Austin 7 fans nip back to Beaulieu

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - MOTORS -

The 54th Na­tional Austin 7 Rally takes place at Beaulieu on Sun­day July 3 and holds one of the long­est un­bro­ken runs for a one-mar­que club us­ing the same venue for its an­nual event.

For one en­thu­si­ast the event will mark a par­tic­u­larly sig­nif­i­cant mile­stone. Ber­tie Fowler, who bought his first Austin 7 in 1966, will be at­tend­ing his 50th rally.

He pur­chased the 1936 ‘Nippy’ (one of the rel­a­tively few pro­duc­tion sports mod­els that Austin made) at the age of 19, ne­go­ti­at­ing the £90 deal in dark­ness by the Derby Grand­stand at Ep­som race­course. It was, he says, ‘the best buy I ever made’.

Years of happy motoring fol­lowed, even in the face of what Ber­tie de­scribes as ‘the usual Nip­pyisms’ of the doors fly­ing open when ne­go­ti­at­ing fast corners.

The car came off the road in 1976 and lay un­der sheets in his gar­den shed for sev­eral decades, but in re­cent times has been ex­pertly re­stored by Robert Fore­man and Chris Gould (who is a liv­ing leg­end in the world of sporty Austin 7s).

Ber­tie will proudly dis­play the end re­sult at the rally and will join many other ‘Austin 7 Sports and Racers’ which are the theme for this year’s spe­cial dis­play.

Sev­eral ex­tremely rare and fa­mous Austin 7s will also be at­tend­ing, in­clud­ing Gra­ham Beck­ett’s ‘Sim­plic­ity’, the Tony Hutch­ings built OK7095 works racer replica, and sev­eral of the Bert Hadley Cham­pi­onship cars be­ing brought along by the Pre-War Austin 7 Club.

The dis­play is ex­pected to be one of the largest seen in re­cent years and is open to all Austin 7 own­ers from the UK or Europe.

Austins form the core of the event but pre-1975 ve­hi­cles of all makes are in­vited to at­tend and will have a des­ig­nated park­ing area on the rally field.

The Na­tional Austin 7 Rally is an ideal day out for en­thu­si­asts and fam­i­lies. En­trance in­cludes ac­cess to the whole of the Beaulieu at­trac­tion, in­clud­ing the Na­tional Mo­tor Mu­seum, Palace House which has been home to the Mon­tagu fam­ily since 1538 and the 13th cen­tury Beaulieu Abbey and gar­dens.

For en­trants wish­ing to make a week­end of it camp­ing fa­cil­i­ties are avail­able and on the Satur­day there is an or­gan­ised run through the pic­turesque New For­est fol­lowed by the ev­er­pop­u­lar evening bar­be­cue on site.

The event is spon­sored by War­ranty Di­rect Limited and RH Spe­cial­ist In­sur­ance. Full de­tails and en­try forms will be found on the 750 Mo­tor Club web­site www.750mc.co.uk/austin7.

BeR­Tie FowleR wiTh hiS 1936 AuSTiN 7 ‘Nippy’

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