Easter.A drive from Lands End to John O Groats

July The Beaulieu Rally and a silverstone lap of honour.

August a pilgramage to the birthplace at Lomgbrifdge

All over Britain owners of 5,000 surviving Austin sevens and members of Austin seven clubs are celebrating the golden Jubilee of the worlds first and best loved baby July 21 1922

50 years ago, Sir Herbert Austin unveiled a new revolutionary car, First of all the mini, designed to introduce motoring to the millions.

The Austin seven


1920 The war was over

The soldiers who survived it were home. Factories were changing over from guns to goods

Motorcars were scarce and dear, Bought only by the rich. Mothers took children shopping in the pony and trap. Bread winners went to station or job by bike.


Aspiring motorists of moderate means took sweethearts and famillies for a spin in a motorcycle side car combination


1921 the postwar boom had ended. Money was scarce, the Austin motor company found the austin 20 -

Large expensive - difficult to sell, was nearly bankcrupt

Licky Grange, Near Birmingham. sir Herbert austin, company founder, was working secretely at home on a new brain child. a motor for the millions A company draughtsman S.R EDGE joined him after dinner, on the billards table they roughed out sketches for a new kind of car. to cost no more than a motor cycle sidecar.
1922 January

The Birmingham motorcycle club dinner, Sir Herbert Austin mad an unapplauded speech.

" I can not imagaine anyone riding a side car if he could afford a car "

July 21st

Claridges, He presented a car they could afford to the press, made under protest from a skeptical board.

" It is a decent car for the man who can only afford a motorcycle sidecar"

Correspondents gazed at a toy car. Just 8ft 8in Long, 3ft 10in Wide. Seating adults in front children behind, without a running board or roof

Cost #25 more than a side car 225

1922 critical correspondents tried out the baby austin , It handled like a real car.

Reaching 53 mph doing 50 miles a gallon they reported favourably.

1923 First production model The Tourer with running boards added. 696 cc engine soon increaed to 747 cc Price reduced to 165 undercutting sidecars

It looked small and cummblesome Became known as the Chummy

April Captain Arthur Waite, Sir Herberts son in law took a two seater version to Itally

entered for the cycle car prix at Monza and now it the baby was a champ

1923 Gordon england motor manufacturers and racing driver visited Sir Herbert The result A single seater racer and in 1924 the Brooklands Austin Seven

Guaranteed speed of 75 mph selling at 265

The cheapest racing sports car

Cheap commercial versions soon followed a 2.5 CWT delivery van for 180

The baby was branching out.

1923 The austin seven Tourer was the talk of the motor show

The seven single seater taxi appeared at the commercial vehicle exhibition

Not a commercial succes followed by 

1924 A new larger tourer with longer 0ft 2 in body. Higher hood greater backseat leg room and a real speed ometer leading to............. 1926 The first seven saloon Built by Gordon England with a cellulose based fabric stretched over framework weighing 8 and 1/4 cwt costing 210
1926 General strike Austin employees worked on to produce the first standard seven saloons ay 169. Next year 150

The chummy was reduced to 135 The cheapest car in Brittain and ...........................

1927 in europe A german from Gotha Waggonfabrik makes a BMW cars today. Agreed to manufacturer the Austin seven under licence as the Diki Soon used by a sharp tongued agitator raising funds for a new political party called national socialists - Adolph Hitlar
1927 Dec 28 The fame of the Seven has crossed the Atlantic. Herbert Austin followed in the Aquitania to find a firm to build it in America 1928 A seven driven by Edingburgh businessman George Simpson climbed Ben Nevis Britain's highest mountain. In 7 hours 23 minutes and returned the same day. The chancellor Winston Churchill put a tax on petrol. 1 1/2 p a Gallon. Motoring costs rise. William Morris thought it time to reduce them with another cheap baby. The Morris minor.

The seven had a rival

1929 France Peugeot managing director Lucien Rosengart, resigned to build the seven in France.

"le Bebe " was shown in Paris. Police were called to control excited crowds.

The British seven was improved Gunner Poppe London Welsh rugby captain drove it 394 miles from London to Edinburgh - on single track roads - in 10 hours averging almost 40 mph 1929 Wilmington USA The American Austin motor co inc was formed to build the american Austin. Later named Bantam. With a steel body like a toy version of current big cars.
1931 The slump. austin seven sales still boomed. Helped by a new delux saloon to seat four adults with a sunshine roof and leather upholstery for 128 1932 The two seater was reduced to 105. second hand Sevens still serviceable could be picked up for 10 to 15. a "runner" needing a backyard overhaul for a fiver. 1933 Tow New Zealanders Hector McQuarrie and Richard Mathews drove a Seven round the world, and made it world famous. The Japanese produced an imitation Seven called Datsun
1934 The last generation of Sevens, three redesigned jewels, The Ruby, Pearl, and Opal.

With new radiators and sweeping lines, and a new low price for the opal two seater of 100

The family was almost complete

1935 The motor show another rival made its bow the new Ford 9 Priced at 100 for a four seater saloon. The sevens days were numbered.


1937 delux ford saloon

1939 The Austin 8 was born The seven was killed off. It had begun as a freak, given half a million people the chance to own their first car an changed from a joke to an institution