You would think 1930’s Vintage Cars and their parts would be difficult to find, but with the Austin Seven being so popular – even after the war years, they were small and could be tucked away hidden in sheds and barns away from the Gov’ who were sequestrating all the steel they cold muster.
The Austin 10 was probably the next stage upwards and aimed at white collar workers or management. The 10 range is much sturdier than the pram-like 7 and the original Chummy
Many parts have lasted years and years. Parts that wore out were manufactured simply and easily by the many workshops that sprung up. My favourite in the 70’s was ‘Austin Seven Services‘ in Kirby Whisk, Yorkshire.
I remember needing more sound spoked wheels. I had set out to Yorkshire early being a long arduous journey. As I entered Kirby Whisk, my Austin Ruby had to negotiate a serious hump backed bridge, taking it too fast, I launched it and landed with a crash. The two back wheels had simply broken all the spokes and the tyres flat. In total desperation, I ran to a nearby red ‘phone box and called ‘A7 Services’, 30 mins later a Rolls Royce pickup truck arrived with good wheels and tyres and a jack. I am so thankful to them and still use the new owners now.
From being 15 and into my apprentice days and then into marriage, Austin 7’s have been my favoured transport.
Over the 50 odd years I’ve owned FREE Austins (yes actually given away). Some have been found in yards and bought for peanuts. One Van was found at the back of ‘Hollands Pies’ in Accrington. Another rare Opal Tourer was relieved from a friend who had no time to restore it.
Generally speaking Vintage LOOK fabulous but are rarely that good and owners really do have to be dedicated and enthusiastic. Lets hope modern electric motors and long-life / and long-distance batteries will keep them going.
There is another consideration for using ‘Vintage’……… In this 21st Century, nearly every car is electronic is some way. My Jag’s had SO MUCH sophistication there really was so much to go wrong. My GF’s new ‘VIVA’ (not the old rot-box) even has electronic tyre pressure sensing. The on-board computer tells her how far the fuel will last, how economical she was and all kinds of data she has never used. Electric this, electric that, lights for this and lights for that – it really is a masterpiece of modern engineering.
Contrast that with ‘Vintage’!! There are no transistors, nothing even as sophisticated as a petrol gauge on two of my Austins, hand cranking windows, no seat belts (Eeeeek!!) and in all of them NO HEATER, no water pump and crude electrics. I bet anyone old enough can fix them without a computer diagnostic system.