The Austin A50 Cambridge was introduced in conjunction with its sister car the A40 Cambridge in 1954 and was ostensibly no more than a larger-engined, more-powerful version of the A40.
The A50’s gearbox was also identical to the A40, but because it was more powerful and more torquey than the A40’s smaller engine, it was tuned to the higher final-drive ratio (4,875:1 instead of 5.125:1).
Austin were presumably looking on the A50 tp be a stepin the direction for better things to come. During the car’s production run introduced a number of mechanical improvements.
These improvments included providing the option of fitting a Borg-Warner overdrive (available from early 1956), for the top three (of four) gears which BMC aligned to the 5.125:1 final drive of the A40.
This permutation was drawn from that which was already offered by Austin on their A90 Westminster.
As it appeared that Austin were beginning to wind down production of the Austin A50 Cambridge in 1956, BMC surprised everyone by introducing a number of updates for the coming season.
These included fitting smaller, 13in road wheels as well as providing the option of Manumatic transmission (a form of two-pedal control).
It didn't take too long for the motoring media to fathom that these developments were in actual fact to be BMC’s way of introducing new innovations “under the radar” for their new Cambridge version, the A55 model to be introduced the following year.
As had been widely predicted in the motoring media, production of the Austin A50 Cambridge was discontinued in 1957 with the immediate launch of the A55 model, which was, in fact, a re-engineered version of the A50 itself.
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