Page 8. 1962 Austin A35 Van: Lowered + 1275cc Midget engine SOLD

FOR SALE: 1962 AUSTIN A35 VAN. Model AV6


I’ve owned this van for over 5 years. Before that it was owned by just one family (father and son). The son spent a lot of time and money making all the modifications I’d always dreamt about making to an A35 van – which is why I bought it. It is lowered and has a 1275cc MG Midget engine. I had the exterior resprayed maroon 4 years ago and have added an exterior sunvisor.

I used to use it to advertise my business. It really is a superb advertising medium, as everyone loves it wherever you drive. So you need to factor in extra time for journeys as invariably wherever you park someone will come up and ask about it.


I’m sad to part with it. But now we don’t use it much, so I must rationalize my collection.

It’s on the road, and everything works fine. It’s currently taxed, and I’ll be getting it MOT’d next week. The usual problem is that I get the van out to take some photos with the idea of selling it, then have so much fun driving around in it that I just put it back in the garage and lock the door.























1962 Austin A35 Van. Custom/hot rod but looks normal!

Lowered. Uprated brakes/engine


A fortune has been spent on this subtly customized Model AV6.

It looks superb and runs well. You could use it as your daily driver.

…Perhaps rarest of all A35s are the light commercial variants. The super-rare Austin pickup, made between 1956 and 1957, was made in very small numbers only and, perhaps due to a lack of capacity, didn’t catch on with small-business owners.
A van was also available and sold well, continuing in production throughout the 1960s, ending finally in 1968. The van stuck with the 948cc motor until 1962, after which it was available with the 1098cc engine. In 1964 a lower-powered version with an 848cc engine was also offered alongside the 1098. In 1962 the Countryman, essentially a van with windows and rear seats, was discontinued, probably due to the recent launch of the A40 Countryman.

In all, some 353,000+ A35s were built between 1956 and 1968, this figure including saloons, vans, pickups and Countrymans. The 4dr saloon was known as the AS5, the 2dr saloon as the A2S5, the pre-1962 5cwt van was known as the AV5, and the pick-up as the AK5.

Mk2 vans – the rarest model, made only in 1962 – were designated the AV6.
The post-’62 Mk3 1098 6cwt vans were coded AV8, and the Mk3 848cc versions as AV8 also. The ’56-’62 A35 Countryman was known as the AP5, and the final cars (March 1962 – September 1962) as AP6.
Fortunately the availability of spares, both new and used, is still very good, whether from a club or specialist parts supplier, so there should be A35s on the road for a good number of years yet.

1962 Austin A35 Van with Side Windows

Use it as either a van or a station-wagon

Rust-free example

Resprayed 4 years ago

Solid condition all-round

Sound Engine and Mechanicals

Recon 1275cc MG Midget Engine

Uprated brakes + servo

Radically lowered

Ideal for Advertising a Business


Free Road-tax

Very Cheap Fully Comp Classic Car Insurance

An appreciating asset

In 1962 there was a purchase tax dodge that everyone used. The first owner of this Austin Mk 2 AV6 A35 Light Commercial bought it as a van in 1962, from Storeys Motors, Leytonstone, East London (the rear passenger seat and heater were extras) – and the rear seat conversion/ side windows were fitted to avoid purchase tax.

It was the only vehicle he ever owned, and it was used for fishing trips, holidays, etc.

As a 17-year-old, his son learned to drive in it; he said that over the years whenever his own cars broke down, Dad’s Austin A35 Van always seemed to be available as a stop-gap. In due course, the van was passed to his son. After running it as his daily car, curiosity got the better of the son, and he customized it. It’s radically lowered, has an uprated braking system, and an MG Midget engine, which means that it really shifts…

However, apart from the lowering, from the outside it appears to be completely stock.

I bought it from these original owners in 2004. I already had an A35 van for my daily jobs, and was trying to decide whether to lower it (and how to do it). So when this one-family-owned customized van was advertised for sale I was on the doorstep within the hour! The previous owner had done everything that I had always thought about doing – and made a very good job of it. I took the towbar off my other A35 van and put this new van into service immediately.

I got some metal signs made up to advertise my business – and that turns the Austin back into a van. I prefer the looks of the van, but I prefer the all-round vision of the station-wagon.

Then I fitted an exterior sunvisor and had it resprayed maroon. Everything works well on it; it looks great; you can drive it anywhere – it’s okay as a daily driver.

The interior is clean and tidy. The front seats are good except they’re torn at the back. The previous owner used a thick green material for all the interior panels, which works fine, though is a bit utilitarian to my personal taste. I normally garage the van, but if I park it in my drive overnight water does not get in.

It looks fantastic, but I would not describe it as concours, or a ‘showroom’ car, ie you could find things to improve it to personal taste, and the paint has scratches and blemishes simply because that what happens when you use your classic cars on a daily basis. The jobs I can think of offhand that need doing are:

1. I never did get round to buying some new pop-rivets to re-fit the external chrome trim on the drivers door; the trim was removed when it was resprayed (it is safely stored in the back of the van).

2. If you look very closely, you might notice that the grill mascot badge has a small chip out of it; I haven’t got round to replacing it. New ones are easily purchased by mail-order.

