1954 Austin Champ

***Images supplied by vendor***


  • Originally purchased by the British Army
  • Rolls Royce engine replaced during re-commissioning 1449 miles since
  • In current ownership for 44 years

The Appeal

And now for something slightly different. 

The Austin Champ is a great alternative to the ubiquitous Land Rover having both on and off-road capabilities. With its back-to-basics open design coupled with a Rolls-Royce engine, the Champ is certainly more than capable in the harshest of environments. 

This particular example was manufactured in 1954 for the British Military. The off-site "Base Overhaul" carried out by Henlys in 1961 would have returned the vehicle to "as new".

The vendor bought it in 1978 and set about recommissioning, including fitting a new ‘crate’ engine supplied by Rolls-Royce, who by then had surplus spares which they were keen to offload. 

Now proudly sporting many extra features and fittings, this Austin Champ is ready to be enjoyed as-is, or could easily be returned to its original military specification.

The History and Paperwork

  • Entered British military service on 14th June 1954
  • Struck off service on 3rd February 1967
  • Base overhaul carried out off-site by Henlys in December 1961
  • Last used in 2002 - recently recommissioned 
  • Purchased by vendor in 1978
  • New Rolls-Royce engine fitted in 1978
  • MoT and road tax exempt 

The Interior

  • Retrimmed cloth seats
  • Carpeted throughout
  • Original speedometer removed and stored during engine swap

The term ‘interior’ is used in the loosest possible sense, with the lack of doors and side windows giving a full open air driving experience.

The seats have been retrimmed in a comfortable blue velour cloth and the vehicle benefits from a full set of removable carpets throughout making for a quieter, more refined ride. 

The vendor states that everything on the dashboard functions exactly as it should, with the exception of the original fire extinguisher. 

The original speedometer was removed when the vendor had a replacement engine fitted, so that he could know the mileage of the new engine. The new odometer is now showing just 1449 miles. 

The Exterior 

  • Originally painted green, now grey
  • Lots of extras: jerry can, shovel, radio antenna
  • Whitewall tyres
  • Improved rear lighting and mirrors
  • New exhaust silencer and tail pipe

As with most British military vehicles, this Austin Champ was originally painted green when supplied to the Army. 

It has received a hand-painted coat of grey from the present owner and also proudly carries a full set of period-correct accessories including a jerry can, shovel and radio antenna.

The windscreen was originally fitted with two separate panes of glass with a split down the middle, but this has been changed for a single piece screen. 

Additionally, the rear lights have been replaced with brighter units and larger wing mirrors have been fitted. 

The vendor had a new hood manufactured during the 1978 recommissioning, which now requires a little fettling to make it fit again. 

A matching tonneau cover was made at the same time. And the wheels were swapped for alloys, fitted with whitewall tyres. 

The Mechanics 

  • Engine replaced with Rolls-Royce ‘crate’ engine
  • Carburettor, petrol pump and clutch also changed

The vehicle was originally fitted with a Rolls Royce B40, No1 Mk 2A engine, the replacement engine was the later and last version produced B40, No1 Mk 5A

This ‘crate’ engine was also supplied with a replacement clutch, fuel pump and carburettor. 

The vendor states that this Champ has recently been taken out of storage after twenty years. 

He has had it thoroughly cleaned, including steam cleaning the engine bay, clearing out the fuel tank and lines; cleaning the oil and air filters; changing the brake fluid and adjusting the brakes; new spark plugs and points; carburettor cleaned and adjusted; oil change and two new 12V batteries. 

So this Austin Champ has clearly been looked after, never driven off-road or in the rain and is now ready to be returned fully to the road and enjoyed.


The Austin Champ is a very capable off-roader, with its Rolls-Royce engine and simple, utilitarian styling. It offers something for rugged driving enthusiasts and military history buffs alike. 

This particular Champ is offered in an eye-catching finish of grey paint, whitewall tyres and white trim. The next owner may wish to keep the vehicle as it is for road use, or return it to its original specification and use it off road or for reenactments. 

And with a replacement engine showing low mileage, this certainly is a good solid base to start from. 

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As is normal for most auctions, this vehicle is sold as seen, and therefore the Sale of Goods Act 1979 does not apply. All bids are legally binding once placed. Any winning bidder who withdraws from a sale, is subject to our bidders fee charge. Please see our FAQs and T&C's for further information. Viewings of vehicles are encouraged, but entirely at the seller's discretion.

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1954
  • Make Austin
  • Model Champ
  • Colour Grey
  • Odometer 1,449 Miles
  • Engine size 2838
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Private
  • Location London
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
47 bids
  • Wi•••• £8,100 03/10/22
  • fl•••• £8,000 03/10/22
  • Wi•••• £7,900 03/10/22
  • fl•••• £7,800 03/10/22
  • Wi•••• £7,700 03/10/22
  • fl•••• £7,600 03/10/22
  • An•••• £7,500 03/10/22
  • fl•••• £7,499 03/10/22
  • An•••• £7,400 03/10/22
  • fl•••• £7,300 03/10/22

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