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Austin » K8

Work on the K8 as it was called in its prototype form, started in early 1946. But it soon became known as the 'Three-Way' van owing to its arrangement of double doors on both the nearside and offside, as well as at the rear, providing excellent access to the loading bay, it was on occasions incorrectly referred to as the 'Freeway'. It was a very forward looking design with its curved front and high driving position, making the visibility excellent compared to the competition.

Production commenced early in 1947 at a cost of £535. Various changes had been made from the prototypes, which included the radiator grille, front bumper, access steps along with the wheels. It had a very small wheelbase considering that it had a pay load of 25 cwt, and this made it very nimble. It was powered by the Austin 2,199cc engine OHV petrol engine which had recently been installed in the Austin 16 car. The forward control cab gave good visibility a partition with window separates the cab from the steel body, with composite doors and toughened glass. The final assemble of the van was done at Longbridge. The contract for the bodies was give to Carbodies who had their factory in Holyhead Road Coventry. The body had a timber frame with steel sheets attached, even the doors had a wooden frame. The large front windows gave a good view of the road, the drivers side could be opened. Both the front doors had wind-down widows. From the first vehicles been produced in 1947 to the last one coming off the line on September 1954 a total of over 26,500 had been made.

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  1. José Antonio Lopez
    2013-04-13 21:22:02

    In Spain, Viajes Melia, by then the main tour operator, had a small fleet of K8-based luxury minicoaches.rnrnPicture in http://img434.imageshack.us/img434/2772/austinminibusenpzacallao3tq.jpg

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