The A90 Atlantic was first built in prototype form in
1947 being the first British car to be designed for the
U.S market. Upon its launch in 1948, it became an overnight
This all-new British convertible with modern,
full-width styling, bulbous and full front wings formed
a rakish and bold profile.
This car, with its power top and door glasses was seen
as a somewhat unheard of in Britain during 1948, with
a switch controlling the up and down movement of the top
in around 22 seconds. Other inclusions were the Ecko radio,
adjustable steering and heating.
The speed of this car was really impressive being one
of only a handful that could top 145 km/h, and easily the
It could manage 0 - 96 km/h in around 16.6 seconds
and even though petrol was still rationed at this time,
25 mpg could still be attained.
But sales of this vehicle
never really took off in America, where 6 and 8 cylinder
vehicles were more popular. Despite that, an Atlantic broke 63 American stock car
records over 7 days, in Indianapolis.
Production of the Atlantic was short-lived, despite Austin
slashing $1,000 from its price in 1949 and, in 1951, the
introduction of a fixed-head saloon version with hydraulic
brakes and a lower axle ratio.
But the convertible ceased
to be produced in 1951. The saloon struggled until 1952,
ousted by the BMC merger of that year.
Although it is not known exactly how many survive, it
is most likey in the order of around 150 cars, with about
70 in Australia, made up of both convertibles and hardtops (coupes).