1922-1939 AUSTIN SEVEN

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - 7 Of The Best Pre-war Classics - David Brown

In­tro­duced by Austin as an af­ford­able fam­ily car, a num­ber of bodystyles were made avail­able, fit­ted to the ba­sic A-shaped chas­sis. The early cars, re­ferred to as Chum­mies, were open tour­ers with room for Mum, Dad and two chil­dren. Box sa­loon pro­duc­tion fol­lowed be­tween 1929 and 1934. Fur­ther re­fine­ments saw the Ruby in­tro­duced from 1934, with the Big Seven, of­fer­ing two- and four-door op­tions, be­ing the ul­ti­mate choice. About 290,000 Austin Sevens were pro­duced, of which around 12,000 are known to sur­vive world­wide, so sup­ply of cars and parts is pretty good. Later cars are not only cheaper to buy, they are also eas­ier to main­tain – though the ap­peal of wig­gling an open-tourer, spe­cial or two-seater sports model up a muddy hill might sway the mind and the wal­let!

BUY­ING TIPS

BET­TER BUY LaTER Later cars have four­speed gear­box and syn­chro, plus linked brakes. En­sure body­work and trim – es­pe­cially on box sa­loons – are rea­son­able.

HEAD, NOT HEART It’s easy to fall for a down-at-heel project Seven, but un­less you’re a skilled home me­chanic or have deep pock­ets this can be a long haul.

FOL­LOW THE PA­PER­WORK Ide­ally, the Seven will be a run­ner and will come with a bulging his­tory file. Some re­cent pa­per­work, such as a vol­un­tary MOT, would also be an ad­van­tage. WHAT TO PAY CON­COURS £11,000+ GOOD £7000-9500 US­ABLE £3750-6500 PROJECT £2000-3000

AUSTIN SEVEN ENGINE 747cc/4-cyl/SV POWER 12bhp@2400rpm TORQUE Un­known MAX­I­MUM SPEED 51mph 0-60mPh N/A FUEL CON­SUMP­TION 38-42mpg TRANS­MIS­SION RWD, four-speed man

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