be much better than new even though they are usually boat anchor slow if we neglect them.
     
  23. Brucekoukalaka
    Joined: Sep 16, 2012
    Posts: 137

    Brucekoukalaka
    BANNED

    I got the 2nd car today and it is in fairly good condition aside from the engine is seized from sitting and the transmission is in the trunk.
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  24. 1971BB427
    Joined: Mar 6, 2010
    Posts: 7,051

    1971BB427
    Member
    from Oregon

    Looks like between the bunch you can put together a grille that's good! My Austin's pot metal grille bars were broken, but I carefully cut and filed pieces together and made a complete grille from spare broken grille. Used JB Weld on the back side, and butt joints to hold it together. Nobody has noticed the splices unless I point out the fine line where the pieces join.
    [​IMG]
     
  25. Brucekoukalaka
    Joined: Sep 16, 2012
    Posts: 137

    Brucekoukalaka
    BANNED

    I'm thinking that is how I'll have to deal with it too. BTW where did you get your front end, it is what I want for the Gasser
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2013
  26. langy
    Joined: Apr 27, 2006
    Posts: 5,735

    langy
    Member Emeritus

    Look forward to seeing more of this Bruce
     
  27. Brucekoukalaka
    Joined: Sep 16, 2012
    Posts: 137

    Brucekoukalaka
    BANNED

    I'm hoping to find another way to get the 3rd car from Edmonton as my friend with the car dolly was badly burned on Friday night, apparently he was trying to weld a tank when it exploded.
     
  28. Devonrod
    Joined: Jul 16, 2007
    Posts: 73

    Devonrod
    Member
    from london uk

  29. McMullen's Austin. It was bright red and powered by two SBCs coupled with a two sprockets and a double-row chain -- like a twin-engine dragster.


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  30. Brucekoukalaka
    Joined: Sep 16, 2012
    Posts: 137

    Brucekoukalaka
    BANNED

    That looks awesome!! Aside from the twin SBC engines I'd love that (I hate GM engines they are overdone!!!) BTW where in HELL did both engines sit?
     

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