The Austin Gipsy Page
History of the Austin Gipsy 4 wheel drive vehicle.
The Austin Gipsy was a 1950's rival to the Land Rover. It was more sophisticated than the Land Rover, particularly in the suspension and chassis (the chassis members were rounded and seam welded tubes) department, but, having an all steel body, it soon gained a reputation for rusting (as Land Rover was keen to point out!).
The early Gipsies had independent suspension all round, by trailing arms with 'flexitor' rubber springs. The rubber was contained in a large diameter tube attached to the chassis, which was torsioned as the trailing arms moved. The differentials were chassis mounted, and power was from the Austin A70 2.2 litre petrol or 2.5 litre diesel engine, tuned for torque.
Independent suspension leads to reduced ground clearance when heavily laden, and had an image of lacking ruggedness at that time. Later Gipsies had more traditional leaf springs, and used the Austin A90 2.9 litre engine.
During the 1950's and 1960's, Cornwall County Fire Brigade had an Austin Gipsy fire appliance at every one of its fire stations, alongside a normal Water Tender or Pump Escape type appliance (also almost exclusively Austins). The L4Ps (Light 4 wheel drive Pumps) were fitted with front mounted Godiva ACP 500 pumps. With Cornwall being a mainly rural county, the Gipsy appliances were ideal for access purposes.
Austin Gipsy appliances used by Cornwall County Fire Brigade:
Austin Gipsy Organizations:
The Austin Gipsy Owner's Club web siteThe Austin Gipsy Owner's Club
24 Green Close,
Austin Gipsy web site links:
Glenn Kemp's Gipsy web site