The 2017 Austin Seven National Tour began in the lovely city of Toowoomba, Queensland on Sunday April 9. The display day kicked off at 11 am at the grounds outside the Cobb & Co Museum and went through until 3 pm.
There were at over 100 well restored and maintained Austin Sevens of various models, years, shapes and colours. A number of the owners and drivers came splendidly dressed in period attire to compliment their vehicles.
A number of the cars had their own stories. For example, a 1929 Austin Chummy that was bought by the owners in 2007 and restoration completed in 2011. Its motor is a 4 cylinder side valve, 7.8 hp or 747.5cc and has a 4 gallon petrol tank - under the dash. It has a 1934 4 speed 2/3/4 synchronised gear box and a converted 12 volt electrical system. Most of the work was done by the owner, including the paintwork of Vivid yellow and Midnight Black Dulon.
Then there was "Ruby", a 1936 Austin 7 Ruby Saloon, acquired in 2009 from an English couple in Adelaide who had her since new. Ruby use to be driven in England before they came to Australia. Ruby was brought to Australia in bits in a 6x4 trailer and was lovingly restored. She has 8 horse power, 4 cylinder side valve motor; 4 speed gearbox, 4 wheel cable operated drum brakes. 2 doors & 4 windows wind down and front windscreen opens for air conditioning and also a sunroof. 45 mph is a comfortable speed to sit on - any faster and she becomes hard to handle and keep on the road. Proudly owned and driven by a lady enthusiast, who is grateful to her great aunt for whom is the reason she has her Ruby.
From a Queensland perspective, there was the 1929 Austin Seven Saloon that was rescued from under a house in Darra in 1974 and restored. The car has a four cylinder side valve, water cooled by 'the thermo symphonic principle'; 10.5 brake horsepower; does 6 litres per 100 kilometres (45-50 miles per gallon) and a three speed gearbox. It was noted that a racing version of an Austin Seven had won the first Australian Grand Prix in 1928 - effectively promoting Austin Sevens in Australia.
I came across an interesting display of an 1932 Austin Seven Swallow. The sign next to the vehicle stated "Beleive it or Not! The forerunner of the Jaguar Motor Cards". It further expalained that the vehicle is one of a small number of Austin Seven Swallows produced by William Lyons with A7 running gear. It is a well known car in England since being featured in Jonathan Wood's book "Jaguar The Legend".
The National Tour continues through to Thursday, 13 April where you can catch up at the following (approximate) times:
10 to 11.30 am at Highfields Pioneer Village
12.30 to 2 pm at Goombungee Hall
10 to 11.30 am Jondaryan Woolshed (Austins parking inside museum)
10 to 11.30 am at Allora Showgrounds
12.30 to 2 pm at Nobby School of Arts
10 am to 12 noon at Pittsworth Showgrounds
12.30 to 2 pm at Pittsworth Historical Museum
Following on from this Tour, we are expecting a number of Austin Sevens to join the Austin Over Australia 2017 National Event in Ipswich, starting on Good Friday, 14 April 2017 for 4 days of catching up with old friends and enthusiasts and making new ones. Hope to see you there. For information about AOA 2017, refer to the article on this website.