The owner of this 1931 Austin 7 Mulliner Sports 2-seater will not mind at all if we call it “Scruffy” -because that’s its name.
It has spent its whole life in New Mills in Derbyshire. It broke down during the Second World War and was left by the side of the road, covered only in a tarpaulin. From the early 1950s the present owner’s father tried to buy it – finally succeeding in 2002.
The body was in a pretty poor state, but the local specialist reported that the engine was in a wonderful state – and could only have done a few thousand miles. The sump hadn’t been removed since the car was built. So the car has been left externally untouched, apart from the fitting of some better seats. It is definitely not on the VSCC’s PVT list, so the owner has taken advantage of this in several ways: he has skimmed the head, fitted a 4-speed gearbox from a later Austin 7, and is off this summer racing in France – where the rules are a little more flexible.
We found the car at a village festival in Yorkshire, alongside a mint Jaguar XK150. Guess which car was getting the most attention! And judging by the speed of its departure at the end of the day, it appears to be a seriously quick Austin 7, that will be lots of fun in France, whether cutting up moderns on the road or racing against who knows what on the track.