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Bob Talbot's Jane Austen
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My association with A30/35s started in 1960 when my brother purchased a blue A35 two door from a local doctor in Ferntree Gully who had privately imported it from the UK.  The car then passed onto my mother who had it until 1982. This car was used to gather the groceries for our family of 16. It was also used by everyone to replace  flashier cars in the family fleet when they broke down. A Customline, Zephyr, Consul, Morris Minor, 48 Ford Coupe,  Simca Arond where all replaced by the reliable A35 at one time or another. The A35 also served as a free refueling station for my Morris Minor 1000 when my apprentice’s wages would not support my petrol needs. A piece of garden hose was used to suck the tank dry although when I used it the hose was full of earwigs which I sucked into my mouth. This was the last time I tried this trick. The A35 is still in our family today in the care of my sister.


Fast forwarding to 1993 I spotted an A30 for sale outside a factory in the street near my work. It immediately reminded me of my childhood, which is a source for many people’s classic car interests. After inspecting the car and finding it to be in very good condition, I purchased it.


Filled with enthusiasm I took it to my ‘brother’ Eddie’s and started stripping it down. Many nights after work and weekends were spent methodically reconditioning the suspension, engine, interior and brakes to attempt to make the A30 better than new

Whilst working on the car I made contact with the Australian Austin A30 club. Tom and Dot Bacon were my first point of contact. After meeting with Tom and Dot, who have become very close friends of mine, much to my surprise I  realised that the car I purchased was a 1953 AS3 which I found out was rare as rocking horse droppings.

As a result of another one of my passions I had the target of finishing the restoration to attend the inaugural Puffing Billy Steam and classic car rally in the Dandenongs. After  6 months of busy work the car was resprayed in Buckingham Green and then registered on 27th August.  


With pride and joy the car ventured its first A30 car club meeting where it was introduced to the members as Jane (Austin). We then attended the Puffing Billy rally and luckily got to lead the procession from Knox City to Emerald Lake park. We were lucky to make it to Emerald as my chest was nearly too enlarged with pride to steer the car.


Running repairs have included a head gasket, waterpump, starter motor and clutch rod although all spare parts are carried even if they end up being used on other cars.


Over the years the car has participated in many A30 club events such as Austins Over Australia, British Car Day, Hanging Rock and most notably the 50th Anniversary of the A30 in Echuca in 2001.


Restoring the A30 has provided me with more than just a nice car. It has taken me on a nostalgiatrip through my childhood with many friends through the A30 club and other classic owners.


I recommend this prescription to any middle aged person in need of a sane mind.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Bob Talbot