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Austin Swallow not quite what it seems.
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Ray White



Joined: 02 Dec 2014
Posts: 4168
Location: Derby

PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2020 1:31 am    Post subject: Austin Swallow not quite what it seems. Reply with quote

https://www.carandclassic.co.uk/car/C1262964



(Sold at Beaulieu Auctions in July 2002 (Bonhams) for 3,500).


I found this fully restored Austin Swallow being advertised for, shall we say, a full price... but that is not the point. I don't even know if it is still for sale - nor do I care. What interests me is the apparent discrepancy in the date.

I was recently reminded of how I once missed out on a Mk V11M Jaguar because the owner could see that at the time I just didn't know my onions.

The car here to all intents and purposes looks like a 1931 model Austin Swallow. It features bumpers, later radiator grille, scuttle ventilators, separate front seats, etc. which are all absent or differ greatly from the earlier model. The differences as they say are blindingly obvious.!!

As a student of Swallow Coachbuilding I was therefore shocked to see a 1931 model being advertised as 1928.

As it happens, I was aware that this particular Swallow (which when previously owned by the late Mr Coundon) had been given an earlier chassis and engine dating from 1928. The body, however, dates from 1931 and that is how we in the Swallow Register have correctly recorded it.

It is of course not unusual for old cars to be re bodied; it has happened profusely throughout history. It is also quite correct to date the car from when the chassis was first registered. That is what they seem to have done but somehow failed to mention that the Swallow body is from 1931.

What is interesting to me is that with any Austin Swallow, it is the BODY that is important; the ubiquitous Austin Seven chassis is of much lesser interest and as such all Austin Swallows are and always have been dated by the body rather than the chassis.

I have not informed the people involved that the Swallow element is later than they state for reasons too numerous to mention. Rolling Eyes
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mikeC



Joined: 31 Jul 2009
Posts: 1668
Location: Market Warsop, Nottinghamshire

PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2020 9:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I suppose it depends on whether the PK 3397 identity is the original Swallow identity, or the 1928 chassis identity. As you say, it can be classed as a 1928 car that's been rebodied with an inappropriate later body, or a 1931 car that's been re-chassised with an earlier (and very different!) chassis. I see it's also got a post-1933 engine and 4-speed gearbox, too!

"The Jaguar Heritage Trust kindly loaned their highly original example to CMC so that they could be sure to get the details right" doesn't say much for CMC's attention to detail.

A nice special, but not in any way, shape or form an original car.
_________________
in the garage: 1931 Austin 7, 1953 Lancia Appia
recently departed: 1967 Singer Chamois, 1914 Saxon, 1930 Morris Cowley, 1936 BSA Scout, 1958 Lancia Appia coupe, 1922 Star 11.9 ... the list goes on!
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peter scott



Joined: 18 Dec 2007
Posts: 6538
Location: Edinburgh

PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2020 11:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks like they were seduced by the registration. PK runs from May 1928 to May 1929.

Peter
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http://www.nostalgiatech.co.uk
1939 SS Jaguar 2 litre saloon
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Ray White



Joined: 02 Dec 2014
Posts: 4168
Location: Derby

PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2020 3:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It must be unlikely for anyone seriously contemplating the purchase of an Austin Swallow Saloon to be taken in by the 1928 date.

As The Swallow Register list NO surviving Saloons from 1928 and only 3 from 1929 anyone who thinks otherwise must be deluded or at least seriously misguided.

With the original chassis long lost a replacement has been recorded by the Austin Swallow Register as number 68,107 which according to the 'companion' places it in August 1928.

Our recorded engine number ( I would assume) is contemporary being M68,365 which would make it a "mag" engine...something else which Mike has pointed out that differs in this car.... in fact, the engine is later than anything from the Austin Swallow era!!

I am always happy to help with the details for any Swallow restoration. For example, I could have directed them to a supplier of the correct braiding (or pasting lace) which is missing in this car; 25 metres are required in a saloon! Apart from hiding joins it covers up unsightly screw heads that are clearly visible. The door cards should have two silk rope cords - this is also available if considering attention to detail.

I could have told them that their radiator mascot is far too early for the later model which they seem to have copied. The list goes on but nothing beats the 1928 date!!!

(Strangely, I have less of a problem with the hydraulic brakes as seeing the exhaust pipe emanating from the near side... but that is probably just me!))
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