Austin A40 Farina (1958 – 1967) Review

Austin A40 Farina (1958 – 1967) At A Glance


+Stylish, practical, good fun, a great entry-level classic

-Rust, vague steering and woolly brakes

Although it is often overlooked in BMC history the Austin A40 is actually a very important car. It marked a turning point in the direction of BMC’s design at the time – as it was the first post-War Austin to be styled without input from Dick Burzi, the company’s design director. More importantly, it predicted the fashion for employing Italian design houses to style family cars, in this case, Farina.

Initially conceived to replace the ageing A35, the A40 emerged as a crisply styled two-box design that was so smart, a premium could be charged for it, allowing the older car to remain in production. Under the bodywork, the same A-series engine that powered the A35 and all but the earliest Morris Minors was used, and the running gear was utterly conventional despite the daring styling. It used the A35 underpinnings, right down to the questionable hydro-mechanical brakes. When the A40 Farina Mk II was introduced in 1961, it gained all-hydraulic brakes, along with a slightly longer wheelbase and a new grille. A year, the car was fitted with a 1098cc version of the A-series engine, which gave it a little more power – and a clever Countryman version previewed the hatchbacks that would become dominant 15 years later. In Italy, Innocenti went one further and built the A40 with a single-piece tailgate, calling it the Combinata.