NOSTALGIA: A 1930s’ car for the aspirational

Austin Sherborne 1936.
Austin Sherborne 1936.
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I published a 1936 advert for the Austin Sherborne on August 17 and asked if anyone knew what the technical terms of the day meant.

Ian Heath tells me 10/4 referred to the Austin 10/Four Cylinder, and six windows were often referred to as 'six light' in old car circles.

The hourglass worm steering was a toothed cog driven by a 'worm',  a screw. The 'hourglass' was the shape of the screw. It was shaped that way so more than one tooth could engage the screw at the same time, says Ian.

Austin named their cars and another 10 was called the Lichfield. The 10 was above the Austin 7 but below the Austin 12. The 12s had names like Ascot and Mayfair, a limousine naturally. As for the 'foolproof' controls, this may have meant self-correcting trafficators and synchromeshed gears and a self-starter.

In 1936 £178 was a fair sum. A Ford Popular or Austin 7 cost £105. A shipwright in the dockyard earned £130-£143 a year. The Sherborne was a car for the aspirational.