This 1938 Austin 12/4 model Shooting Brake was one of range of Austin 12 models, which the company built from 1933 through 1939. However, the estate wagon model known as the Shooting Brake, only became available in 1938. This same model could also be ordered on the larger Austin 14 model chassis, but either way, they were only available by special order. It was a boxy and efficient looking wagon, with offset doors that hinged back-to-front and only a small rear window.
The seating was austere with three rows of seats. The front seat was a full-width bench. In the back were four small folding seats in two rows, featuring just a thin base cushion with a high, narrow backrest. It must have been a tough ride back there bouncing about the estate looking for the a quail and pheasant!
The arrival of the Second World War put an end to production in 1939, so these are very rare and quite unique models today. The bodywork was done by an outside supplier, using Austin’s cowl chassis unit. The four-door body was built of ash framing with mahogany paneling and Triplex limited glass windows.
The Austin 12 designation was derived from the English taxing system that taxed vehicles according to their horsepower. This was a 12 horsepower, four-cylinder model. Note the chrome radiator on this model; most 12 models had a body-colored grille shell.