Junkyard Find: 1969 Austin 1800 "Landcrab"

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 1969 austin 1800 landcrab

The BMC ADO17, popularly known as the Landcrab, sold pretty well in Europe but was nearly unknown in North America. Not completely unknown, though; a few Landcrabs were sold in the United States, and one of them has just washed up in a San Francisco Bay Area self-service wrecking yard.

With the same 1800cc pushrod B engine as the MGB, the Landcrab wasn’t going to win any drag races with, say, Slant Six Plymouth Valiants with a couple of bad plug wires, but its front-wheel-drive layout gave it a very spacious interior for its small footprint.

This one has the look of a project car that sat in a California back yard for a quarter-century or so, but it still has plenty of parts to offer one of the handful of American Landcrab owners.

I know of just one running Landcrab on this continent, and that’s this Mazda V6-powered example, which Silversleeves Racing ran at the 2013 Pacific Northworst 24 Hours of LeMons race earlier this year. I’ll let them know there’s a parts car just 1,000 miles to the south!

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  • WolfgangGullich WolfgangGullich on Oct 28, 2013

    Man...if only she were in running shape! Ol' ADO17 has the distinction of being the last production car Sir Alec Issigonis designed. I dream of getting a nice one some day to have my Issigonis collection: Morris Minor, Austin Mini and a Morris 1600/1800.

  • KrisT KrisT on Oct 30, 2013

    A friends parents had one in what must have been the mid 80s. Never got a ride in it but they were pretty common as you would expect in Coventry at that time, you still very occasionally see them. I can remember a few random fact about them, Apparently the only passenger car with a greater torsional rigidity was a Merc. The dipsticks on early ones were wrongly calibrated. The later Australians models were restyled and named Austin Kimberley & Tasmin depending if they had the B-series or the E6. Oz also had a Ute version The B-series was tougher then the E6 lasting about 150,000 as opposed to the E6 100,000 Pininfarina did the styling Won the European car of the year award in 1965 i believe

  • Fred The bigger issue is what happens to the other systems as demand dwindles? Will thet convert or will they just just shut down?
  • Roger hopkins Why do they all have to be 4 door??? Why not a "cab & a half" and a bit longer box. This is just another station wagon of the 21st century. Maybe they should put fake woodgrain on the side lol...
  • Greg Add me to the list: 2017 Sorento EX AWD w/2.0 Turbo GDI 68K miles. Changed oil religiously with only synthetic. Checked oil level before a rare long road trip and Ievel was at least 2 quarts down. That was less than 6 months after the last oil change. I'm now adding a quart of oil every 1000 miles and checking every 500 miles because I read reports that the oil usage gets worse. Too bad, really like the 2023 Tuscon. But I have not seen Hyundai/Kia doing anything new in terms of engine development. Therefore, I have to suspect that I will ony become a victim of a fatally flawed engine development program if I were to a purchase another Kia/Hyundai.
  • Craiger 1970s Battlestar Galactica Cylon face.
  • Master Baiter "...but the driver must be ready to step in and take control. The system is authorized for use during the day but at speeds lower than 40 mph..."Translation: It's basically useless, and likely more stressful than piloting the car ones's self.