Classic Car Catalogue

Austin 1930

Twelve - new model
Sixteen - new model

Great Britain

For 1931 four Austin chassis the 7hp 12hp 16hp and 20hp are being continued with improvements, but no very radical alterations. The coachwork is more up to date and in many cases prices, are lowered.
September '30'


wb: 75 in.
(1905 mm)
4 cyl. sv
747.5 cc
10.5 bhp
7.8 HP
Metal Saloon    
Fabric Saloon    
Ulster   – new model


The fabric and coach built Seven saloons formerly cost £140 each. and the new price for the improved models is £130. The tourer 2-seater formerly sold at £130, and these are each £17 10s. less. The crankshaft of the Seven is stiffer, the change speed lever is longer and more convenient, the petrol tank carries five gallons and has a reserve supply, the button oil indicator has been superseded by a dashboard dial gauge, the windscreen has a locking device, and probably the greatest improvement the four brakes are now operated together by hand or foot. The appearance of the cars has been considerably improved. The radiator is higher and the shell narrower, the bonnet has been raised and length added by shortening the scuttle. The new windscreen is slightly canted, and an impression of length is given by a belt moulding running from radiator to rear panel. This moulding is painted to harmonize with any given colour scheme. The new Seven is made to seat four persons comfortably, and has pneumatic upholstery. The doors are wide. The carrying capacity is 36st. The chassis construction is too well known to need emphasis here, though it may be stated that the engine, with its cylinder capacity of 747.5 cc., is said to develop 10.5-horse power at the moderate rate of 2,400 rpm. Sliding sun shine roofs can be had on the saloon models for £5 more.
September '30
Austin Seven wyposażony jest w rzędowy, dolnozaworowy silnik 4 cylindrowy o pojemności 747,5 cm³. Produkowany jest w różnych wersjach nadwoziowych, a także karosowany przez specjalistyczne firmy.
Austin Seven was first introduced in 1922 and is continued with periodic changes and improvements. The engine remained basically the same: four-cylinder side-valve, 747.5-cc (56 x 76 mm), RAC rating 7.8 HP.

Austin Seven Saloon

October '30 advert.

October '29

Austin Seven Coupé have two seats and cost £140 (with sliding sunshine roof £5 extra). 'A dainty model that has made a very strong appeal to lady motorists', the sales catalogue claims.

Austin Seven Tourer Two-Seater sold at £130, including electric starting, lighting and horn, shock absorbers, air strangler, etc.
Motor Sport, July 1930

 LAST month some reference was made in MOTOR SPORT to a brief run in one of the latest type Austin Seven sports models, which is now in regular production, and which put up such an admirable performance in the Double Twelve race.
 Since then we have had the opportunity of giving one of these cars an extended test on the road, and as a result our first favourable impressions were amplified. In the first place, a great improvement in the accommodation is noticeable, the roominess of both the passenger's and driver's seats being so ample as to be unique in a car of such small size. Another feature which the new model possesses is that "something" which conveys the impression of solidity and a high degree of control throughout its whole speed range. Its road-holding qualities, in fact, are astonishing, and even over rough surfaces at high speeds there is a complete lack of bounce and other disconcerting caprices which are too often met with in many cars of greater size and weight than the Austin. This stability is due, no doubt, largely to the fact that the chassis frame has been lowered to a substantial extent, and the road springs are bound with cord.
 As soon as we got under way with the little vehicle we felt "at home," all the controls falling to hand (and foot) easily and without groping.
 The car placed at our disposal was practically brand new, but the little 747 c.c. engine sounded so full of life, that, once in the country, we gave it its head. From a standstill, 40 m.p.h. was achieved in 14 seconds, and 50 m.p.h. in second was possible without undue fuss; all-out speed on top was 60 m.p.h. In view of the good maximum in 2nd gear, these seemed to point rather to too high a top speed ratio; apparently the makers have realised this, for we understand that the back-axle ratio on later editions is to be reduced in order to put up the top-speed performance. It should be further stated that the model in question had done only about 100 miles, and was, therefore, not fully run in.
 The four-wheel brakes are now all applied either by pedal or lever and a single wing-nut, conveniently placed, adjusts the whole set. In testing the braking we found that the car at 40 m.p.h. could be stopped in 130 feet; the deceleration was steady and comfortable, although the rear brakes tended to come on before the front ones. This, however, was a matter for simple adjustment. The steering was found to be light, but not sufficiently so to make high speed driving disconcerting; it was, in fact, just right.
 The dimensions of the engine are the same as in former "7s," but it is fitted with special pistons, connecting rods, and crankshaft, which imbue it with the necessary revving capabilities. The supercharger, when fitted, is driven by gears from the front of the engine, but the model we tested was not so equipped.
 The gear box is of the close ratio type, giving 4.9, 7 and 12.5 to one, an alteration which is reflected in the performance. The intermediate gears are unusually silent in use, even at high r.p.m., and the gate has been altered so as to allow really snappy changes, both up and down, to be made.
 As can be seen from the photograph, the body is quite graceful in contour and in good proportions, and though cut away at the sides to facilitate entry and exit, it is snug and free from draughts. With the hood up, moreover, we found there was plenty of head room—another point which is lacking in many other small sports cars.
 The spare wheel is housed in a well in the tail of the machine, and is securely held without the use of any fixing: this well is covered with a panel secured by a strap, so that a rapid change of wheel should be possible.
 As for the matter of consumption, we made a careful note of our mileage, and over a route which included London traffic (at its worst), main roads, by-pass "straights" and Hertfordshire lanes, we found this worked out at 37 m.p.g.
 Altogether we formed the impression that this latest edition from Longbridge was a very definite improvement on its forerunners, and a car entirely suitable for for the man who wants something snappy, smart and small.

