Wed, 20th Jun 2007 0:00

The Pavilion Gardens

  Lot 4

1936 Austin Seven Ruby

Sold for £1,575

(including buyers premium)

Lot details
Registration No: ECD 134
Chassis No: 275234
Mot Expiry: None

Brainchild of Herbert Austin and Stanley Edge, the Austin Seven looked almost impossibly small when launched in 1922. Occupying the same 'footprint' as a motorcycle and sidecar combination, it nevertheless boasted all the advantages of a 'full-size' motor car. Responsible for helping motorise Britain while simultaneously sounding the cyclecar industry's death knell, the baby Austin was brilliantly yet simply engineered. Based around an 'A-frame' chassis equipped with all-round leaf-sprung suspension, four-wheel drum brakes and a spiral bevel back axle, it was powered by a sewing machine-esque 747cc sidevalve four-cylinder engine allied to three-speed (later four-speed) manual transmission. Introduced in July 1934, the Ruby Saloon was one of a series of models designed to rejuvenate the Seven. Visually distinguished by its smooth radiator cowling, hinged bonnet vents and curved back (incorporating a spare wheel cover), the newcomer combined a la mode styling with circa 50mph performance and laudable fuel economy. A strong sales success, the Ruby remained a staple part of the Seven range until production ceased in 1939.

Finished in blue over black with blue / black hide upholstery, this particular example is variously described by the vendor as being in "OK" (gearbox, electrical equipment, wheels / tyres) or "good" (engine, bodywork, paintwork) condition. Though, he considers that the interior trim and chromework "need attention". Reportedly "dry stored for thirty years", 'ECD 134' is since understood to have been treated to some remedial paintwork and a mechanical overhaul including the replacement of its exhaust system and rear springs. Riding on painted wire wheels, it sports Lucas lights and a wood grain effect dashboard.


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