Introduced in 1956, it replaced the highly successful Austin A30. The name reflected the larger and more powerful 34 hp (25 kW) A-Seriesinline-four engine, enabling a slightly higher top speed and better acceleration.
The A35 is very similar in appearance to the A30, except for a larger rear window aperture and a painted front grille, with chrome horse-shoe surround, instead of the chrome grille on the A30. Both have 13 in (330 mm) wheels. The semaphore turn-signal indicators were replaced with modern front- and rear-mounted flashing lights. A slightly easier to operate remote-control gear-change was provided. Much of the improved performance is a result of different gearbox ratios. The A30 has the first three ratios close together then a big gap to top (fourth gear). The A35's ratios are better spaced and give a higher speed in third gear.
A35 4-door Saloon
Like the A30, the A35 was offered as a two- or four-door saloon and two-door "Countryman" estate and also as a van. The latter model continued in production through to 1968. A rare coupe utility (pickup) version was also produced in 1956, with just 477 sold. Drawings were made for a sports tourer, but no prototype was actually built.
The A35 passenger cars were replaced by the new body shape A40 Farina models in 1959 but the estate car version continued until 1962 and van until 1968.
A two-door de luxe saloon with the 948 cc engine was tested by the British Motor magazine in 1956 and was found to have a top speed of 71.9 mph (115.7 km/h) and could accelerate from 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 30.1 seconds. A fuel consumption of 41.5 miles per imperial gallon (6.81 L/100 km; 34.6 mpg‑US) was recorded.
Referring to the A35, from Staton Abbey (1969?). The Book of the Austin A30 and A35. Pitman Press: pp 148.
"....The new cars were thoroughly proved by tests carried out on the German autobahnen, during which drivers of much larger cars were astonished to be passed by three small Austins which were being driven flat out all day, averaging 60 mph for 25000 miles!......"
".....a privately-owned works-tuned A35 was driven for seven days around the Montlhéry track, near Paris, in a record-breaking run at an average speed of 75 mph, covering nearly 12500 miles...."
With standard fit of drums all round, in both the A30 and the A35, the front hydraulic with rear hydro-mechanical brakes (the hydraulics acted upon the hand brake at the rear) needed regular adjustment to keep the stopping distances reasonably short.
The A35 was quite successful in 1950s saloon car racing, until supplanted by the Farina A40, but some still appear in historic events.
In recent years a special Academy class of racing has been introduced by the HRDC (Historic Racing Drivers Club), featuring A30 and A35 saloons. These cars feature sealed 1275 cc Marina engines, and are a restricted class, meaning that owners are limited to a specific range of parts from specified suppliers.
Former politician, the right honourable Ann Widdecombe, has appeared in two BBC television programmes reliving and recounting her childhood holidays in an A35. The first was a segment in The One Show where she and Christine Walkden took a trip in an A35. Ann appeared again with the same car in series 1 of Holiday of My Lifetime, this time alongside Len Goodman.
In the French movie Oscar, the second most successful film in France in 1967, starring Louis de Funès and Claude Rich, the latter can be seen driving a black A35 2-door saloon throughout the opening credits, driving through Paris in the early morning hours.
In a 1985/86 RTE Irish language programme Dilin ó dheamhas, an A35 countryman is seen being driven by a character called Dado.