Sunday, November 23, 2008

Ranting Stan's Sunday Drive: Austin Seven

To be honest, even I'm not old enough to remember the little Austin 7 when it was new, but such was the longevity and popularaity of this pre-war car there were still enough of them around to be a reasonably familiar sight back in the sixties.

The Austin 7 is the British equivalent of the US Ford Model T. Slow, short and narrow the little Austin nevertheless sold abundantly from 1922-1939. It was also the car that launched one of Germany's most famous marques - the baby Austin being built under licence by BMW (Dixi as they were originally).

The Austin 7 is quite probably the car that not only brought motoring to the masses in Britain., it's also probably the reason why, in the 1920's, housebuilders started to build homes with driveways and garages. It's quite easy to see why. Its jaunty, almost cheeky appearance is still appealing and, unlike the US Model T, it was available in a range of colours. It was also the first mass appeal car to use the conventional control layout with which we are all familiar today.

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