Sir Herbert Austin (1866–1941)

Image credit: British Motor Industry Heritage Trust

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Herbert Austin began his career working for Wolseley, the Australian sheep-shearing machine makers. Returning to Britain in 1893 to work as their General Manager, he was one of Britain’s earliest motor car inventors. He would help Wolseley become the largest British car maker before a disagreement saw him leave to form his own company in 1905. Setting up his factory at Longbridge near Birmingham, Austin became a major force in the motor industry. Most notably, he brought car ownership closer to the reach of the ordinary public with the invention of the Austin Seven. Austin was knighted in 1917 for his role in the war effort and was MP for Birmingham Kings Norton from 1918 –1924. In 1936, four years after this portrait was painted, he was became Lord Austin of Longbridge.

British Motor Museum



Sir Herbert Austin (1866–1941)




oil on canvas


H 59.5 x W 44 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

gift, 1986

Work type


British Motor Museum

Banbury Road, Gaydon, Warwickshire CV35 0BJ England

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