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Lot 247: Austin Seven Special

Important Collectors' Motorcars & Motorcycles, Bonhams (16 June 2012)

A huge success from the moment deliveries commenced in January 1923, the Austin Seven remained in production until 1939. Simply constructed, economical and easily maintained by the home mechanic, the Seven brought motoring within the financial reach of the man in the street. Its introduction helped save the ailing Austin concern and by the mid-1920s the Seven dominated the light car market in Britain. One of the most important steps in the development of Austin's ever-popular light car was the introduction of the Ruby in 1934. A lower chassis supported new body styles, while the wheel size was reduced from 19" to 17" diameter, and synchromesh was now present on second as well as third and top gears. Although it had been intended as low-cost transportation for the masses, it was not long before the Seven began to appear in competitions, and then in 1924 came the first of the factory's own sports models. Most famous of these was the Ulster, which in supercharged, Cozette-blown form could top 75mph. After WW2, the Seven formed the basis for countless 'specials': some entirely home grown; others built from proprietary kits. Parts were both plentiful and cheap, enabling a generation of impecunious would-be racers to indulge their passion on the racetrack. Indeed, Seven-based racing specials proved so popular that the 750 Motor Club went on to develop Formula 750 to cater for these cars, thus providing an opportunity for the home constructor and specials builder to hone their skills. Some of the biggest names in international motor sport started their careers in 750 Formula racing, arguably the most famous of them being Lotus founder Colin Chapman, and today the 750 MC continues to support Seven racing alongside other, more modern classes. Built for 750 Motor Club events in the 1980s, this fabric bodied Austin 7 Special was restored in 1993 and is presented in generally good order, 'on the button' and running very well. Features include a walnut dashboard, remote gear selector, high-back seats, one-piece bonnet, a good hood and a full-size windscreen. The car is offered with Swansea V5 document.

Lot Details
Auction Important Collectors' Motorcars & Motorcycles
Bonhams, Oxford, UK
Lot Number247
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price£4000
Hammer Price (inc premium)£4600
Condition rating3
Registration number
Chassis number272167
Engine numberM175417
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors2