header image
Parts
Homepage. This page: Vintage Austin Seven parked in 1930s suburbia with it's owner, and other rare Austin 7 photos.

1. Austin 7 car parked in a street.

Plenty of old Austins feature on this site, partly because I like them, and partly because they were very popular in their day, and as such a fair bit old material still survives. The first of these two particular photographs shows an Austin 7 'box' saloon parked on a road, probably during the 1930s. It looks to be mostly standard, bar one interesting addition. To avoid buffeting with the side window opened, an ingenious owner has fitted a Brooklands' aeroscreen to the driver's side screen pillar, in such a way that annoying draughts could be deflected away from the Austin's driver. The paintwork has also received some personalisation, with highlighted areas painted around the windows, and also a stripe down the side.
The Austin 7 car
The Austin 7 first pottered onto Britain's uncrowded roads in 1922, designed to offer a 'proper' affordable car, to buyers who hitherto had put up with motorcycles, or a variety of cycle-car, a vehicle that was popular in the post-Great War era. The early Austin 7s were all tourers, and soon became known as the Chummy.
It is fair to say that the Austin 7 was a huge success, with 290,000 cars having been built by the time WW2 came along, in various guises - saloon, van, and tourer included. Austin 7s also appeared in overseas markets, produced by local manufacturers. Perhaps best known version was Germany's Dixi, as produced by BMW no less. Ironically BMW went on to own the rights to one of Austin/BMCs most famous designs, the Mini.
The diminutive four cylinder sidevalve engine also lent itself to competition use, with many Austin 7-based specials built to pound the banked turns at Brooklands and other, smaller, venues, and continue to be used in historic events today. Many rusted-out baby Austins have been pillaged for their chassis and running gear, to emerge as pint-sized racers. An entire industry was formed to serve the leagues of Austin 7 racers that have taken to the tracks since the 1920s and 1930s, some of which are covered on the period tuning pages.

2. Austin 7 on a camping trip

The second of the photos featured here shows a typical camping holiday, of the type that many people would have undertaken in this country, before the advent of cheap overseas travel. The vehicle chosen was of course an Austin 7 box saloon, identical to the example shown above. Judging by the Austin's open windscreen, it was a hot summer's day. The car looks to be very well cared for, finished in its two tone paintjob. The main subject of the picture must be the chap in his outdoor gear, ready for a hearty meal by the looks of things, stood outside his capacious ridge tent. The table is laid, with smart cutlery and crockery easily to hand, and a small kettle sat on the paraffin stove just behind him (I hope he moves it before lighting it otherwise some of his tent's guide ropes will suffer!). The single wooden chair suggests that he dined alone that day, so I wonder who it was that took the photo?
Austin 7 on a camping trip

3. Ian's first car, a 1929 Austin 7 saloon.

Ian kindly sent over the photo shown below, featuring his very first car, an Austin 7 box saloon of 1929 vintage. To cover the 20 asking price, he borrowed the money from his mother-in-law. Does anyone know what became of this car, registration BA 9574? Thanks for sending that in!
1929 Austin 7

4. An Austin 7 seen in New Zealand.

Hugh kindly sent this photograph, and it shows what he believes is the family Austin 7 saloon car in New Zealand. Note the wider wheels fitted to this car. High adds:"The photo is almost certainly my Father's Austin 7, which he owned later in the 1930's. I believe he sold it when he joined the army at the commencement of World War 2. As a child in the 1950's I remember the "Lubrication Chart" from the Austin 7, a beautiful diagram of the car, about one meter square, on cardboard. It was nailed to the wall of my Grandmother's garden shed. How good would it look on my garage wall today!"
Austin 7

5. A 1932 Austin 7.

Ray kindly sent in this photograph, it shows his father's 1932 Austin 7, parked up in 1948. Ray learnt to drive on this car, so has fond memories of it. Note the full-width wheel covers fitted to this example. Ray still has the oil pressure and engine temperature gauges, and the original Smiths clock, from the Austin, the clock still keeping perfect time.
Austin Seven car
Amazingly, Ray turned up the purchase invoice for when his father bought the car in 1939, for 27. Knowing my interest in Austin 7s, and old garage paperwork, he kindly scanned it and sent it to me. The Austin 7 saloon was registered HV2300, and came with road tax to 30th September 1939. A deposit of 1 secured the Austin, with the remaining 26 being paid shortly afterwards. The supplying dealer was A. Ferraris Ltd, of The Broadway, Cricklewood, in London.
(Please click the thumbnail to view full-size image.)
Receipt for an Austin 7 bought in 1939

