I’ve hidden my friends faces, as they didn’t agree to be photo’d nor do they know my secret plans to investigate ‘electrification’ – even though NO destruction of the originality or visual appeal will be evident.
I think you can judge just how small the RP version of the famous Austin Seven is – by my friend.
This 1933 Austin was originally all black, and someone has ‘hand-painted’ the light blue lower panels. Obviously over the last 85 years, many drivers have simply used and abused it – perhaps as a plaything, perhaps children have played in it. The years have not been kind to the interior, the leather has weathered, the floor pan has suffered some rot, but generally, all the important items are still in tact.
The 1933 RP version is a classic. The vertical windscreen (unlike the sloping Ruby) and the chrome radiator – is very appealing. The car is simple, basic and uncomplicated. It has no heater, a crude windscreen wiper, 18″ spoked wheels with very thin tyres. A spare wheel attached to the rear on a hub (unlike the Ruby’s, which is covered). There are no bumpers front or rear, no turn indicators or fancy lights. The steering wheel still has the advance & retard leverage. The ‘Glove Box’ for some reason is blacked off??
This is a very tiny car, although it does have two forward bucket seats which tilt to allow two small adults in the rear, it really is very cramped. The blow-up innards of the seats have a labyrinth rubber bladder. Not one has survived. (but then they didn’t have synthetic foam we have now).
I left the purchased car to arrange collection by trailer or flat-back, but the winter closed in for quite some time before my friend offered to deliver it to Cheshire.
The agreed delivery date came and went, weather, logistics, timing – after all it was a very very long way away……..
Wednesday 7th of March, a white van arrives – but no car in tow??? I enquire and my friend opens the rear doors – HOLY CRAP – the A7 fits neatly right inside with some tight room to spare (but no height….). I notice my cunning friend has temporarily changed the rear spoked and tired wheels for two scrap ones less the tyres to lower the roof height….👍🏻 Two planks duly slotted into the vans rear bumper and all the ties were released to begin gingerly pulling the A7 out.
Now I fully realise just how tiny the A7 is. I’m delighted by the appearance, I just love this RP version for its simplicity.
The old rear wheels served well. My friend changed then over and amazingly all 4 still hold all their pressures. The 4-5mm of tread is suspect, but Avon Side-Car cross-ply tyres are readily available at around £60
Although the engine does run well, there is some problem with the clutch, so we decided to pull & push it from the Transit up our drive.
It is surprisingly very very lightweight and very manoeuvrable.
It’s going to be a short while before I get it tucked into a dry garage, so under a cover it will stay until warmer days come to have a play…….
The flagstones on the drive are 2ft square, I believe the A7 is just 4ft 6″ wide by 9ft 7″ end to end.
To be continued…………