The Austin Seven motor car celebrates its 90th birthday this year and the event is being marked by a major event organized by the 750 Motor Club at Beaulieu, Hampshire.
Austin Sevens were built between 1922 and 1939 and many of our parents and grandparents will have owned one. Today over 8,000 are thought to still exist and hundreds of them will be heading to Hampshire on Sunday 1st July.
The venue makes the National Austin Seven Rally an event for all the family as Beaulieu is home to a wide variety of attractions including the National Motor Museum which houses a stunning collection of over 250 cars including the flying Ford Anglia from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets; Palace House – Lord Montagu’s family home since 1538; the fascinating Beaulieu Abbey, and beautiful gardens to explore. Special exhibitions this year include ‘BOND IN MOTION’ featuring iconic vehicles from the 007 films and ‘World of Top Gear’ with many of the actual vehicles that have starred in the hugely popular TV series.
The Austin Sevens will be displayed on the rally field for visitors to come and wander around, chat to the owners, and perhaps recall days gone by when the whole family packed into one of the little cars to drive off on summer holidays. The day will be a great opportunity to find out how inexpensive and fun these old cars can be to own and drive in the 21st century – and to watch while some of them tackle the challenging time trial around an arena course.
There will be static displays of cars that are very well known Austin 7 circles, including one that competed in the famous Le Mans 24 hour race in 1935 and won its class. It was a magnificent triumph for Austin cars and for Great Britain. 75 years later, in 2010, that very same car was back in competition on the French circuit in competition dicing with Bentleys, Bugattis, Aston Martins, and Lagondas in the Le Mans Classic, a bi-annual recreation of the original pre-war races. This time outright victory eluded the team but they still gained a creditable 36th place out of 68 entries – most of which were considerably bigger and much more powerful cars!