In their post-war haste to produce a model to suit every possible market niche, Austin, announced the launch of their A70 range, covering the Hereford and Hampshire models.
Production of the A70 Hampshire saloon began in 1948, replacing the Austin Sixteen, which had only been in production since 1945 but had a slightly jaded Thirties look.
The Hampshire was a larger bodied version of the A40 Devon; although fitted with a 2199 cc engine to cover the extra weight it would be carrying, including three passengers in the front bench seat.
After a short production run of nearly three years, Austin wound up production on the Hampshire, replacing it with the slightly larger A70 Hereford in late 1950.
The A70's running gear specification was similar to that of the A40 Somerset but had been revamped by Austin to reach the appropriate dimensions to cope with the more substantial and much faster model.
Under the bonnet was an updated version of the large four-cylinder overhead valve engine which had first appeared in 1946 in the Austin Sixteen.
Still designated A70, the Hereford was in most respects merely a re-bodied Hampshire, being built on the same chassis with only minor differences in the running gear being evident.
The wheelbase was increased by 3 inches, achieved by moving the rear spring mountings back by that amount, and the braking system was now all hydraulic.
The lengthened wheelbase allowed the rear seat to be mounted a little further back, thus improving both knee-room and rear compartment access, which had been a problem with the Hampshire.
The Hereford also benefited from the use of more full rear doors which now resulted in a body of four light design, with prominent use of flowing design, a feature that was popular at that time.
With the engine output and the overall gearing remaining unchanged the performance and economy levels were also virtually as that of the Hampshire, although full use of the well-chosen indirect gear ratios was discouraged by the now standard column-change mechanism which, unfortunately, proved to be one of the more inferior examples of this type.
With the launch of the A70 Hereford, Austin also took the wraps off a two-door convertible, produced by Carbodies of Coventry, with the added option of a power-operated hood, a feature which had been widely influenced by the US-driven demand for soft tops.
The following year, 1951, Austin launched an estate car version of the Hereford under the title of the A70 Countryman.
The Countryman featured wood-framed, steel panelled rear bodywork in which the saloon's curved steel rear wing design was retained.
Setting a trend which they would use more successfully in the future, Austin introduced a pickup version of the A70, which shared the same platform as the Countryman estate, even retaining its plush interior.
Despite the options available, sales of the Austin A70 Hereford were disappointing, with just over 50,000 rolling off the production line at Longbridge, before the model was discontinued in 1954, replaced by the A90 Westminster.