Austin of England had a concerted export program with the A70 Countryman. Built for them by Papworth Industries using production four-door A70 sedans, these wagons were unique English station wagon at the beginning of the fifties. It is believed that around 1,000 of these were built for both homeland and overseas sales. Buick and Mitchell/Ionia used this same “cut up a sedan” technique to built the last of the real Buick woody wagons in the early fifties. Export models appeared at the 1953 Toronto and Vancouver Auto shows and then appeared in New York and LA. Others were exported to India, South Africa, Singapore, Kenya, Australia and other ex-British colonies. I have seen only two examples remaining in this country. One in fine restored condition while the other (shown here at Woodies on the Wharf) a 1953 “Hereford” Countryman model is owned by Byron Brill. It is in an un-restored but quite drivable condition. (See color photos) Brill’s A70 was apparently sold by Fred Delay, the Canadian Vancouver B.C. the local Austin dealer and now comes with a unique two-tone paint job featuring black sides and tan topsides with two-tone wood.
My father owned one of these A70 Countryman wagons in Australia the mid-fifties, I have family photo in the front of my first woody book, “Woodys” shown with it towing a house trailer. I do recall years later my father telling stories about that Austin and how he hated it. It was classic tale of horrible English Lucas electrics – apparently, the Prince of Darkness would arrive with the rain!