An Oldie but a Goldie
The Austin Seven transformed the British motoring scene.
How often do you get the chance to buy your first car back, 50 years later? For a bloke who spends his days entertaining and performing, owning an Austin may seem like an odd sidekick, but for Dan Burt, it’s a match made in heaven.
The quest for the first people’s car, with a classless appeal in the UK, was finally achieved when Lord Austin realised his dream of manufacturing a low cost, economical, 2-door, 4-seater family convertible in 1922. With full weather equipment, a 4-cylinder engine, 4-wheel brakes and 3-speed gearbox, the Austin Seven saved the company which was on the verge of liquidation post World War I.
The following for Austin Sevens has weathered all markets, from the aspirational first car owner through all decades. Including during the 1960s when Dan Burt purchased a 1927 Austin Seven Chummy Tourer for only 2 pounds 10 shillings.
After the first restoration, Dan was inspired to join the Bristol Austin 7 Club. In doing so, he gained a bank of knowledge and “know how/useful tricks” of Austin Seven’s and was fortunate enough to go on some pretty amazing trips with fellow enthusiasts. He went on runs and tours around England, Ireland and France, just to name a few. 50 years later, Dan still has his original membership number and is not far off joining another Austin Seven Club in Australia.
In 1972, Dan migrated from the West Country of England to Australia leaving his Austin behind. He sold her to its new Bristol owner who had the car for about 30 years. After this time, a mate of Dan’s bought it off the Bristol owners hands for himself.
When Dan went back to England for a visit, he got to drive the car and he fell back in love all over again. “She still drove like a rocket”.
The Austin Seven still had the stainless exhaust system Dan had made at Rolls-Royce (Aero) while an apprentice, and nick plating that he had done for a packet of fags- which was the currency back in the day.
In 2015, his mate kindly offered the Austin back to Dan- the ‘original’ owner- and before he knew it he had her imported to Australia.
In the 2-door convertible body style, the 1929 Tourer has had minimal touches and modifications and is almost in completely original condition. Inside, there’s a bucket front, bench back seats along with a round aluminium steering wheel, which is in original condition. Since he sold her, she had done no more than 500 miles.
“She was virtually the same as when I left her some 40 years ago. Same hood, seats, side screens, paint, etc. which I’d made in the late 1960s. Body and paint the same with just a few marks. Some SU (non-original) carb.”
With log books dating back to 1949, Dan has all engineering and service history which proves the Tourer to be somewhat reliable.
The tourer has been racking up some miles since Dan bought it back and he has no plans on letting her go again.
Alongside the tourer, Dan also owns a 1975 Citroen D Special (DS), 1989 Citroen 2 CV, and also 2 French Solex motorised bikes!