I wanted an Austin Chummy. The trouble is, that they tend to be expensive and I'd hate to thrash around in an original one, so I built one from scratch using a rusty old chassis and the works drawings plumbed into an Apple Macintosh.
The story is, I think an interesting one, so I'm going to bore you all senseless with how I built this lovely old Austin Seven, which has proved 100% reliable, used regularly and even travelled around the whole of the county of Oxfordshire in one day without missing a beat.
Here's a shot of me and my old mate Keith Taylor who joined me on the Oxfordshire run, which resulted in us raising a considerable sum for local charities.
Aubrey the Austin Seven now has a new owner in Dorset, meanwhile here's an Opal spotted at the Lizard Point car park
I learned to drive in an Austin Seven, my dear old dad said if you can drive an Austin Seven, with its tiny little engine, crash gear box, three quarters of an inch of clutch travel, virtually no brakes and steering and suspension that will try at every mump in the road to send you over the nearest hedge, you will be able to drive anything.
My first ever car was this 1936 Austin Ruby, which was quickly followed by my first sports car, an Austin Seven based Super Accessories Super Sportsman, and since those days, I've always had to have a Seven.
And here's a shot of an Austin Seven 750 racer called Rolling Rapture being built by Jack Laing and Robert Savage back in 1962.
While on one of our regular trips to the Isle of Wight...perfect roads for Sevening, we followed the Isle of Wight Austins with Viv Orchard heading up the convoy while we followed Keith Clark's lovely 1925 Chummy...40 mph no problem!
Here's the Seven's lined up at the Vectis Historic Vehicle Club's bash at Arreton.
Bruce's RP thought to be a Standard model but without the hatch, here thousands of feet up a mountain...as usual...
Hey, look what we found in my pal Mike's shed!
Tom Langham's lovely Burghley Sports at the inaugural meeting of the Historic Sporting Trials Association meeting just down the road from me at Long Compton, what a cracking day out!
Here's a bit of history that may be of interest to Austin Seven tuners and special builders in the form of original documents and price lists from the 1950's.
The first comes from the Bowden Engineering Company of Ottery St Mary, Devon, famous for the Bowdenex brake conversion, but how about lowered rear springs at £1 a pair?
Second we have the Austin Seven Conversion from the Cambridge Engineering of Kew Green, Surrey...80 m.p.h. from your Seven!
Third comes Cambridge Engineering's price list from 1957...a two seater sports body for your short chassis seven, that'll be twenty seven pounds 10 shillings thank you sir...
Finally there's The Sporting Motorist's Agency of London N16, sole suppliers of DANTE Speed Equipment for the Austin Seven Engine...a DANTE single downdraught carburettor manifold in unmachined aluminium alloy for 15 bob, plus two post and packing and lots more!
Big Seven spotted by my pal Ade in Mousehole...
...and seen at the 90th Anniversary at Warwick School...
Now that's what I call patina!
Who's is this old crate?
Beautiful retrim in green
Ruby survivor spotted at the NEC 2012