Like Henry Ford, Herbert Austin had
farming roots. Both brought motoring
to the masses and both attempted to
take the physical drudgery out of
farming by introducing mechanisation.
Austin imported American machines in
the First World War and heard about
the revolutionary new Fordson. His
take on the new rigid, frameless
technology was the 1919 Austin R,
built at his Birmingham car factory.
The inexorable reduction of the price
of Fordsons saw Austin move his
tractors to the more protected French
market, where they soon challenged
Renault’s dominance. A former leather
works with farming estate at
Liancourt, near Paris, became
exclusive home to Austin’s tractors,
and diesel technology was adopted
there long before it was introduced at
Austin in England.
The Second World War saw Liancourt
producing German military vehicles and
the imprisonment and in some cases
execution of the Austin management.
The dreadful conditions at Liancourt
were highlighted at the Nuremberg
Trials. Afterwards, there was a brave
attempt to revive the French tractors
and British Austin engines were used
in Bristol crawlers.
This book tells the fascinating and
largely untold story of the tractors
made by one of Britain’s biggest car
makers, and also looks other uses of
Austin engines in the Austin Champ and
- 128 Pages
- Illustred throughout with black and white images and photogrpahs
- 165 mm x 232 mm