BUT I CAN AFFORD AN AUSTIN 1300GT
NICK LARKIN Loud, tiny, uncomfortable and overpriced. Who wants a Mini Cooper when you can have something sporty from the same stable, with many identical components – and which is arguably a much better car – for a fifth of the price?
Step forward the Austin 1300GT, launched in 1969 as ‘the one GT that just had to be’. Advertised joys included ‘a chrome tailpipe.’
This was no sleek coupé but buyers got a 70bhp twin SU-carb version of the A-series engine, reclining seats, front disc brakes, a matt black dashboard, rev counter, vinyl roof and a sexy aluminium-spoked steering wheel.
It also had the Mini’s sharp handling but a better ride. Surely a Blaze 1300GT would be anyone’s dream car? And can get a good one for £4k. Move over, Mini! MINI COOPER ENGINE 998cc/4-cyl/ OHV POWER 55bhp@5800rpm TORQUE 57lb ft@3000rpm MAXIMUM SPEED 90mph 0-60MPH 16.8sec FUEL CONSUMPTION 2933mpg TRANSMISSION FWD, 4-speed man WHAT TO PAY CONCOURS £25k, GOOD £19k, USABLE £10k, PROJECT £5k AUSTIN 1300GT ENGINE 1275cc/4-cyl/ OHV POWER 70bhp@6000rpm TORQUE 74lb ft@3250rpm MAXIMUM SPEED 96mph 0-60MPH 15.6sec FUEL CONSUMPTION 3033mpg TRANSMISSION FWD, 4-speed man WHAT TO PAY CONCOURS £7000, GOOD £4500, USABLE £3000, PROJECT £500