History & register of the Austin Eight

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Celebrating 8 decades of the Austin 8

International Rally

22-23 June 2019, Worcestershire

The 80th anniversary gathering is now history.

The Austin 8 was launched in February 1939 and we were celebrating its 80th birthday with a week-end programme of social activities. We hoped for 20 of these characterful little cars to come from around the UK and abroad, and that's about the figure we managed including; saloons, civilian and military tourers, vans and the unique woody estate from Germany, as well as Bertie the NAAFI military canteen van.

Register car DOT a 1939 Austin 8 tourer in front of the Longbridge Factory.

We have tried to have the amount of Austin Eights brought together, to be mentioned in "The Guinness Book of World Records" The attempt we went for was "The biggest parade of Austin Eights" One Austin Eight out of 19 was not firing up the engine, so we managed 18 cars to be part of the actual parade.

Actually we had 19 and a halve Austin Eights attending the event, since JOY-01 the Austin 8 based pedal car turned up as well. Unfortunately the world record attempt was turned down by "The Guinness Book of World Records" as being "too specialist" However the record was definitely set in the long life of the little Austin 8.

Click on below image to see the full line up of 19 and 1/2 Austin Eights in a small movie.

Line up of 19 and a halve Austin Eights

The feedback was great and we all had a wonderful and memorable event, which will be remembered for the rest of our lifes. The event started at the Friday evening and there were only a few attendees who knew each other. So the event was started on Friday and Saterday being strangers and ended on Sunday being close friends which had an enjoyable birthday party.

Below a selection of photos of the event.

Below photo was taken in front of the windmill of the Avoncroft museum in Droitwich and was used for the front page of the special booklet which was produced for this event. The cars belong to Craig Polly and Robin Wilson. In case you look closely you can see the special made 8@80 car badges mounted on the cars. These badges were made in a limited qty of 80 pieces and are available for you on the Austin 8 web store together with the key rings which were made for this event as well. You can order them here.
The event was truly international, with cars coming from The United Kingdom, Scotland, The Netherlands and Germany, and owners from Australia, Mexico, Portugal and Ireland. 
Above photo of Lizzy, the 1939 Austin 8 Tourer of Robin Wilson and his family was taken in April 2019, and shows the car to be almost complete after a 45 years restoration. Robin made it in time to have Lizzy ready for the 8@80 event. Well done Robin..... 

On our way to Longbridge on Saturday I drove behind Robin, with DOT our 1939 Tourer, when Lizzy came to a sudden stand still. There was only a short moment of "panic", but a loose battery connection seemed to be the only problem, so we were on our way again in no time.

Official closure ceremony, Birthday cake for 80 years old Austin Eights Lizzy and Dot and all their brothers and sisters. Robin, Marcia and Hermann are cutting the cake. In case you click on the image below, you will be forwarded to the video.

The video shows well what a great event we had. More memories. Will follow soon and will be available on a DVD.

Below you will find the highlights of the 8@80 event.

Cutting the birtday cake, "Happy 80th anniversary Austin 8"

Austins return to Longbridge, their place of birth.

During the 8@80 event, we drove to Longbridge, the place of birth of our little Austin Eights. There is only a small part left of what used to be a huge manufacturing plant. We were allowed to make a photoshoot with John Lakey, which was a great moment. There are rumours that we might be the last club who was given the opportunity to make the occasion, since the last remains might be teared down soon. Another amazing experience, which was also featured in three Classic Car Weekly magazines in a row.

Line up of Austin Eights in front their place of birth, the manufacturing plant in Longbridge. 

a Joyful reunion with the Austin 8 Pedal car

In Issue 1495 - page 6 of Classic Cars Weekly, you will find a nice article about a joyful reunion of the Austin 8 Pedal car Joy-01 with its first lady driver at Longbridge during the 8@80 event.

Marcia Blake sat in the pedal car in 1946, as an 8 years old, for promotional purposes. Her father was one of the Austin production engineers and also one of the engineers responsible for the design of the Austin 8 Pedal car, later manufactured as the well-known J-40 pedal car, Marcia was now reunited with it and now sat in DOT, the Austin 8 tourer register car, which was a better fit for her at the age of 81.

A remake of the original 1946 image was made, now with Georgie, the granddaughter of main organizer of the 8@80 event Robin Wilson. She took place in the Austin 8 Joy-01 pedal car, which was just a great moment of Joy. We had photographer John Lakey with us to make the photoshoots. He owns the copyrights of attached images, but he allowed us to share them with you.

More Information about JOY1 the Austin 8 based pedal car can be found here or by clicking on the image below.

Joy 1, the Austin 8 based pedal car with driver Marcia, 1946.

Joy 1, the Austin 8 based pedal car with driver Georgie and Marcia 2019.
Georgie in Joy-01 and Marcia in Dot, what a great shot.
Georgie in Joy-01 and Marcia & Dot, in the back ground.

1939 Dot meets Joy-01 during 8@80 event

80 years old, 1939 Austin 8AP Tourer “DOT” meets 1946 JOY-01 Austin 8 prototype pedal car during the 8@80 anniversary event. How great is this. Look at the shapes and how big this pedal car actually is. DOT was pleased to meet her baby sister after 70+ years.

Joy-01 was allowed for a weekend out of the Gaydon British Motor Museum, where she is displayed since she was rescued from an antique dealer. Thank you very much for having the opportunity to have Joy-01 available during our Austin 8 Anniversary event. It must have been enjoyable for Joy-01 to meet her big brothers and sisters Austin Eights during the event.

