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Lot 285: Austin Seven 'White Rabbit' Racing Monoposto

Goodwood Festival of Speed, Bonhams (29 June 2012)

This Austin Seven racer was built by Marcus Chambers in the early 1930s from the burnt out remains of the Boyd Carpenter Special. Marcus Chambers, together with Peter Clark, raced an HRG at Le Mans in 1937 and 1939 under the team name 'L'Écurie Lapin Blanc' (Team White Rabbit). Their mascot was a stuffed turtle shell that Peter Clarke had brought back with him from the West Indies following a family holiday. Someone then painted a white rabbit logo on the shell and this became the team's mascot (a replica of this is place just in front of the driver's seat). After the war Marcus was lured back to HRG, serving as their race team manager from 1948 to 1953 when joined the BMC competitions department. Campaigned extensively within the VSCC from the early 1930s until 1963, the 'White Rabbit' endurd a hard life during this time and was owned and driven by many well know VSCC members including world renowned drivers Dick Protheroe and Roger Clark. The body took on many guises during this period and in the very late 1930s sported a Bugatti radiator. In 1958 ownership passed from Roger Clark to Chris Winder. By this time the rigours of many years' competition and 'make do and mend' preparation were beginning to take their toll. The car's condition had deteriorated to such an extent that at a race meeting on 23rd April 1963 it was presented to the scrutinisers on no fewer than nine occasions before being allowed to start. Enough was enough and the 'White Rabbit' was then laid up. In 1981 the 'White Rabbit' was acquired by Martin Eyre, author of 'Austin Seven Competition Cars 1922-1982', who planned to rebuild it but never found the time. The current owner acquired the car from Martin Eyre and sent it to Steve Hodgson for restoration, which was carried out during 2009/2010. A new body was built, replicating the one on the car when it was driven by Fee Carson-Lewes in 1938. Importantly, the original tail section had been retained. Rebuilt by Steve Hodgson the engine features a Whatmough-Hewitt aluminium cylinder head, magneto ignition and a Cozette No.4 supercharger fed by a 1˝" SU carburettor. The 'blower' is mounted on top of the cylinder head as it was in period. An exciting opportunity to acquire a famous Austin Seven racer with a competition record stretching all the way back to the 1930s that has proved most effective whilst competing in VSCC events for the past 12 - 18 months. Offered with VSCC Buff Form and a most interesting history file containing pre-war photographs along with pre and post-war information - viewing of which is highly recommended.

Lot Details
Auction Goodwood Festival of Speed
Bonhams, Chichester, Goodwood,UK
Lot Number285
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price£22000
Hammer Price (inc premium)£25300
Condition rating
Registration number
Chassis number107471
Engine numberM62211
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors