Austin 750 DOHC (Austin Motor Car Company, Longbridge, Birmingham, U.K.)
Competitive years: 1936-1939
Horsepower Range: 90-116
Color images by Jonathan Sharp
Everyone loves to include the Austin DOHC 750 in the discussion of voiturettes, simply because it is such a jewel, an interesting case of what could have been, and designed by Murray Jamieson on the request of Lord Austin regardless of cost. It is a Grand Prix car in miniature, at only 750cc, begging to be upgraded to a full 1500cc and uphold the British honor in voiturette racing.
Earlier versions had used the Austin side valve engine in supercharged form with some success. Jamieson’s job was to create a new aluminum block and twin cam head, driven by gears at the rear of the engine that produced 116 hp to propel the 1000 lb. chassis. In 1936, Charles Dodson was running with the 1500cc cars in fourth at the Isle of Man races, and Walter Baumer took one to Germany to finish fifth at the Eifelennen and sixth at Berne. But Lord Austin had made his point, sold more Austin Sevens, and lost interest despite the obvious potential of the DOHC engine. It was back to bread and butter for Austin and unfortunately Jamieson lost his life in spectating at Brooklands in 1938. Three of the twin cam Austins were built, and two remain today.