Austin 1800 Halfcrab

Austin 1800 MKII 1970 - on show in the cult-movie "Trafic" by the famous Mr. Jacques Tati

The Austin are manufactored in 1969 og has got 2.9 kilometers on the speedometer and was exhibited at the 1970 Amsterdam Motor Show.

Traffic by Jacques Tati

This car appeared in the movie Traffic by Jacques Tati. The Dutch funded Trafic (Traffic), although originally designed to be a TV movie, received a theater release in 1971 and placed Monsieur Hulot back at the centre of the action. It was the last Hulot film, and followed the vein of earlier works that lampooned modern society. In the film, Hulot is a bumbling automobile inventor traveling to an exhibition in a gadget-filled recreational vehicle. Despite its modest budget, Trafic was still very much a Tati film, carefully staged and choreographed in its scenes and effects. Hulot is a bumbling automobile designer who works for Altra, a Paris auto plant. He, along with a truckdriver and a publicity agent (Maria Kimberly), take a new camper-car (designed by Hulot) to an auto show in Amsterdam. You are experiencing the three characters troubles and difficulties on their way from Paris to Amsterdam, and it all ends up with they're arriving at the Amsterdam Motor Show when it's all over and the exhibition are in its stage to be taken down...


After ca. 25 minutes, the film shows the exhibition hall and the two half's of the Austin are pushed apart....

Snapsnots from "Trafic"

The story...

Where the two half-parts did go right after the Amsterdam Motor Show are not known, but one half (left side) of the car ended somehow up at Gaydon and was exhibited outside the museum. It was there for quite some time, and turned actually in to a very bad shape. All the lights were smashed, the car rusted and the interior got ruined, all due to standing outside in the open.

At a time, it was saved by the UK Landcrab Club (LOCI) and was stored in a shed, paid by the musician Ivan Wade

In may 2003 the Halfcrab Society in Holland was founded. The three, and only three honourable members, Maarten Kempen, Ton Mens og Christiaan Linford collected the car in UK may 15th. 2003 and kept it and worked on the car in Chris' shed for some time. March 2004 they mounted the Austin on a trailer and displayed it at the British cars and lifestyle show in Rosmalen. After the show they kept the Austin in Maartens dry garage in Eindhoven.

Photos from England:

Photos from Holland:

Photos from Samsø:

The Austin Halfcrab.

In England the Austin 1800 has got the nickname "The Landcrab" due to the shape and design of the body. Because the Austin are in one half, we gave it the nice name "The Halfcrab".

In the Netherlands, the Austin 1800 was named "Balanza"

Christiaan Linford contacted Samsø Austin Museum in december 2011 and asked if we were interested in the Austin, due to the fact that the Museum was one of the places, or maybe the only place in the world, where the car will be in its right place and feel good at home... We could get the car as a donation if we promised not to sell it to anybody, and of course, we were delighted, thankful and honoured. We collected the half Austin 7th. of january 2012 in Eindhoven and got it to Samsø Austin Museum. During january 2012, the car are restored, the rust are fixed and it got a re-spray - the colour are Bedouin Beige. The engine are painted, assembled and mounted in the car again and the thing to do now are the mounting of the missing chrome parts. These parts are bought from Mr. Peter Westenholz, Northdjursland and will be mounted on the car in february 2012 .

This is a fantastic history, this car has indeed survived and Samsø Austin Museum are delighted to have the possibility to display the Halfcrab for the public udience. The other half part are unfortunately probably gone the eternal Austin-fields and due to the visions and foresight af the Messrs. Maarten Kempen, Ton Mens og Christiaan Linford, The Austin Halfcrab are saved and we can proudly present it in the museum.

Austin of England

© Samsø Austin Museum 2012