A unique piece of BMC history – a restored ‘skeleton’ example of the Austin 1100 Countryman – is now on display at Great British Car Journey after being generously lent to us by The 1100 Club.
The skeleton body of the unique vehicle is designed to show the electric motors which control the movement of front and rear seats, demonstrating its carrying capacity to the full.
The arrival at Great British Car Journey follows the end of an eight-year search by the club for a new home for the car following the closure of its former home, Stondon Motor Museum in 2015. Since the museum’s closure the car has been in storage, only being brought out by the club for shows and exhibitions. During this time, members of the Essex branch of The 1100 Club restored the rare model to its former glory.
“Absolutely over the moon” to finally bring the car out of storage, Gordon Diffey, The 1100 Club committee member who is responsible for looking after the car, explained: “After learning about the Great British Car Journey at the Classic Car Show last year where I had my car on display and then visiting the museum myself, I was very impressed and realised it would be an absolutely perfect place to display the car. Now that it is on display again at the museum, members of The 1100 Club and all other classic car enthusiasts have the opportunity to see it whenever they want.”
Originally produced by Austin to demonstrate the still unique BMC engine and transmission layout at the 1966 Geneva Motor Show, the car also appeared the following year at the 1967 Earls Court Motor Show on a turntable alongside a fully bodied version.
At the end of the show the Austin 1100 skeleton car was put into storage at the British Motor Museum at Gaydon before being purchased by The 1100 Club in 1998 and subsequently displayed at Stondon Motor Museum in Bedfordshire.
Delighted to have the Austin 1100 skeleton on display in the exhibition, Richard Usher, CEO and founder of Great British Car Journey said: “This is a truly unique car and an important piece of BMC’s history which we are delighted to now have on display. It’s a real talking point, like so many of the wonderful cars designed and produced by British manufacturers over the last 100 years. I am grateful to Gordon and The 1100 Club for giving us the opportunity to share this car with so many people.”
The Austin 1100 skeleton car is available to view seven days a week alongside more than 130 classic cars at Great British Car journey.
Single admission is just £17.50 but, when booked online, visitors pay just £16.00. Concessions and family tickets are also available.
Save money and book your entry tickets online here.