During 1917 Herbert Austin was running his own large and thriving car and lorry factory at Longbridge, Birmingham. In addition to this he was the agent and importer for several makers of American tractors.
In 1918 he disposed of those interests and started to design his own tractor, the design of which owed a great deal to the Fordson. The exception was the gearbox which was a transverse two-speed unit rather than the Fordson three-speed in-line gearbox.
Power was provided by a modified Austin 'Heavy 20' car engine modified to run on paraffin. This unit was considerably more refined and somewhat more powerful than the Fordson unit, but with breaking crankshafts and other problems it never shared it's rivals reputation for reliability.
Though more expensive than the Fordson it enjoyed a brief period of popularity from 1919 to 1924 and during that time contributed greatly to solving Austin's post war financial problems.
With the advent of the Austin 7 car, production was moved to France, where it continued in modified form with only moderate success until about 1951