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Austin A90 Atlantic Convertible

When first laying eyes on this car with its extended mudguards, enclosed rear wheels, numerous chrome strips and the centrally mounted fog light, few will realise it is British.

But then it was not intended to look British, because this Austin was designed specifically for the American market.

In order to focus attention on the car, a successful attempt was made in America in 1949 to break an endurance record, whereby the Atlantic was driven at an average speed of 113 km/h over 19,000 kilometres in seven days.

The concept behind the Austin Atlantic emanated from the post-war British government, which was strongly focused on export and expounded the policy ‘Export or perish’. But the Americans preferred their own large V8s over the Austin’s 2.7-litre, four-cylinder engine. A mere 350 of the circa 8,000 Atlantics produced made it overseas. The engine was later used for the Austin-Healey 100 and this did prove successful.

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