Designed in 1947, built in and released in 1948, the A90 convertible was conceived to earn dollars, and the Austin Motor Co. had it sights set firmly on the US to get them. Initial reaction in the States was that of trepidation, a quirky British car, certainly different, but what is it? Along to the rescue came Alan Hess, the then PR man at Austin, and well known for his daring stunts in the interests of promoting Longbridge products. He conceived the idea of proving the worth of this new Austin, and took off for the racetrack at Indianapolis. With a standard production convertible finished in Seafoam green metallic paint, with biscuit coloured interior, he thrashed the course for 7 days and 7 nights continuously, with the aid of his fellow compatriots, Dennis Buckley, Charles Goodacre, and George Coates. The rewards were high, 63 speed and endurance records achieved, some in new categories, others `stolen’ from their American holders. Today it has a cult status, and is highly sought after by those enthusiasts who long for something Flamboyant, Americanised and Over the Top. In other words something special, and different.
This wonderful example was the property of King Farouk of Egypt, the penultimate King of Egypt, succeeding his father Fuad I in 1936. Farouk was only 32 when overthrown in the 1952 military coup d’etat, and then forced to abdicate and exile to Switzerland. He died in 1965 in Italy. The A90 was first delivered in April of 1950, finished in Seafoam Green with Maize trim, and supplied with an optional radio, which is still fitted today.
On his exile Farouk took the car with him to Switzerland, where it later fell into the hands of an A90 enthusiast. In the late 1990s the Atlantic was repatriated into the UK and the long term of ownership of a Mr. David Wilkins, who commissioned a comprehensive restoration over the coming years. After completion the car was then shown on the club stand at the 2014 NEC Classic Car Show. A well known car in Atlantic circles, this nicely restored example, finished in Ice Blue metallic with a Royal Blue leather interior, is supplied with a file of invoices, correspondence, copies of previous title documents, a newly issued MoT certificate, original parts and service manuals and even its original Egyptian registration plate. An interesting choice for the collector, with a fascinating history.