18-19 January 2018

Offered from a Private Collection

1936 Austin Heavy 12-4 Low-Loading Taxi by Strachan

  • Engine no. 81812
  • Identification no. 80776

Without Reserve

  • Offered from a private collection
  • A charming and iconic piece of family fun
  • Formerly owned by Art Astor
  • Likely to become the most popular vehicle in any collection

The Austin taxi was introduced to London streets by dealers Mann & Overton in 1930. By 1935, only five years later, over 70 percent of the automobiles working in London were Austin Twelves, “which have earned a wonderful reputation for reliability under all sorts of conditions in all parts of the world.” Such was the Twelve’s dependability that some were run for many hundreds of thousands of miles; they were still doggedly plying the streets for their trade as late as the early 1960s.

The Strachan-bodied Heavy 12/4 offered here is the “Low-Loading” model introduced in 1934, with an overall height lowered by some seven inches, by means of a redesigned underslung rear axle and dropped cross-braced frame. It is finished in the standard color scheme for the style, in what appears to be an older repaint, and is still equipped with its original meter, FOR HIRE semaphore, and rooftop light. Both the finish and the interior show moderate wear and have a charming patina about them, while the folding top above the rear seat appears to be the original material. The rear compartment is particularly charming, with its folding rear-facing jump seats creating a “conversation pit” atmosphere.

Acquired by its current owners from the well-known Southern California collection of Art Astor, this utterly charming vehicle is bound to become one of the great visitor favorites in a new owner’s stable. The grandkids will love it – and they can ride for free.


Please note that contrary to the printed catalogue, this Austin taxi is a 1936 model.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

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Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

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Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

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Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

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Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more