Magazine Cover - Classic Cars For Sale - 1000s of Classic Car Reviews, How To Service & Maintenance Guides

Austin Seven

Austin Seven Published: 1st Jun 2016 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Austin Seven
The latest issue of Classic Cars For Sale is on sale now - Pick up your copy from all good newsagents including WHSmith or click here to subscribe now

Subscribe to Classic Motoring Magazine and save over 20%

Subscribe NOW

Available at all good newsagents including WHSmith

A pedigree chum as a starter classic is a friend for life

WHY BUY

Better known as the Chummy, the Austin Seven is one of the friendliest and easiest ways to own a golden oldie. Simple, easy to fix mechanicals – small wonder many companies (such as Lotus) started off with Austin 7 specials while great club and social scenes make this Austin much more than a mere budget-based car.

WHAT’S AVAILABLE

Some 400,000 were made in a variety of styles, so there’s no shortage of choice. Aside from the normal chummy saloon, sports tourers were also made plus racing derivatives such as the rare and coveted supercharged Ulster. The engine size was upped in 1923 from 696cc to 747cc plus electric starting was added; 1928 saw a better radiator and a proper coil assisted ignition. For 1930 the front and rear brakes worked as one (!), with a stronger chassis made a year later. For 1934, a four-speed gearbox was fitted and the larger, posher Ruby range came along for 1935.

DRIVING

You need to drive a Seven, with its ‘in-or-out’ clutch action and brakes on early models can lead to a resultant pulling. Talking of which, pre-1939 cars with a foot (front) and hand (rear) brakes aren’t for everybody. These cars made fine platforms for racers but the handling can be skittish due to chassis flex (can be corrected). Performance is pedestrian, of course, but Renault 4 pistons and a Mini 850 SU carb helps.

WHAT TO PAY

Projects can be had for a couple of grand, scruffy to sound ones for £5000, Rubys for £1000 or so more but super Sevens and rare sports types can go for £15,000 or more. There’s plenty around so decide what car you want first but be warned, restorations can prove expensive.

OWNING

Superb club support means that parts and help are always ready to hand. Chassis are pretty durable but the felt insulating pads soak water and lead to rot and front frames can crack. Repairs to alloy and fabric bodies may be out of scope for DIY resto. Simple engines but re-metaling and crank repairs can be very expensive; a modern Pheonix crank is worth fitting. Early rear axles are weak and magneto ignition can be fickle.



User Comments

This review has 0 comments - Be the first!

Leave a comment

Keep it polite and on topic. Your email address will not be published. Please do not advertise products, all posts of this nature will be removed. We do not stock or supply any of these products, we independently review these products.

Latest Issue Cover - Click here to subscribe

Subscribe to Classic Motoring Magazine and save over 25%

Subscribe