Austin powers on: The Robertson family’s little Austin A30 gets up and goes with V8 power!

Videographers: William Suen

THE humble Austin A30 was produced between 1951 and 1956, with an engine of less capacity than a carton of milk! The adorable little 803cc four-pots offered up just 28hp, so they were anything but quick. But this crazy example is owned by father and son Lep and Jamie Robertson from Western Sydney, and it’s a long way from stock.

 For Lep and Jamie, the first step in their recently completed project was to yank out the original four-banger to make way for a 307ci small-block Chevy. The parts for the engine were sourced from various swap meets over time, and thus it’s something of a bitsa. The Hilborn mechanical injection set-up was sourced from a ‘for sale’ page on Facebook for $1100, and the whole engine owes the guys just two grand – injection included! “We gathered the cheap bits and then had the guys from Rolinson Performance Engines assemble it for us,” Lep says.

The 307-cuber is punching out an estimated 350-400hp, and runs on methanol supplied by the Hilborn fuel pump. It’s backed by a Powerglide transmission, which is in turn mated to a HiLux diff with 4.11:1 gears.

 “The aim was to keep the cost down and to use the bits we had lying around the shed and in our mates’ sheds,” Lep explains. “Everyone pitched in with stuff here and there.”

The resourceful Jamie and Lep basically built MR MANIAC SR (named after Lep’s drag racing past) in the backyard. They welded in a six-point rollcage and a full chassis, and while the original black paint remains, much of the interior has been gutted. The Austin rolls on some old-school Center Lines with four-inch front-runners at the pointy end and 32×10.5in slicks out the back.

 The goal was to debut it at the recent Day Of The Drags event at Sydney Dragway, but the lads had some trouble with the Powerglide slipping while testing it in the pits. It was a bit of a bummer, but they’ll be back out at Sydney Dragway for a Sunday Street Meet very soon to have a crack, with their sights set on a 10-second pass.

“We chose this car as it was cheap and different, and it’s a car that the whole family can have a steer of on the track, including my mum and my sister,” Jamie says.

We think the Robertson family is well on their way to having a ton of fun with their little Austin.

Videographers: William Suen