1933 Austin 7 AJ Tourer - Fun vintage motoring!
Austin 7 Tourer
1933 | AJ Series Open Tourer | 748cc | 4-speed | ‘Dove Grey’ | Speedex manifold and Solex downdraught carburettor
AJ series 2 door tourer. 748cc sidevalve engine with 4spd manual transmission. Speedex inlet and exhaust manifolds with Solex type carburettor. Lucas sealed beam headlamps. Avon Sidecar Triple Duty tyres. Folding hood complete with removable side screens. Various bits of history on file including buff logbook. Registered on 16/09/1933 in Nottingham.
Announced in July 1922, the Austin 7 became an overnight sensation. Far superior and cheaper than any contemporary rival, the "big car in miniature" quickly wiped out the cyclecar industry and transformed the fortunes of the Austin Motor Company. Herbert Austin, and draughtsman Stanley Edge managed to meet the needs of many young families who aspired to own their own motor car; with affordability, simplicity, good performance, accommodation and four-wheel brakes. It brought proper motoring to the masses and won a legendary status similar to the Ford Model T which it has not lost to this day.
By the early 1930s, the design of cost effective and long-lasting saloon bodies had developed to such an extent that they constituted the bulk of production, even at the cheaper end of the market. Consequently, open tourers of this period are quite rare, such is the case with this example.
This ‘baby Austin’ is a late 1933 AJ series Tourer (effectively an open top RN model), which has the longer wheelbase, electric start, 4-speed transmission and rear mounted fuel tank, but still retains the charm of the earlier models. The handwritten notes in the car’s history file suggest it was first registered to a lady in Park Lane, Nottingham in September 1933. She was to own the car for the first 24 years of its life, then selling it on in 1957 to a Mr Gilbert of Long Eaton (as given in the buff logbook), changing hands again in 1961 and 1963 before finding another long-term owner in 1964. Around 2009, it found its way to the Leominster/Hereford area, where it stayed for another 10 years.
Since the car doesn’t appear to have been used much in recent years, we have undertaken some light recommissioning work including an oil change with the correct SAE30 oil, new plugs and condenser, greasing all the lubrication points plus sorting the typical ‘water elbow’ water leak. Pulling out the choke and the starter knob, the little sidevalve engine fires straight into life, and will settle down with a bit of adjustment of the column throttle control. The engine could be said to be past its youth now with a little bit of smokey haze from the exhaust when accelerating, but it certainly isn’t burning oil excessively and still pulls strongly. Underway, all gears select correctly with synchromesh on the top two ratios, and a cruising speed of roughly 35-40mph is comfortable thanks to its ‘go faster’ Speedex manifold… but it could do a perhaps nearer 50 if you were feeling more like Toad of Toad Hall! The cable operated brakes pull you up to a stop as they should do, and the steering is light and free of play.
Considerable restoration work has been done at some point in the car's life, but as to when we couldn’t say. Work looks to have included a full strip down and repaint of the chassis and body, new upholstery, hood and wiring loom. The side screens that come with the car look to be the originals. Now, everything has mellowed down to an air of ‘originality’ and has just the right amount of patina.
The main areas to note on the body are a couple of small areas of blistering, and a ~5p sized chip on the driver’s door. It has also had the later addition of trafficators fitted then removed in the past, so there are three holes on either side of the car just below the windscreen brackets – we’ll leave that up to you if you want to refit some. All the electricals and instruments work, apart from the odometer, and the fuel gauge doesn’t seem to be accurate.
All in all, this is a fantastic, well-loved little motor car that is absolutely ready to be preserved, enjoyed and improved and would make a great entry point into vintage motoring with great club support and parts availability. We’ve had great fun driving it around the back lanes, so if you’re interested please get in touch, we’d be happy to help.