Wow! In the back of my garage are a couple of old Austins. A 1956 A30 and a 1951 A40 Devon. I can recall some problems with the distributor on the A40, but thought the A30 was ok apart from brakes. The only problem was that the car hasn't been started since 2001. That's 8 years sitting gathering dust with no activity. Today we primed the fuel resevoir, connected a battery and then pulled the starter switch. On the third attempt the car sprang to life. How's that for a triumph of 1950's British engineering.
OK, so we still need to do some work. The brakes need some attention, but I seem to recall they were never particularly good even at their best. Ah, then there's the clutch. that might need a bit of work too! Nevertheless we managed to drive up the driveway and back down again. Great fun and so many memories came flooding back.
Can't remember what an A30 looks like? Have a squiz at the image to the left. Ours is a 1956 A2S4. It still has the old semaphore style indicators - you know, those that stick out on wee little arms and you have to encourage occaisionally with a thump on the door pillar ;-)
No power steering, no synchromesh on 1st gear, acceleration from 0-50mph in about 30 or 40 seconds. Things were certainly different in the 1950's. Going off what's happened today though I suspect they didn't have too many problems starting their cars!!