In 1958 if you wanted a six cylinder car, had the additional cash to afford more luxury than could be found in a Holden Special, wanted something British and did not like the American inspired styling of the Vauxhall Velox/Cresta or Ford Zephyr/Zodiac, then it is likely the Austin A95 Westminster, or its Morris Marshal clone, would be on the top of your list.
In many ways the A95/Marshal was the equivalent of a Holden Premier or Falcon Futura, four years before that duo appeared.
And if you hankered after a sportier and more powerful version of the A95, then Austin’s A105 was the car for you.
From a 21st Century perspective the A105 would been the equivalent of a V8 Holden Calais, if they were still making them — the A95 is the V6 Calais.
The A105’s engine boasted a higher compression ratio, double valve springs, and twin SU carburettors.
Its 2.6-litre engine pumped out 102bhp (76.1kw), 20 per cent more than the A95.
It’s the motor that also powered the Austin Healey.
The suspension was lowered an inch for a more road hugging stance.
The Lucas driving lights mounted on the front bumper bars, stainless steel wheel covers and discrete A105 badges signified the difference from the A95.
The A95 and the A105 could be had with a BorgWarner 3-speed automatic transmission.
All of the A105s that came to Australia were automatics.
“It’s got a great kick down,” says David Davis of his A105.
To emphasise the point he pushes the accelerator pedal to the floor and we sprint from 80km/h to 100km/h in the time it took you to read this paragraph.
David and I are out on one of the semi-rural roads that criss-cross western Sydney in the area which will become the city’s second airport.
The drive allows me to appreciate the interior appointments.
Up front the white and maroon leather bucket seats have individual centre arm rests. There’s a centre arm rest for back seat passengers. All doors have arm rests too.
A parcel shelf sits below the all metal dashboard. As a nod to safety the top of the dash and the parcel shelf are covered in thinly padded vinyl.
David, has owned the car since 2001.
“I’m the fifth owner,” he tells me.
If you have not seen an A105 before, then you are not alone.
David says he’s seen only one other since 2001.
“There’s probably about five left in Australia,” he estimates.
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