1950s Austin A35 Delux takes Awesome Autumn Trophy

Austin A35 Delux Car with superimposed text and graphics

A stylish 1950s rally car lived up to its competitive past by winning top honours at October’s “Classic Drive & Ride In Day” at Lakeland Motor Museum in Cumbria.

The Austin A35 Delux was awarded the Awesome Autumn Trophy after around a hundred classic and sports cars gathered at the museum for the popular autumn meet.

The 1958 Austin A35 was used in the 1959 RAC Rally as well as in many sprints & sports events.

Interior of the winning Austin

It’s owner, Simon Smith, from the South Lakes area, says: “It was a lovely surprise to be awarded the Awesome Autumn Trophy in recognition of the car. It’s a great little vehicle with a history you can trace back to day one.”

The Austin was bought brand new in October 1958 by motor sports enthusiast Bob Smith from Windermere who was very active in the Furness Motor Club. It was used in various rally events before being traded in for one of the new Minis that arrived on the scene. It was sold on to a family in Millom and stayed there until 1999.

“Bob is a good friend of mine and in the 90s I managed to track down where his Austin had ended up,” explains Simon. “He was able to buy it back and set about restoring it. I acquired it in January 2020 and have continued the restoration since then.

“I take it to any motoring events that I can. It’s fantastic on the roads and handles really well.”

Simon Smith, the owner of the winning Awesome Autumn Trophy

Its engine now features a 948cc A series block with an A+ 1275cc cylinder head and the restoration included fitting Jaguar C-Type bucket seats.

Other period alterations include the Austin-Healey Mk1 Sprite wheels – which are lighter than the originals, a custom Bluemels Steering wheel and other rally touches.

The Austin was awarded the Lakeland Motor Museum’s Awesome Autumn Trophy by Curator Chris Lowe. “It stood out to me as a well restored, local car with an interesting competition history,” says Chris.

“The Classic Drive and Ride in Day was a great success and it was lovely to see such a good collection of classic and sports cars and a number of motorcycles too.”

A peep under the hood - the immaculate negine of the winning car

The hand-crafted Awesome Autumn Trophy is made from a 1960s steering wheel produced by racing driver and motorsport pundit Les Leston’s company. It’s supported by a BSA spanner which has been bent to create the stand and rests on a plinth created from an original ‘Wright’ registration plate.

Awesome autumn inline 04

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