At our club run to Old Petrie Town in August 2018, we had a presentation to club member Robert La Roche for his 30 year club membership badge. The following is Robert’s Austin story.
Around 1973 we inherited an A30 from a relative. Having no driver’s license myself, my older brother drove it to the local forest where we set about bush bashing, we soon learnt the sump doesn’t like being pushed in by boulders and tree stumps, no probs just take it off and bash it out with a hammer. Thrashing the engine soon killed it, so we fitted new pistons and rings and new oil, now sounding sweet! It then sat at our house for 6 months out in the rain. A new battery fitted and the engine started, but the clutch seized, so we lost interest in it. We tied it to the Torana and towed it to the local tip. Pushed it sideways over the hill and watched it bounce over and over, doors opening and closing. A last wave goodbye as it came to rest at the base of the tip. This is where the story starts for me and my next 15 or so Austin A30s
Fast forward a few years and in Saturday’s newspaper every couple of weeks there would be an A30 for sale, the ones that I did buy would sometimes come with a spare car and a trailer full of spare parts, hence the amount of spare parts I now have that I forgot about.
Around 1987 I bought a black two door Austin A30 and had the engine reconditioned but with the family and picnic gear in the car the 803cc engine would over heat on some of the steeper big hills around South East Queensland. In 1988 I joined the Austin Motor Vehicle Club and me, my wife and two daughters went on many club runs.
Sadly that car was written off on the way home from work one afternoon in 2002. I still have the wreck in the back yard. Most of the good parts I have transferred to the car I drive now, engine, gear box etc. Tuning was all checked and adjusted however, it still over heated so I fitted a window washer bottle and pump and put a small plastic garden sprayer in front of the radiator and a switch inside the car. Now, when the small engine starts to struggle up the mountains and the temp goes over about 85 degrees, I turn the sprayer on for a few five second bursts and it soon cools down to about 75 - up and over the mountains, with no pulling over to let things cool down. I have since installed an electric fan and removed the blades from the water pump, it should now easily go from 0-100kph in a good afternoon.
I still have a few A30s, having at least one car ready and able to be driven anytime makes a car enthusiast hobby that much more enjoyable.
It helps to belong to a good car club where experience and mechanical knowledge is only a phone call away, so do the right thing...save an Austin!
Cheers Robert La Roche