I have always had a soft spot for Pre-War Austin Seven cars. An Austin Seven Ruby, owned by my uncle, was the first car in my life, it still features in happy memories of my childhood. In addition, my general interest in cars causes me to admire the 750 Motor Club. That club and the Austin Seven, in general, have provided the opportunity to many world-famous drivers and designers who cut their teeth on ‘Austin Sevens’. Probably the most famous one of those, whose motor racing career, both as a driver and a designer, directly related to an Austin Seven Ulster, was New Zealander, Bruce McLaren. His car is now in the McLaren Technology Centre, Woking, U.K. It would be remiss of me not to mention the esteemed Colin Chapman, founder of the Lotus Motor Company whose first cars were Austin Seven specials raced in 750 Motor Club events.
The year 2022 sees the One Hundreth Anniversary of Herbert Austin’s Austin Seven model – the right car, introduced at the right time to save the Austin Motor Company from possible bankruptcy. I am sure that Herbert (later Lord Austin) could never have imagined that his humble, affordable, family runabout would still be providing so much enjoyment today, in the hands of committed and skilful enthusiasts.
A little background to this post – Last November I paid one of my annual visits to the Classic Car Show held at the Birmingham NEC. I photographed what I thought was an Austin Ulster, I included that photograph in my report on the show, carrying the Austin Seven Ulster caption. Clive Danks, the owner of the car, contacted me to point out that his car is not an Ulster model but an earlier, limited production model, referred to as an ‘Austin Seven TT’ model. I thanked Clive for his correction and duly changed the caption. Clive, a member of the Pre-War Austin Seven Club, informed me of the various events the club is organising to celebrate the Austin Seven’s 100th anniversary. We exchanged a very productive series of emails about the events and in them Clive mentioned that the Club was holding a ‘Pre 2022 Race Season (Bert Hadley Championship etc.)’ “shakedown” at the Curborough Sprint Circuit in March. Curborough is not far from where we live, I thought that this might be a good “photo opportunity” so I invited myself along. Little did any of us know that the event would take place on the most glorious of early Spring days!!
Here are the results –
As I walked towards the ‘Paddock’ I came across these “Hot Rods” – I couldn’t ignore them! –
Austin Sevens outside the Paddock
In the Paddock/Circuit
It appears that this car held a particular appeal –
The car that started it all, for me – Clive Dank’s “TT”.
On the Track –
That’s all folks!
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