HL Austin – Car Purchase Specialists covering London, Surrey, Hampshire and Sussex. Here we have a short story from War Time Britain of how HL Austin became recognised.
In June 1939, Queen Mary (the then Queen Mother) was being driven along Wimbledon Park Road on her way home from the Surrey Flower Show in her Daimler when a lorry hit the car broadside at the cross-roads of Wimbledon Park Road and West Hill Road.
The collision forced the Daimler on to its side and the noise of the impact alerted Herbert Austin the proprietor of Southfields Engineering Works (now HL Austin & Son Ltd) located a few yards from the scene of the accident. A ladder was placed so that the door of the Daimler could be opened to release Queen Mary, who although badly shaken remained composed.
Dr Revel who then owned a large house on the green arrived promptly at the scene and escorted the Queen back to his residence.
Southfields Engineering Works then set about the task of recovering the car (the Daimler weighed over 3 tonnes in those days). The vehicle was righted and returned to the garage. After examination by the garage engineers the Daimler car company collected the car.
The garage and in particular Herbert Austin were praised for their expert and prompt help, receiving many accolades on the front page of the press to knock Hitler off the headlines.
Finally, Lord Hamilton (the comptroller of the Royal Household) wrote a letter of personal thanks to Herbert Austin
After all these years the cross roads is still locally known as Queen Mary’s Corner.
Since 2012 Wimbledon Park Honda have taken over the main Garage and Showroom offering an excellent service.