1927 Austin Seven Chummy
This stunning, beautifully restored Austin Seven Chummy was registered FE 9593 on the 5th September 1927 and by then the early Austin Seven was really in its prime. For many, this is a highly desirable, hugely popular Seven model, retaining the short black radiator surround, scuttle-mounted lights, gate gearchange, dainty wings and the fantastic Magneto engine. They were also lighter than the later models, the taller 4.9:1 back axle ratio ensuring that a well driven “Chummy” performs better than the later heavier cars maintaining a genuine 45-50mph on the open road.
This particular top class example has a rather interesting history, it spent the 1950's in West and later North London, before making its way to Birmingham when owned by a student from Cheltenham in 1963. The Austin was then with one owner for almost 50 years. The cars long term owner had been looking for an Austin Seven when he saw this car tucked down the side of a garage in Great Barr, Birmingham. He called into the garage to find it was owned by the student who had left the car with the Birmingham based garage for a head gasket repair. He was told the £2 head gasket repair was unpaid. Several weeks passed and persistence paid off, the garage passed on the address of the owner and having had some written correspondence, had agreed to pay £40 for the Chummy and settle the garage bill! The Austin was then driven for just a few years, before being stored away awaiting restoration.
The Chummy spent several decades off the road before a long term, full nut and bolt restoration was carried out. The rebuild was carried to an incredible standard and only completed in 2010. The Austin was stripped down to the bare chassis, the chassis then vapour blasted, zinc coated and enamelled. New springs were fitted, new friction discs to the shockers fitted, all five wheels rebuilt with new spokes and rims onto the original closed centre hubs. The original body was then rebuilt with much of the wood frame being replaced and the engine was rebuilt by Joseph Lucas Ltd in their development department. Apparently, this department would re-condition engines for employees and a friend of the owner managed to arrange this. The unit was re-bored and rebuilt with new pistons, rings, valves and bearings and crankshaft re-metalled. A new old stock bronze carburettor was sourced, and the magneto and dynamo rebuilt by a renowned specialist. The gearbox was dismantled, inspected and rebuilt by an Austin 7 gearbox specialist, the differential was stripped and inspected then cleaned, the clutch replaced, brakes overhauled, king pins and wheel bearings replaced, the steering system overhauled and various re-wiring was carried out. With the mechanicals superbly detailed, the body beautifully painted, the interior was fully re-trimmed and all new weather gear trimmed to the car.
Having covered just 250 miles since the rebuild, in 2012 the Austin was sold to the most recent owner, a Yorkshire based classic car collector who has kept the car on display with many other top class vehicles, taking the Austin out on the occasional local trips. Now ten years on since completion, the Austin is presented in beautiful condition, clearly completed to an exceptionally high standard. The chassis and underside are immaculate, the engine bay beautifully detailed and the external and interior presentation are delightful. The Chummy is lovely to drive, its lively, fabulous fun on the road and will most certainly not disappoint. FE 9593 comes with some lovely history to include 1950 style ‘buff' logbook, restoration photographs, previous owner correspondence and original handbooks. This is a beautiful example that has the lovely provenance of one owner in almost half a century, is in beautiful condition with great history and even still retains some original Austin spanners and the all important carburettor jet key.