Born in 1943, James 'Jim' Stringer spent his early years in the West London suburb of Acton, and after leaving school took an apprenticeship with London Transport. When he was old enough to drive, he looked around for a suitable motorcar which was affordable on apprentice’s wages. For £35 he purchased a 1929 Austin 16/6 saloon car, and thus his love affair with all things ‘Austin’ began. Joining the Vintage Austin Register in 1962 he soon became involved in its organisation, and for 17 years edited and produced the Vintage Austin Magazine, undertaking research into many aspects of the products manufactured by the Austin Motor Company. James is now the Register’s Vice President. The stories that he has collected over his many years of involvement with Austin cars form the basis of his popular Austin Anthology series of books.
Jim’s love affair with Austins started as soon as he was born, when he was brought home from the hospital through the debris-strewn streets of West London in the comfort and safety of a 1935 Austin Taxicab, owned by a neighbour. As soon as he was old enough to drive, much to his father’s dismay, he bought a 1929 Austin 16/6 with rare ‘Fabric’ Saloon coachwork, for the princely sum of £35. Despite being told NOT to put the car in the garage, Jim defied his father and almost destroyed the doors at the far end of it when putting the car away for the first time, having depressed the accelerator pedal instead of the brake. That same Austin still holds pride of place in the Stringer household to this day. During the years that Jim worked with the Austin Register and its magazine, he started to undertake research into many hitherto untold stories concerning Austin vehicles and aeroplanes and of course the people who purchased them, drove them, flew them, or were simply involved in their manufacture. It is these stories which form the basis of this second anthology, added to which are a couple of humorous items taken from contemporary Austin Journals.