Austin’s revolutionary 7 was undoubtedly one of the motoring success stories of the 1920s and 30s with nearly 300,000 cars being sold between 1922 and 1939. As well as being affordable they were practical, reliable and surprisingly roomy for such a small car. They were available with a variety of body styles including saloons, tourers, sports cars, vans, racing cars and even a military version - if the factory could not provide what you wanted you could also go to specialist coachbuilders such as Swallow and Gordon England for something different!
As time passed and cars fell into disrepair they started to attract special builders who could put together anything from a real home-made “bitsa” to a very professional looking job. It is hardly surprising that some of these special builders turned their hobby into businesses supplying kits or components to help you turn your derelict Austin 7 into a useable motor car - two obvious examples being Colin Chapman with his Lotus and Jen Marsh (the Mar of Marcos) with his Speedex.
Another person who is perhaps better known to A7 afficionados than to the wider public is L. M. “Bill” Williams of Auto Conversions which later became Cambridge Engineering (see Stuart Ulph’s excellent book “Would Suit Enthusiast” for the full story) who amongst other motoring activities supplied bodies and tuning components to Austin special builders. Although this car does not appear to incorporate Cambridge’s own brand tuning goodies it does include many of the tuning mods which they recommended such as a four branch exhaust, special inlet manifold, lowered suspension and hydraulic brakes so it is very much in line with what people would have done at the time plus it also has its Ruby cylinder head which I am very reliably informed is a “good thing!”.
It has a really well made Dave Tedham replica of a Cambridge body sitting on a 1934 Ruby chassis and there are several pictures on file showing the car undergoing a ground up restoration. There is also an extensive list of the work done during its refurbishment which I won’t recite here but will be happy to send to you. What I can say is that the quality of the work done speaks for itself and I am sure you will be impressed if you come to see it.
Amongst the many attractions of owning an Austin 7 is a strong club, lots of friendly support and professional assistance if you need it plus a wide availability of spare parts. There is also an extensive range of tuning components on the market so you could, if you wanted to, quite easily develop this car to make it go as fast as you are likely to ever want and it will not really cost you that much money.
So – if you want a really nice sporting Austin 7 which looks just great you really ought to have a look at this one – it has already started to attract attention and I don’t expect it to be long before somebody buys it!