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Homepage. This page: Three photos of an interesting 1920s Austin 7 that resided in Australia.

Austin 7 sports-car.

Firstly, my thanks to Colin for emailing over the following three photographs. They feature an interesting little car, based on Austin 7 running gear, that his father owned in the late 1940s. Colin's keen to find out more about it. The pictures date to the 1946-1948 period, but clearly the car is earlier, probably late 1920s or the beginning of the 1930s in date. The suburbs of Melbourne are the location, although the number plates have the VIC (for Victoria) location stamped onto them.
There were a number of outfits in Australia, building bodies for Austin 7 chassis that arrived from England. Is this an example of one such vehicle? There are elements of the Australian-built Austin 7 Ace in its appearance, although equally there are many differences also. The windscreen arrangement, similar to that fitted as standard to pre-war M-Type MG Midgets, is one of the main similarities with the car shown below, and the Ace. The Meteor is another take on the Austin 7 sports-car idea, and also a product of Australian craftsmen, but it had a quite different look to it.
Enlarging the first image somewhat, reveals not only an "Austin" badge affixed to the radiator, but a second shorter badge that appears to begin with the letter "A" just beneath it. So perhaps this is an Ace after all, quite possibly in modified form? A large single letter "A", at the lower left corner of the rad, tends to point to this being the case.
(Please click the thumbnail to view full-size image.)
Austin Seven sportscar
There's a good chance that the car owned by Colin's father was a special, built using redundant Austin 7/Ace parts. Many's the tatty (and not-so-tatty) Austin saloon that's been wheeled into a domestic shed, only to re-appear phoenix-like at a later date, re-worked into a more sporting machine, often replete with period tuning accessories for added excitement.
The first photograph, above, shows the car from the front 3/4 angle. with its hood raised. Unless the car is well laden with luggage, it sits very low at the rear. The ride height, coupled with the aged look to its bodywork, suggest that the Austin had covered many miles by the time of these pictures being taken. The headlights are an interesting feature, not the usual Austin 7 fitments, as are the radiator guard, the mascot, the matching pair of chrome-plated horns, and the aforementioned badging. Also worthy of note are the fake "knock-on" wheel spinners. For a reason I've not yet fathomed, only the offside front wing has a sidelight fitted to it.
Colin's research indicates that the registration series into which the Austin falls, dates to a period between 1939 and 1953, so a good while after the car's chassis was first assembled. Perhaps then it is a special, constructed using parts sourced from many places, leading to it being re-registered at the time of hitting the road for the first time. As always, further information is most welcome.
Next, a rear 3/4 view of the car, this time with the roof raised but the sidescreens removed. The wheels, and the sidewalls of the tyres, have all received the attentions of a paint brush apparently. The shape of the scuttle, behind the V windscreen, can be made out here. Is that a giant speedometer, or rev counter, fitted directly ahead of the passenger's seating position?
Austin Seven Ace/special rear view
The final photo in this trio is blurred, but nevertheless is worth including if only to illustrate the attractive lines of the car.
Front view
Return to Page 18 in the classic & vintage car photo gallery. There are many photographs of Austin 7s in their various guises to be found, so please also check out the main index of this section.

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