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1930 Austin Seven 'Chummy' Tourer

Lot 3 (Imperial War Museum Duxford, 14th October 2020)

Sold for £18,000

(including buyers premium)


Lot details

Registration No: PL3002
Chassis No: B2/1382
MOT: Exempt

  • Supplied new to Miss Mary Venton Gibson of London SW3 on October 3rd 1930
  • Extensively restored during the late 1990s by Jeremy Brewster and Peter Skelton etc
  • Reportedly won the Vintage Sports Car Club's Lycett Memorial Trophy in 1969, 1970 and 1971
  • Road registered as ‘PL 3002’ by Surrey County Council on October 3rd 1930

Road registered as ‘PL 3002’ by Surrey County Council on October 3rd 1930, chassis B2/1382 was supplied new to Miss Mary Venton Gibson of London, SW3. Thereafter, photocopied buff logbooks on file show that it belonged to William Vincent, Stanley Rupert Tompsett and Mrs Helen Fowler. Purchased by previous keeper Dr Michael ‘Spike’ Milligan from Richard Marsh for £4,000 in June 1995, a letter between the two notes that: ‘It is a very successful Vintage Sports Car Club car as it won the Lycett Memorial Trophy three times in 1969, 1970 and 1971 I think. The car needs a rebuild but all components are there including the hood and sidescreens’.

Dr Milligan had the engine overhauled by Jeremy Brewster (then of Brewsterhouse Racing and now of Brewster Mudie) at a cost of £2,478.05. As well as a new crankshaft, conrods and pistons, the unit received new bearings, valves, valve guides etc plus a new clutch, flywheel and exhaust manifold. Peter Skelton restored the bodywork, while Holmesdale Sevens not only supplied a host of suspension and brake components but also reconditioned the three-speed manual gearbox. Sold to the vendor’s late husband by Dr Milligan in 2006, the Austin was stabled alongside a W.O. Bentley, HRG 1500 and Bristol 400. Little used in recent years, ‘PL 3002’ will require recommissioning prior to road use but has charm aplenty. The engine turns on the handle and the brakes are free. Offered for sale with history file and full weather equipment.

Model Background:

"One of the immortal designs in motoring history is the Austin Seven, for upon its introduction, it rendered the cycle-car obsolete, set a high standard for the economical car, and made motoring possible for the first time for thousands of families. It is surely no exaggeration to say that it was as great an advance in its own sphere as were the 1901 Mercedes and the 1907 Rolls-Royce in theirs, capturing the imagination as few cars have done before or since" (Cecil Clutton, The Vintage Motor Car)

Arguably the forefather of mass motoring 'giants' such as the Volkswagen Beetle, Citroen 2CV and BMC Mini, the Austin Seven was launched in 1922. An extremely versatile design, its simple but well executed A-frame, leaf-sprung chassis played host to a bewildering range of derivatives from Brooklands single-seaters to two-speed tractors (all powered by the ubiquitous, four-cylinder, sidevalve 747cc engine). Though, it is perhaps in the guise of a 'Chummy' tourer that the model is most fondly remembered. Continuing spares availability means that owning a Chummy in the 21st Century is still a practical proposition as well as being a great entry into the Vintage Sports Car Club. As with any car whose running gear seems nigh-on unbreakable many Sevens were plundered by post-WW2 'special' builders or simply run into the ground.

 

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