Thursday, 4 November 2010

The father of BMW, Jaguar, Bristol and Lotus cars - Austin 7 Part 1/2.

The father of BMW, Jaguar, Bristol and Lotus cars - Austin 7 Part 1/2.

Above, Chris Smith, 1925 Austin Brooklands Replica, Loton Park.

Today I'd like to introduce a very special little vehicle, the Austin 7 in my humble opinion the influence of this vehicle is so far reaching that I am going to make this my very first two part blog, I hope you'll bear with me and consider the time and space I have dedicated to this model well spent. I'll start today by introducing the model and tomorrow I'll consider it's bewilderingly far reaching legacy on European automotive history

Above, Ms Hannah Enticknap, 1928, Austin 7 Ulster Special, Loton Park.

The truth is so much stranger than fiction. Consider the humble little Austin 7 with a 6'ft 3" wheel base and track of 3'6" powered by a 10hp 747 cc / 45 cui sidevalve engine that complete weighed less than half that of a Model T Ford when it hit the streets in 1922 with rear brakes operated by foot and front brakes operated by hand !

Above, Frank Hernandez, 1928 Austin 7 Brooklands Streamline, Loton Park.

Sir Herbert Austin acting against the wishes of his own board threatened to take the '7' concept to rivals Wolseley before putting his own money into the development of the '7' which was completed with draughts man Stanley Edge at Sir Herberts home Lickey Grange.

Above Matt Johnson, 1928, Austin 7 Ulster Supercharged Special, Loton Park, 2010.

Investment repayments and royalties on Sir Austin's patents arising from the Austin 7's innovations amounted to £ 2.10 on every vehicle sold on what emerged to be Britain's first mass production car.

Above Doug Bukin, 1929 - 1932, Austin 7 Ulster Special, Prescott, 2010.

Over the 14 years the Austin 7 was in production 40 different body styles were introduced including 2 and 4 seaters using aluminium, fabric and steel in tourer, saloon, cabriolet. sports, vans and a Coupe style.

Above Tom Hardman, 1929, Austin 7 Ulster B & Q Special, Loton Park, 2010.

In 1927 2500 Austin 7's were made small fry in terms of the Model T, and when production ceased 290,000 units was hardly hot potatoes in terms of numbers against Detroit's finest yet the Austin 7 deserves it's place in British motoring history for being Britain's mass production car.

Above Gary Bishop, 1929, Austin 7, Blaue Maus Special, Prescott, 2010.

Thanks for popping by, look forward to sharing Part 2 on the Austin 7's legacy and it's tomorrow, don't forget to come back now !


  1. Fascinating! I anxiously await Part II and to learn the legacy of this vehicle! So, they are rather plentiful in the UK in all of its varied body types?
    Great pictures as always, Art!
    Two part series are like programs with a cliffhanger - I can't wait for more!!

  2. Thanks Chief, glad you are enjoying the story so far, there are still a lot of these vehicles about with many different body styles, so far I have only got a hand full of pics of those used in racing but I'll be looking out for some of the others and posting them in the fullness of time :-)

  3. What a neat little car!

    Thank goodness it's not a Yugo!

  4. Neat and easily made more powerful with the aid of a supercharger Racer :-)

  5. Beautiful cars. The far forward tyres are interesting.