The Sands of Time. Austin, Nuffield, BMC Leyland in regional Western Australia. 

By Gary Mentiplay.

ISBN 978-1-875778-27-0, (New, 2024), A4, 298 pages, illustrated- B&W & colour, indexed, 1.3kg. $70.00. No trade discount. Small run.

This book is an in-depth account of the Western Australian Regional motor dealers and garages that held the agencies for the Austin Motor Company (Australia); and also the garages that represented the marques of Morris, Wolseley, Riley, MG, Morris-Commercial, Nuffield Tractors.

The British Motor Corporation was formed by the merger of Austin and Morris (Nuffield) in 1953 in Britain, and their combined interests in Australia were merged and reorganized. The two separate national dealer networks of Austin and Nuffield remained separate until a National Dealer Rationalisation commenced in 1959 and continued in some states until1963. Up until then, there were generally two separate dealers in some suburbs and country towns, one for Austin and one for Nuffield.

This changed to one local BMC dealer selling the full BMC range of vehicles (Austin, Morris, Wolseley, MG). Which meant of course in most locations there was now only one dealer, not two (there were exceptions however). In Australia, this meant the end of "badge-engineering" with the smaller models being labelled as Morris, and the larger models badged as Austin. This only occurred in Australia - the British and New Zealand dealer networks were maintained as separate entities (Austin / Morris) for a long number of years after 1963.

The book features the dealers in their regional areas - this is a major focus of "The Sands of Time." There are 28 personal accounts from dealers ranging from Busselton to Kalgoorlie, with a history on dealers from earlier times. There is also a comprehensive account on the annual numbers of Austin and Morris dealers in WA from 1908 to 1980.

Owners and enthusiasts of Austin, Morris, Wolseley, BMC and Leyland vehicles should have a copy of "The Sands of Time" in their home library.