Makes / Austin

Austin Logo Herbert Austin, founder of the Austin Motor Company, was born 8th November 1866 at Grange Farm, Little Missenden, Buckinghamshire. His mother secured an engineering apprenticeship for him with a firm in Melbourne, Australia, which he took up in 1884. After working for a number of companies he was invited by Frederick Wolseley to work for the Wolseley Sheep Shearing Company.Whilst working for Wolseley he built 2 experimental tri-cars, the first in 1895 and the second in 1896. This second car was exhibited at the Crystal Palace exhibition of that year. The first 4 wheel Wolseley was built in 1899.Austin had identified a suitable site for his factory whilst working for Wolseley's. The site, seven miles from Birmingham, was at Longbridge. It was well served by road and rail with ample room for future expansion. Finance for the company was provided by: Austin, Frank Kayser of Kayser, Ellison and Company, and Harvey du Cros of the Dunlop Rubber Company.The Company successfully diversified into marine engines and also produced a 2/3 ton lorry in 1913. In February 1914 the Company went into public ownership, the capitalisation realising 50,000.