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The 1950 Austin A90 Atlantic Convertible was designed to appeal to U.S. tastes. See more classic car pictures.

©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Would you believe that the 1950 Austin A90 Atlantic Convertible was conceived as part of an economic program?

Economic conditions were so bleak in England following World War II that the country adopted an “export or die” program to attract foreign currency -- mainly U.S. dollars.

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One of the results of this policy was the new Austin A90 Atlantic, a convertible designed with the American market in mind. Riding a 96-inch wheelbase, it arrived in 1949 and rode into 1950 unchanged, save for a lower $2,634 price tag.

The 1950 Austin A90 Atlantic Convertible was powered by a 2660-cc (162.2-cid) ohv four. With 88 bhp and 140 lbs/ft torque, it whisked the A90's 2,800 pounds from 0-50 in 11.2 seconds and up to 92 mph.

©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

To Americans, the Atlantic was too small and too expensive: 32.4 inches shorter and $158 costlier than a 1950 Buick Super ragtop. Thus, it sold poorly, and production was halted in September 1952.

The 1950 Austin A90 Atlantic Convertible's dashboard featured center-mounted gauges that were compatible with left- or right-hand steering.

©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

The interior of the 1950 Austin A90 Atlantic Convertible was appointed with leather upholstery and a four-speed column-mounted shift.

©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

­Austin’s three car lines offered in the United States in 1950 sold just 5,452 units -- most of them the inexpensive A40 Devon/Countryman.

A winged "A" was perched above each headlight on the 1950 Austin A90 Atlantic Convertible.

©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

The A90 Atlantic was the first Austin to forsake the traditional upright grille, replacing it with a more rounded front end with a low-mounted grille sporting a central spotlight.

©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

No matter, the Atlantic has earned its place in Austin history. Peter Jewson, of Oxfordshire, England, was so impressed that he now owns two!

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