|As a young man Herbert Austin, later to become Lord Austin, emigrated to Australia and met Frederick Wolseley and jointed Wolseley Sheep Shearing Company. On his return to the U.K. he built his first car, a three wheeler Wolseley. He built other cars for the Wolseley company before building his first Austin Car at Longbridge, Birmingham, which was to become the home of Austin Cars thereafter. It was a chain driven four speed 25/30 hp vehicle, with a four cylinder engine. |
The mascot was chosen by Herbert Austin as the company's mascot and the design of a winged wheel with a steering wheel attachment was intended to be symbolic of his cars. The steering wheel representing control, the wheel and axle motion, and the wings and dust, the speed and freedom of the open road.
The mascot shown here is one of the very first ones produced and I would date it at around 1910 to 1920, notice the moustache is not supported to the base in the middle as on later winged wheel mascots. I have seen other Austin markings on these mascots but this is the first one I have seen being marked this way. With a wing span of 5 inches it could have been used as a mascot or as an early dealers desk piece.