6. Four photos of another Austin Seven.

Next, four photographs of an Austin Seven, two taken on a run out to the seaside, and another two with the young lady perched on the Austin's radiator. Somehow these photos sum up the 1930s, the car, the people's clothing, hairstyles etc etc. HX 8773 was issued in London, between June 1930 and March 1933. As with so many cars captured in pre-war photos, the tyres on the Austin are well beyond their sell-by date. The side-on view of the Austin, with the lady sat on the bonnet, turned up some time after the other photos were found yet obviously show the same car, lady and scene. Note the curtains!
A young lady sat on an Austin 7
Early 1930s Austin 7 box saloon
Lady and man stood alongside their Austin motor-car
Two ladies in the Austin

7. An early Austin 7 saloon.

This car, photographed with rather too many people stood in front of it, is a vintage Austin 7 saloon of the late 1920s, most likely either an R or RK type. Note the Chummy-style, scuttle-mounted, lamps and a painted radiator. There is also a hooter mounted on the offside scuttle.
A vintage Austin 7 saloon car

8. A lady behind the wheel of her 7.

Next is a side-on shot of a hatted lady, sat behind the wheel of her Austin 7 on a sunny day (the sunshine roof is open). An AA badge can just be made out, screwed to the front of the radiator cap.
(Please click the thumbnail to view full-size image.)
A lady in her Austin 7

9. Another lady with a 1930 Austin 7.

If only this photograph was in colour - the Austin 7 is interesting in that it sports not only an A.A. badge, but also a Mickey Mouse radiator badge. The Austin's owners therefore must have had a sense of humour, and judging by this lady's attire were not shrinking violets either. I've never clapped eyes on an outfit like it, but it looks very 1920's!! Anyone with an eye for 1920's fashion, or who believes in dressing in period clothes while behind the wheel of their vintage machine, please take note!
PG 8496 was this car's registration, a Surrey series that ran from May 1929 to May 1930 only.
1920s fashion
Update. Some time after publishing the previous photo, Tony in Australia got in touch. A friend of his who owns a 1932 Austin 7 saloon and is a fan of Mickey, also has a Mickey Mouse badge on the radiator of his car, and hasn't come across another example. Research confirms that the badge dates to 1930. It measures 5.75 inches in height. The Mickey shown on the Austin below has been there since 1977, previously having resided on the front of a Morris Minor.
Mickey Mouse on the front of an Austin 7

10. Youngster behind the wheel.

This side-on view of a two-door Austin 7 saloon shows a youngster sat on his dad's knee, at the wheel of the family's Austin 7. A young lady has been shoe-horned into the Austin's rear compartment, perhaps in readiness for a trip to the seaside. No names or dates accompany this photo unfortunately. It was printed as a postcard rather than as a photo, although it hasn't been posted.
Side view of an Austin 7 saloon car

11. Ready to take an Austin for a spin.

This next shot is of a wide-door Austin 7 saloon, with its driver behind the wheel - he or she is either arranging their hair, or grasping their head in disbelief for some unknown reason. Either way, the car they're sat in looks like a totally-standard Austin. Some wear to the edge of the running board, a ding on the windscreen pillar, and a slight droop to the door, all suggest that the baby Austin hasn't perhaps had the easiest of lives.
A wide-door Austin 7 car
The 7s shown on this page are all the early, nickel- or painted-rad, saloons. In 1934 the Ruby took over, and photos of this later Austin 7 variant can be seen elsewhere at oldclassiccar, including these pictures of Les' Austin Ruby, and a couple more photos here. Coachbuilt Sevens also feature here and there on the site, including this original photo of a Swallow Saloon.
A second page of pre-Ruby box saloon photographs has now been added.
Return to the Vintage transport photos - Page 5.

Other Austin Seven information.

If you're a fan of these cars, the Austin Seven screensaver may also be of interest, as might this Shire book on the Austin 7. Enthusiasts of the EA Sports (Ulster) may find this barn-find Austin 7 story to be of interest too. An Austin 7 - either EB 65 or Nippy - probably on the Monte Carlo rally, can be found here.

Custom Search
www.oldclassiccar.co.uk (C) R. Jones. Content not to be reproduced elsewhere.
Website by ableweb.
Privacy Policy, Cookies & Disclaimers