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A Land Rover beater: FAIL!

Austin Gypsie

Austin Gypsie FlexitorWhen Austin presented his Gypsy in early 1958, the entire company was convinced that the Land-Rovers heyday was over. The Gypsy was just as sturdy & tough as the LaRo, but much more comfortable due to its unique rubber suspension.

Ten years later it was the 'end of story' for the Gypsy, who had been no more than a louse in the fur of the Land-Rover in three series.


Why the Gypsy was not a success? the designers had their own successor to the Austin Champ fitted with a steel chassis en a steel bodywork. The rust protection was a bit shot in. The steel Gypsies therefore quickly became crispy with intensive use, whereas the LaRos with their aluminum bodywork were largely intact.

Austin Gypsie lwbThe unique, independent suspension of the Gypsies, the 'Flexitor suspension' provided a lot of comfort for the occupants, but the differentials mounted on the chassis got all the blows and that quickly ensured a terrible reputation when it came to wear and damage came.

A conventional suspension system was offered as an option in 1962. 1965 Brought the final end of the Flexitor suspension. The differentials now moved with the axes and the turning circle went from 15 to 12 meters.

The Gypsies were also supplied to armies of world powers such as the then Malaysia, Switzerland and Australia.

In 1968 the Gypsie entered the huge steel reservoir called British Leyland. And so became step brother of the Land-Rovers. And immediately the first victim of the rationalization within BL.

Still the last ones were pretty good. And due to the number of available versions, we can now give the Gypsie the recognition as a precursor for later generations of recreational 4FD people.

Construction period: 1958-1968
Engine: 2199 cc gasoline or 2178 cc diesel
Top speed: 80-100 km / h, depending on the specifications
Number produced: around 21000

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