Lot 19: Austin Seven Stretch Limousine
Apparently inspired by the Peugeot Quadrilette, the now immortal Austin Seven was announced in 1922. It is amazing to think that its tiny splash-lubricated 696cc (soon increased to 747cc) side-valve engine was the design of an 18-year old draughtsman called Stanley Edge, and the Seven immediately became the smallest four cylinder-engined car on the British market. It featured four-wheel brakes (though on very early examples the front ones were operated by the handbrake and rear ones by foot pedal). The front suspension was by a semi-elliptic transverse spring, while the live rear axle was fixed to a pair of quarter elliptic units, and steering was by worm and wheel. Electric starters were standard from 1923. Taken to heart by the British public, the Seven remained in production from 1922 until 1939, during which time some 290,000 were produced. It was also manufactured under licence in France, Germany, Japan and America. As with any car whose running gear seems unbreakable, many examples were plundered by special builders (Colin Chapman's first Lotus was based on an Austin Seven) or simply run into the ground. The remaining cars are a vital element of the vintage movement.
This right-hand drive 1933 Austin Seven was apparently registered as an ambulance during WWII and has been subsequently converted to a Four-Door Limousine (complete with sliding division) for use as a wedding car. It is powered by a four-cylinder OHV Reliant engine mated to the relevant Reliant four-speed gearbox. In recent years it has lived alongside an eclectic range of cars within a private collection and been the subject of considerable expenditure. The work carried out has included a complete respray in Cream over Burnt Orange; a total retrim with Burgundy leather seats, edged carpets etc; new brightwork, wire wheels and tyres. The vendor currently regards 'MFO 737' as having "excellent" bodywork, "superb" interior trim and "good" paintwork, engine and transmission. Almost certainly one of a kind, this delightful little Austin could once again serve as a wedding car or simply provide fun period transport for anything up to four adults. Whatever its fate, it will certainly cause attention wherever it goes. It is being sold without tax or MOT.
H&H Sales Limited, The Pavilion Gardens
|Hammer Price (inc premium)||£4400|
|Registration number||MFO 737|
|Engine capacity (cc)||747|
|Engine - cylinders|
|Number of doors||4|