Archive for May, 2010

Austin 1800 – Engineering Analysis

May 28th, 2010 2 comments

As you can tell from one of my pages I like the Austin 1800. Back when I owned one I was trawling through the engineering library at Sydney University and came across the journal Automobile Engineer from the 50’s and 60’s. I have the article from Automobile Engineer on Hydrolastic Springing here. But the great find was a three part analysis of the Austin 1800 (ADO17). It started in December 1964 and was concluded in February 1965. It is a fantastic read for anyone into the Austin 1800, or a taste for fine engineering.


Categories: Austin Tags: , ,

Six Species of Rhino?

May 17th, 2010 No comments

Now for a long time there have only been 5 species of rhino, two in Africa (White and Black) and three in Asia (Indian, Javan and Sumatran). The Javan rhino has for a while been the most critically endangered with only 60 individuals across two locations. In fact the Vietnamese Javan Rhino subspecies miraculously survived the idiotic war there but now appears to be less than 5 individuals with speculation they are only females.

However the Javan rhino may now lose its mantle as the rarest rhino species. A recent report has suggested that the Northern White Rhino (Ceratotherium Simum Cottoni) is not a subspecies of the White Rhino but a district sixth species. This has profound results. No longer is there a chance of saving the Northern White Rhino by cross breeding with the plentiful Southern sub species. Moreover no longer is it merely a sub species that is in danger (many rhino subspecies have become extinct already), but an actual species that has less than 20 individuals remaining.

Another report located here explains how Northern White Rhinos have been shipped from a zoo to Kenya in a last ditch attempt to save them.

Categories: Rhino Tags: , ,

The Miracle of Hydrolastic

May 16th, 2010 3 comments

Hydrolastic Suspension

In 1962 after years of development the world was introduced to Hydrolastic suspension on the BMC 1100. A fascinating sealed hydraulic and rubber suspension system that imparted ride and handling better than standard contemporary systems. Ultimately it was fitted to the following BMC cars: 1100, Mini, 1800, Maxi, 1500 Nomad (Australia only), X6 (Australia only), Maxi and finally on the 3 Litre (with a complex self levelling system). Hydrolastic was developed by Alex Moulton with co-operation from Sir Alec Issigonis. Interestingly it actually reappeared (in miniature form) on Alex Moulton’s NS bicycle in the late 1990’s.

It was superseded by Hydragas which replaced the rubber spring with a nitrogen bladder, a la Citroën. No Hydragas cars were marketed in Australia.

As a former Austin 1800 owner Hydrolastic minimised pitching and roll compared to any Holden or Ford of the day. Coupled with front wheel drive the Austin 1800 handled very well with Hydrolastic. In fact a tuned 1800S would comfortably out perform an MGB thanks to Hydrolastic.

I have attached an Automobile Engineer article on Hydrolastic Suspension from September 1962. I photocopied it in 1995 at Sydney University, so sorry for any poor copier quality. It is a very interesting read. If you are the copyright holder and wish me to remove the article let me know. It is a must read for any fan of Issigonis designed BMC cars.


Categories: Austin Tags: