Dating Tens

Guide to the Austin Ten

It is possible to identify the age of an Austin Ten almost to the year. This guide shows you how.


The Austin Ten may be grouped broadly into four styles:

  • Chrome rad 1932-34
  • Cowled rad 1934-36
  • New Programme 1936-39
  • Alligator bonnet 1939-47

These groups can be further sub-divided due to mid-life updates.

Summary below - more details under each of the pictures.

Chrome Rad

April 1932 - 10/4  introduced as an entirely new Austin model

September 1932 - Magna hub wheels and 18 x 4-50 tyres are most obvious changes from early cars. Open tourer and van models introduced from this period vans with 19in disc wheels.

July 1933 -  The X-braced chassis frame introduced. 12v electrics with box trafficators fitted as standard. Bumpers no longer fluted but still twin-blade. Revised bonnet catches with invisible springs & chrome finger loops. Spare wheel cover - often lost.

August 1933 - First Sports model

Sept/Octo 1933 - wider rear body to give more space for rear passengers

November 1933 - wider rear window, electric fuel gauge.

Cowled Rad 

The range was refreshed in August 1934 with a new look and the addition of names for each of the models. The model names allocated were:

  • Lichfield saloon
  • Colwyn cabriolet
  • Open Road tourer
  • Clifton two-seat & dicky tourer
  • Ripley Sports tourer.

The Ripley retained the distinctive Sports radiator grill. 

Not all the models benefited immediately from all the new features - Open Road tourers retained the exposed spare wheel for awhile.

When the Sherborne was introduced in 1936 the Lichfield and other Tens had a mid-life update to match.

New Programme

The Cambidge was bigger and more streamlined. It became the best selling Austin pre-war. Cabriolet version was Conway introduced in 1937.

Update in June 1938 included large-valve engine, piston action dampers replacing vane type, and umbrella handbrake on RH side moved to centre in 1939. Larger boot was achieved by removing side panels.

Alligator Bonnet

Entirely new Ten visably different from most angles. Continued after WWII until replaced by the 11hp Devon.

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