The Austin Seven, one of the most endearing cars of all time, has such a strong following that it remains to this day our most popular pre-war car. It was also Britain's cheapest and most successful pre-war car, with nearly 300,000 built. Post-war, Austin Sevens soldiered on for so long that almost everyone over a certain age will have owned one, done some courting in one, or at the very least simply travelled as a passenger in one.
Cult followers of the Austin Seven know what a complex family tree of models evolved over the years. The early four-seater tourers were soon supplemented by saloons, open two-seaters, coupes and sports models. On top of some 50 different body styles produced at Longbridge, more elaborate Sevens came from coachbuilders such as Swallow and Gordon England, and licence-built versions were made in Germany, France and the USA.
But how many surviving Austin Sevens - restored, unrestored or even derelict - boast the completely original and authentic specification that the most discerning enthusiasts now demand? The information needed to determine how a restored car should look and what parts it should contain is difficult to find, especially as the model range is so wide, but help is at hand in Original Austin Seven.
This painstakingly researched book, compiled from all known sources of factory information, aims to reveal how these charming cars altered in detail over the years. Specification descriptions, chassis and body evolution, production changes, body colours, optional extras and accessories, special coachwork, overseas variations - the minutiae are covered for all Austin Seven models.
Accompanying the text are over 270 photographs showing all the significant model variations and the important mechanical and trim changes. Considerable detective work went into finding over 25 cars - some highly original, others fastidiously restored - for special photography in colour, while selected archive material completes the coverage. The illustrations in themselves provide a valuable reference source.