My Little Austin Seven
1934 Austin Seven RP Long Wheelbase Box Saloon
In 1922 in Longbridge (now part of Birmingham), England, Herbert Austin engaged a young draftsman, Stanley Edge, to help him develop a diminutive, affordable motorcar capable of transporting a family. They worked tirelessly at Austin's home in Lickey Grange. The result was the Austin Seven. For a full history and specifications, see the Wikipedia article on the car.
The model pictured above, according to its motor number 171474 and chassis number 170548 was made in 1933. It was sold in 1934 in Jamaica. Research is currently underway to determine the original owner and date of sale. The online records of the Kingston, Jamaica newspaper, the Jamaica Gleaner (fee access required), reveals the automobile dealership of John Crook sold the cars at the time.
John Crook Limited sold new Austins, Dodges, and wide variety of used cars. The dealership is still in business today on Spanish Town Road, Kingston, Jamaica.
Although the first 21 years of the car's life are still a mystery, it is known that two Jamaican brothers purchased the car in 1955, and maintained and restored it over many years. When the brothers moved to Florida in the 1990's, they brought their little Austin Seven with them. They continued faithful maintenance and eventually sold it to David Kanally in 2006.
The Seven on a tour of historic Grapevine, Texas, February 2007
More pictures from Grapevine (click on thumbnail for full-size view)
And a few shots from the old town in Lewisville, TX
Watch a fun video from the Texas Austin-Bantam Get-Together in Pecan Plantation, May 21-23, 2010.
Videos from the 2008 Austin Bantam Society 40th Annual Trophy Meet.
The 2007 Austin Bantam Society Trophy Meet, Decatur, TX, September 26-29, 2007
My little Austin Seven recently participated in a gathering of its American cousins, the American Austin and Bantam automobiles, manufactured in Butler, PA. The Austin Bantam Society organized the meet. The society is very welcoming to Austin Seven owners, and all are encouraged to join!
In 1940, the American Bantam Car Company, a Butler, PA-based licensee of Austin, designed the first prototype Jeep for the Army. The family resemblance is still evident, more than six decades later, between the Austin Seven and this 2001 Jeep Wrangler. Learn more here.
Finally, a family photo from the UK!