A huge success from the moment deliveries commenced in January 1923, the Austin Seven remained in production until 1939. Simply constructed, economical and easily maintained by the home mechanic, the Seven brought motoring within the financial reach of the man in the street, who hitherto would probably have settled for a motorcycle combination. Its introduction helped save the ailing Austin concern and by the mid-1920s the Seven dominated the light car market in Britain. In essence the Seven changed little in the course of its 17 years in production, retaining the 'A'-frame chassis, transverse front spring, rear quarter elliptics and four-cylinder sidevalve engine to the end. There were, of course, numerous detail improvements along the way, a longer wheelbase, roomier bodies, coupled brakes, and a three-bearing crankshaft to name but four. The sole version available when production commenced was the 'Chummy' tourer. Saloon, fabric saloon and coupé models, plus a roomier tourer, were on offer by 1929. One of the first Austin Seven saloons was the 'Top Hat', so called because of its upright, formal-looking, straight-sided coachwork, which was panelled in aluminium to save weight and boasted elaborate cloth interior trim, and unusual feature in a British car at the time. But of all the many versions offered over the years, it is the humble 'Chummy' that remains for many enthusiasts the quintessential Seven. Today these charming little cars are highly sought after.
There is little record of this Chummy's early history, though it is known to have been in the Manchester area in the early 1960s before moving to Potter's Bar, North London in 1965. In 2013, the car, which was in poor condition and un-roadworthy, was sold to the current vendor and restored between 2015 and 2017 at a cost of over £20,000 (excluding the purchase price) by its meticulous collector owner. The body was painted by Bruce Young Coachworks, and the engine rebuilt by Austin Seven guru Vince Leek using a Phoenix 1½" 'splash' crankshaft, new con-rods, new pistons, etc. The gearbox, front and rear axles, steering, brakes, bronze Solex carburettor, and (19") wheels were rebuilt, and a new radiator and dynamo fitted. The weather equipment, tonneau, and windscreen are new, and there is all new nickel plating throughout. The adoption of coil ignition (for reliability) is the only notified deviation from factory specification (magneto with car).
'MH 3791' has completed only 400 uneventful miles since re-commissioning, is 'on the button' and drives as new. Presented in excellent condition, and one of the very best Chummies we have seen, this beautiful little motor car is offered with sundry restoration invoices, an old-style logbook, and a V5C Registration Certificate.