Nicknamed the ‘landcrab’, the Austin 3-Litre was crafted from 1968 to 1971. Now rarer than an honest politician, we reckon the Austin 3-Litre makes for ideal classic car motoring.
BMC wanted a car to rival other large executive saloons. As the name suggests, it had a 3 litre engine that was mated to a four speed ‘box powering the rear wheels. Sales were very poor, with the standard version being withdrawn as early as 1969. Only the deluxe version survived until it was eventually scrapped in May 1971.
The design was often blamed for the lack of sales, as the 3 litre was not the most gracious shape ever to come out of longbridge. When compared to the Austin 1800, it quite obviously shared a centre section with it, and had a long bonnet to accommodate the 3 litre welded on to it on one end, with a boot welded on to the other end.
The 125-BHP car did use modern technology, featuring self-levelling suspension which was praised at the time for its road holding abilities. Even the good technology couldn’t save the 3 litre from becoming a sales flop, with just 9,992 being made and never getting close to sales targets. Sales did not even reach the break-even point of 50 cars per week.