Research is really an integral part of life, isn’t it? It happens, though, that you reach a particular level of expertise in a particular subject, and then along comes another piece of the puzzle you been hoping to find. Recently, I found this brochure for the 1947 Austin Sixteen Countryman Shooting Brake, and thought it was worth sharing on my blog. Its sales were still directed at the landed gentry, describing the Countryman as: “Something to haul the guests around the country estate, when they came for a tad of shooting!” The brochure proudly states: “ The Austin Sixteen Countryman is the ideal vehicle for farm and estate transport.
Priced at £565 (English Pounds), it was an expensive option in post-war Britain. The Purchase Tax added another 160 Pounds to the final price, making it affordable only to the wealthy.
A stock sedan version of the car was priced at just under £300. Interesting design items on this little wagon included the wood paneled rear quarter windows and the semaphore turn signals that were integrated in the C-pillar. The wagon version also included the built-in jacking system that hydraulically raised the car, when you needed to change a flat tire. The “Coachwork” body was constructed of ash framing and wood panels, but they do not mention who made the body for them.
For its time, the Sixteen Shooting Brake was quite stylish, considering the ghastly state of British automobile design in those early post war years. This would be the last year for this generation of Austins. In 1948, the Austin A40 Somerset series arrived with a whole new generation of models from pickups to vans, wagons and sedans.