1934 Austin Seven saloon

1934 Austin Seven saloon1934 Austin Seven saloon1934 Austin Seven saloon
1934 Austin Seven saloon
1934 Austin Seven saloon
1934 Austin Seven saloon
United Kingdom
1934 Austin Seven £11,995. This Seven has been expertly and sympathetically restored to original specification – a rare find indeed, says Richard McCann
Somehow this saloon has managed to dodge the special-builder for almost nine decades, making it a rare survivor. Everything looks museum quality, but these cars need regular maintenance and adjustment, so be prepared to become intimately involved with the technicalities of ownership. The registration number is original and transferable – but please don’t!
A nut-and-bolt body-off rebuild a couple of years ago has achieved a finish that’s probably better than new. Paint is deep and shiny, with hand-painted coachlines. Glass is excellent and doors close with the solid clunk of an old railway carriage. The Longstone 4.00/4.25 17 tyres are new, and a look under the car reveals a finish that’s little different from the topside, with the new grease lines showing a reassuring smear of fresh lubricant at the nipples.
Some patina has been retained – the fuel filler cap and the rear lamps have plating that’s almost certainly original but the new plating on the radiator – while fine – may reward extra polishing to match the high standards set by the rest of the exterior. It’s factory-fresh beneath the centrally hinged bonnet, with all parts restored or replaced – the retired professional restorer who built this car obviously knew his stuff. Mechanics are minimalist and functional, with no concerns from wiring, belts, fluid leaks or levels. Upon start-up there are no rattles, grinds or hesitations.
Inside, the showroom experience continues, with pleasingly detailed attention clearly having been paid to seat covers, carpets and cloth headliner – which are all new. Only slight discoloration of the ammeter and fuel gauge glasses betray the fact that this car is almost 90 years old. Traditional hand throttle and spark advance are mounted on the steering wheel and function smoothly, and the wheel rim’s covering is free from cracking. Door cards are lovely, with correctly trimmed map pockets and door pulls, and even proper fabric check-straps. The windscreen pivot arm shows original plating. If the new owner wants a task, providing positive locators for the plywood under-seat toolbox covers is all that’s left to do. Upon settling into the delightful, almost toy-like interior and setting the spark advance, the sweet little 747cc engine fires up instantly. Its idle is sewing-machine smooth. First gear is easy to find and there are no problems shifting up and down this three-synchromesh, four-speed gearbox, only the lowest ratio needing a doubledeclutch throttle blip to engage.
The car settles into a contented 30mph cruise. There’s an occasional knock against the frame from the new exhaust over bigger bumps but otherwise there are no rattles. The engine is very sweet and lively – and yes, the trafficators work too. This beautiful Seven has received a painstaking restoration although, other than parts invoices, the restorer’s work was his own and so is undocumented. However, a file of high-quality photos documents all the work done.

After eight years of Seven production, during which closed saloon versions were available only from coachbuilders, Austin launched the RL-series saloon in July 1930 in steel- and fabric-bodied forms on a six-foot wheelbase.
The RN-series, with its six-inch-longer wheelbase, replaced the RL in November 1931. A wider-bodied, more comfortably-trimmed De Luxe saloon followed in July 1932. Lighter-weight, art-deco streamlined Ruby facelift in December 1934. Three-bearing crankshaft replaced two-bearing original. Range supplemented by four-door, 900cc, 8ft 10in-wheelbase Big Seven in July 1937. Twodoor ‘Forlite’ launched in July 1938. Seven range replaced by Austin Eight in February 1939. Quote £160.65 Comprehensive, 5000 miles per year, garaged. Call 0333 323 1181

1934 Austin Seven saloon
Price £11,995
Contact Birchfield Classics, Woburn (07818 418 109, birchfieldclassics.co.uk)
Engine 747cc in-line four-cylinder, side-valve, Zenith 26VA carburettor
Max Power 24bhp @ 3800rpm
Top speed 60mph
0-50mph 25sec
Fuel consumption 35-40mpg
Length 3023mm
Width 1588mm

Recent rebuild has resulted in a finish that’s arguably better than new Sitting in here gives a ‘showroom experience’ 747cc four idles and runs sweetly

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