Just a few shots I made which I thought to share with you. Since this will probably never happen again.

1946 Joy-01 pedal car with 1939 DOT 8 AP tourer in the background.

1946 Joy-01 pedal car with 1939 DOT 8 AP tourer in the background.
1946 Joy-01 pedal car with 1939 DOT 8 AP tourer in the background.
The Joy-01 pedal car made it being a prototype only, which makes this pedal car so rare being a one off. The actual pedal car which was taken in production, was the J40. Some of these were attending the event as well. We tried to get one running, but were not able to find a muscled enough child to pedal the car over the field.
J40 Pedal car with open hood, we tried to get it running without succes.
J40 Pedal car with DOT in background.

Another Austin image re-make.

Here are the results for the 1946 picture re-make, during the 8@80 event.

The 1946 photo was made to celebrate the production of the 1 millionth Austin car which was not an Austin 8, but an Austin 16, same as in the re-make picture made during the 8@80 event. It was also the debut of Joy-01 the famous pedal car now to be found in the Gaydon British Motor Museum.

We know the mix of the Austin 16, four Austin 8s and Joy 1 is a bit incongruous, but we believe it echoed some of the feel of the June 1946 debut of Joy 1.

The most difficult bit of preparation was painting the black stripes on the old bits of carpet. We all know that carpet is all too easy to paint when you don’t mean to, but believe us it’s not so easy when you do mean to paint it with defined colour edges!

It took some time to get the re-make set up together, but we managed!  

Military cars attending 8@80 event. 

It was a great pleasure we had a military Austin 8AP Tourer present during the Austin 8, 80 years anniversary, owned by Monty Dixon. Also we had Bertie attending which is a military Austin 8 NAAFI van, who has it's home in The Russian Arctic Convoy Museum. As a quest we had a great Austin K2 Military Ambulance, owned by Chris Tallents, as well.

8@80 Car badge and key ring available for you 

For the event we have made Car Badges in a limited qty of 80 pieces only. These were given to all Austin Eight owners attending the 80th anniversary event. These should be on your car, or in your garage or man-cave. They are now available through the Austin 8 web shop. Some more interesting items were added. Have a look by clicking on the images below.

8@80 event highlihts leaflet availabe for you.

This threefold A4 size high quality event highlight leaflet gives a small summary about the activities during the Austin 8, 80th anniversary event in Worcestershire June 22-23 - 2019.

Line up in Worcestershire, visit at Longbridge factory, the place of birth of the Austin 8, meeting with Joy-01- Austin 8 pedal car. Joyful reunion and re-make image with Marcia Blake who sat in the pedal car when young in 1946. Re-make image of the 1.000.000th Austin car. Cutting the birthday cake to celebrate 8 decades of Austin 8.

This threefold 6 page event highlight leaflet is printed in a very low circulation and now available for you.

Threefold 6 Pages, A4 format. It can be yours for Euro 4,95

Prices mentioned are excluding shipment.

So far, the good news. The bad news is that the Dutch Postage Services have again raised their postage rates in June-2019. So. I must charge Euro 9,50 for international postage. ☹️

Payment through Pay Pal. In case you do not have a Pay Pal account, please contact me for alternative payment methods. You can order the booklet via the web store of the Austin 8 Register web page. Click here to order it.

Below images show a preview of the threefold six page 8@80 booklet. 

Austin 8 history and 8@80 DVD.

a Blu-Ray / DVD is compiled and tells the story of the Austin 8 – a story told following the weekend celebrations when a group of Austin 8s and their owners came together to commemorate the car’s 80th birthday and give the model its long overdue share of the limelight.

Includes the story behind the very first pedal car ever made by Austin, how it shared its origins with the Austin 8 and how its first driver, a 7-year old girl in 1946, was able to reunite with the car at the site of Austin’s Longbridge factory some 73 years later.

In addition to the sections used within the main feature the full interview with Marcia Blake is included as an extra. 

You can order this DVD via the web page of John Clancy:  

John compiled the BLU-RAY / DVD in cooperation with the Austin Eight Register and distribution preferably goes through him directly.

A huge thanks for organizing the 8@80 event.

The Austin 8 was launched in February 1939 and we were celebrating its 80th birthday with a week-end programme of social activities. 19 of these characterful little cars came from around the UK and abroad, including; Saloons, Tourers, vans and we hope the unique Woody Estate from Germany.

Without the assistance of co-organizer Robin Wilson and The Austin Counties Car Club the event would not have been the succes it turned out to be. So a huge thanks to them for thier contribution.

Also we thank John Clancy who compiled a Blu-Ray / DVD based on the 8@80 event which is available via: www.triumphdvd.co.uk 

A line-up of Austin Eights, these cars are the Austin 8 registry cars.

The event is being jointly organised by Hermann Egges, who runs the Austin 8 Register, and Robin Wilson, who has been restoring his 1939 Austin 8 tourer on and off since he rescued it in 1974. He has arranged this event to make sure he finally finishes it by June. Is 45 years a world record for the longest-running restoration project of an Austin car?

Robin Wilson in his 1939 Austin 8 Tourer, 1989 when it last run 30 years ago

Robin and his car and family in a remake of the photo of 30 years ago. Well done Robin.

Thanks to a contribution from the ACCC (Austin Counties Car Club) towards event costs, the entry fee was only £20 per car and this included buffet lunch on the Saturday, rally plaques, routes and show area places on both days, and a special Commemorative Brochure to mark 80 years of this car and featuring profiles of some of the most interesting surviving cars.