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An American Austin Electrical Testing Truck

If you have been following along here at The Old Motor you might notice that we have a weakness for these cute little American Austin cars. We also have five other  little pint-sized  American Austins and Austin Bantams in photos here that you can also look at.

This particular one appears to be set up with possibly a mobile starter-generator testing machine in the back with the gauges behind a glass panel. The black rectangle just behind the door has the look of being where various test leads can be hooked up along with it also housing several switches. Other than that, not much is known about this Austin but hopefully a reader will know more details about this truck.

If you are also attracted to these little machines, check out the American Austin Bantam Club website where there are many more photos along with much more information. The Old Motor photo.

3 responses to “An American Austin Electrical Testing Truck

  1. When American Austin debuted in the spring of 1930, only two body styles were available: 5-window Cabin Coupe and 3-window Special Delivery (a.k.a. Business Coupe). Bodies were stamped and assembled by Hayes Body Works, of Grand Rapids, Michigan, and sent via rail to the American Austin Car Company in Butler, Pennsylvania, where they were mated to the chassis. It wasn’t until fall that a deal was struck with the Mifflinberg Body Works, of Mifflinberg, Pennsylvania, to build the Panel Delivery Truck bodies, which had no interchangeable parts with the Coupes from the cowl back. By 1932, poor sales had sent American Austin into reorganization. As a cost savings measure, the practice of assembling cars at Hayes and Mifflinberg ended. Instead, Hayes merely supplied body panels, and all assembly work took place in Butler. As for the Panel Trucks, Mifflinberg was cut out entirely. Instead, the boys at Butler fashioned their own Panel Trucks using Coupe sheet metal from the doors forward. Production continued into the 1935 model year, which began in the fall of 1934, and ended in December 1934 when Austin closed its doors for good. The truck shown here is a 1934 model, which is determined by the combination of rear-slanted windshield, vertical hood louvers and Coupe doors (all of which began in mid-1932); painted radiator shell (which began in 1933); and single-bar front bumper (which began for the 1934 model). A further clue comes from the telephone numbers painted on the truck, which leads one to wonder whether this truck was built for a legitimate business, or whether it was something assembled by American Austin itself for its display at the 1934 New York Auto Show.

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