3. After 3 years since repainting, there’s a small line of rust bubbling under the paint below the rear side windows. It does not stand out. Likewise, there are paint blemishes on the near-side front wing, and on the off-side rear wing under the petrol filler. There’s a small patch of rust on the off-side front wing where it meets the front valance (about the size of a 10p piece). The above things do not stand out.

The paint on the near-side rear wing is scratched. There’s a pot of paint so you can touch up the paintwork.

4. The top of the parcel shelf needs tacking up.

5. The back of the front seats are ripped. You only notice it when you fold the seats down to get in the back. It could be glued to repair it.

I haven’t tidied the car up to make it look better in the photos. It’s a car that’s used, not driven only to shows, so you’ll see it ‘lived in’ which is how I like them.

If you’re serious about this beautiful little van, I recommend you pop down and take it for a spin. It’s a hot-rod. It might be more than you can handle?

Obviously you can drive it sedately if you wish. But it’s sooooo tempting to suddenly nip out into the outside lane on a motorway, put your foot down and watch overtaken drivers’ mouths open as you motor past 🙂

It had a service before its last MOT, with all new ignition parts, etc. There’s a new battery. I had a good stereo fitted, though it’s not wired in at present. There’s a towbar, and seatbelts front and rear. The rear portion has been converted by means of a shelf so that you can open the rear door and use the storage area below to stow things out of sight; and you can use the shelf above for shopping, etc. The previous owner fitted extra gauges: ammeter, oil pressure, temperature, which all work. The rev counter doesn’t work: it used to, so it’s probably just a loose wire, but I never bothered with it anyway. The fuel gauge works (unusual in an old car). There’s a blank dial next to the fuel gauge. I have a large file containing its previous history, including a little book listing everything done to it between 1968 and 1996.

The mileage is 124,714. Chassis number is A/AV6.9198. There’s a V5C reg document, and MOT until 26 September 2008. It’s taxed, which is free. With the low insurance costs, it’s cheap to run.

How easy is it to drive?

– Well, it’s not quite as easy as a modern car. It’s quirky. The flashing indicators are controlled by a switch in the centre of the dashboard; you have to remember to cancel them after you turn. And remember that on these old gearboxes you only use 1st gear when you’re at a standstill.

There’s a small steering wheel, which makes it easy to steer. But though it drives nearly as fast as a modern car it still handles like a fifties car – it’s good to remember that!

And you MUST remember how low the car is. (The front suspension is about 3 inches above the ground). There is a warning that you’re about to ground the front suspension – because the front number plate is hinged: when you hear it flipping up under the car you have about one second to slow down.

If you’re bothered about driving a low-rider, it’s not difficult to move the front end up to normal height.

It’s easy enough to develop a feel for it, to go with its flow. It’s a very friendly car. Once you’re used to it, you drive it intuitively.

It runs fine on unleaded petrol (unleaded head). It’s easy to start and tanks along easily at 70mph on the motorway if you want it to, though apart from showing off occasionally I usually stick to 60 with all old classics.

I feel confident enough to drive it cross-country. But remember this is a 45-year-old classic car. If the purchaser wants to drive it home and has not driven one before, you have my respect, but it must be entirely at your own risk.

I think that just about sums it up. Apart from things mentioned above, I can’t think of anything that needs doing to the car. You can jump in and use it right away as a regular daily car.

You are most welcome to nip down to Brighton and have a spin in 987 UXD before you buy (I can pick you up at the station if necessary). The auction is a 1 month classified ad to accommodate viewing as necessary. I’d much prefer that you look yourself, or get someone local to do so for you, before you buy. This is your responsibility. It’s a 45-year-old vintage car. It might be a £5000 classic, but it’s still an old car that needs more nurturing and attention than a modern car. PLEASE BE AWARE: there are always jobs that need doing on an old car.



International purchasers are very welcome – If you live abroad, I’m happy to help arrange shipping for you as long as you pay for the shipping. I do not charge you extra for that service. (I’ve bought vintage vehicles from USA, South Africa and all over Europe; and have sold vintage vehicles to those countries + Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, Ireland).

NORTH AMERICA: for USA, Southampton is the port I’ve used before: I would charge £150 to deliver it to Southampton to the shipping agent (I’ll arrange this for a North American purchaser). If you don’t have a shipper I’ll phone some I’ve used before to find the current cheapest option for you.

FRANCE: For French enthusiasts, I live only 10 miles from Newhaven ferry terminal (sails to Dieppe or Le Havre): you could come to my house and collect it; or you could park at Dieppe or Le Havre, come over as a passenger and I’ll meet you with the car for you to drive it back onto the ferry. Though you must pay me in advance.

UK: if the purchaser is in UK, I will not deliver anywhere unless it’s very local. So you have 2 options: there are plenty of transport companies advertising on ebay, and most seem very reasonable for north-south deliveries. I’ve found that a part-load delivery (ie when they already have an outbound job) from Brighton to the north of England is usually only £200 or less. It’s very low so you would need a low-loader rather than ramps or towing-dolly. Unless you live a very long way away, coming down on the train and driving it home would be a more viable proposition.

You can obviously drive it home, at your own risk. If you don’t mind driving a car that gets constant attention and improves you social life 100% then this might be the car for you!


If you have any questions about this (or any other vehicle in these BuyVintage Online Auctions),
you can contact Colin in our Customer Service Department between 9am and 7pm daily:

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Published on October 18, 2007 at 5:47 pm  Leave a Comment  

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