Austin A99 Westminster specification
Produced: Longbridge, 1959-61. 13,410 cars built.
General layout: Unit-construction, pressed-steel body-chassis structure, in 5-seater, 4-door saloon car style. Front-mounted engine driving rear wheels.
Engine and transmission: BMC C-Series engine, 6-cylinder, ohv, in-line 2,912cc, 83.34 x 88.9mm, 103bhp at 4,500rpm; 158lb ft at 2,000rpm; 3-speed gearbox, all synchromesh; Borg-Warner overdrive standard on top and 2nd gears; optional Borg-Warner automatic transmission; live (beam) rear axle with hypoid-bevel final drive.
Chassis: Independent front suspension, coil springs, wishbones and anti-roll bar. Cam-and-peg steering. Rear suspension by half-elliptic leaf springs and anti-roll bar. Front disc and rear drum brakes. 7.00-14in tyres.
Dimensions: Wheelbase 9ft 0in; front track 4ft 6in; rear track 4ft 5.25in; length 15ft 8in; width 5ft 8.5in; height 4ft 11in. Unladen weight (approx) 3,305lb.
Distinguishing features from previous model: Entirely different monocoque and Farina body style from superseded A95/A105 models.
Typical performance: Maximum speed 98mph; 0-60mph 14.4sec; standing 1/4-mile 20.4sec: overall fuel consumption 19mpg.
Launch Price: £1,149
Derivatives: The Wolseley 6/99 was mechanically identical and shared the same monocoque, but had a different nose style and upgraded trim. Both cars were superseded by the Austin A110/Wolseley 6/110 models in autumn 1961.
Fate: Discontinued in 1961 and replaced by the A110, which used the same basic design.
Trivia fact: Austin Westminster A99: ADO10 (Austin Drawing Office 10). Rally driver Pat Moss's legendary outright win on the 1960 Liege- Rome- Liege rally would not have happened if Syd Henson from Ferodo had not stolen the gearbox drain plug from his Westminster to keep Pat's Healey on the road. Pat's future husband the great Eric Carlson then followed her all the way in an A99. This was not uncommon, many parts were shared between the Westminster and Healey and A99s or 6/99s were sometimes entered into events as competitive cars; to be driven by mechanics and sacrificed if the leading Healeys needed a part. An A99 also appears briefly as a police car in the Michael Caine film, "The Ipcress File" along with an A55 Mk11 Estate.
Source: "The Cars of BMC" - Graham Robson (Motor Racing Publications, 1987)