Motor Sport, July 1930

Austin Seven Swallow Saloon, Coupé and Two Seater.
Austin/Swallow Saloon consist of the standard Austin Seven chassis with special bodywork produced by the Swallow Side Car St Coach Building Co. of Blackpool. Swallow special coachwork can be fitted also on other chassis, including Morris Cowley, Standard Big Nine, and Swift Ten.

May advert.
Motor Sport, September 1930
THERE surely can be few cars more versatile than the Austin Seven, and it is this very quality which has encouraged so many people to market this car in various forms for different purposes, nearly always, however, as a sports model of some kind. These modified productions may be divided into two classes. First, the special body on a standard chassis, the only modification being in appearance ; and, secondly, the genuinely special job, which not only has special coachwork, but which has been gone over and specially treated, in every detail of the engine and chassis, to give a really non-standard performance. It is to this latter class that the series of B.C. Austins belong. Secure in the knowledge that they have got a thoroughly sound basis on which to work, they have got down to the problem of turning out for the keen sports car owner, a car which has those extra qualities of acceleration and road holding, which as a rule can only be achieved by a great deal of very costly work after the car has been acquired.
The first and most obvious departure from standard is the body. This is a 2-seater of very attractive appearance, stiff construction, and, what is unusual on a very small sports car, really adequate luggage capacity. It is a truism that the people who travel in small cars are just as large, and require just as much luggage as those who traverse the country in larger vehicles. Yet in spite of this it is regrettably rare to find a small car with reasonable equipment in this respect. In the B.C. Austin, however, there is ample room in the well planned tail for all that any two normal beings are likely to require, in the way of suitcases, golf clubs, fishing rods, and what-not.
The spare wheel is carried on the side of the body, and while enhancing the appearance, is also prevented from getting mixed up with articles which will suffer thereby. Spare wheels may be beautifully clean and smart when they leave the works, but the one which has just been removed from its workaday position owing to its inability to hold air, is usually far from it, and the side of the car seems to be the obvious place for it.
As far as mechanical details are concerned it at once becomes evident that the firm have applied their considerable racing experience with great effect, and it is hard to find any particular where further tuning could be carried out.
The car tested by MOTOR SPORT was one of their O.H.V. conversions, but as far as other points on the chassis go, the same remarks apply to all models. The head in question has been specially designed to fit on the standard engine with as little structural alteration as possible, and can be fitted to any standard Austin Seven in a matter of two days, or changed back to the normal side-valve job in one. The valves are operated by push rods, which run in the old valve guides, and the head is so arranged as to blank off the old ports, while an extension fitted to the old manifold enables this to be used in the conversion. The resulting engine looks perfectly normal and bears no stamp of having being converted, such as is the case with some other O.H.V. "fitments," which we have seen in the past.
Other details include the fitting of a special Claudel Hobson carburettor, opening and polishing the ports (probably one of the most tedious jobs an amateur can undertake) lowering the springs and consequently the chassis, and fitting extra leaves, lowering and extending the steering to give a proper " scrapping " position, and altering the gear change. This is effected by mounting the gear lever well aft of the box on an additional cross member, and coupling it to the gear box by a horizontal rod with yoke ends, which thus transmits both fore-and-aft and lateral motion to the standard gearshift arrangement. The additional convenience when driving has to be experienced to be believed, as one's left hand drops directly onto the lever, and changes can be effected in the middle of the most complicated evolutions, which is a great help when cornering. Cornering is very steady, due to the lowered centre of gravity, and the steering is positive and accurate, though we should have personally preferred it to be slightly more self-centering.
The car which we tried had seen some fairly violent service in competitions over a considerable period, and had many successes to its credit. Owing to the fact that its life as competition car, combined with demon strations, had made it impossible to give it the attention which a privately owned vehicle would have received, there were one or two small points which could not be fairly criticised. The brakes were really in need of relining, so that the stopping distance of 84ft. from 40 m.p.h. does not really represent what can be done with this model. A good feature of the braking system is the large outside lever, which in the latest models operates all four sets of shoes, and is placed in just the right position. In fact, during the time we had this car for test we found it most convenient to drive almost exclusively on the hand brake. This car has actually covered the flying kilometre at 78 m.p.h. but the maximum speed reached while in our hands was 71 m.p.h., due chiefly to the fact that the engine had had no attention for some thousands of miles, and although it did not show any signs of getting tired on long runs, it is well known that such a small engine requires reasonably frequent decarbonisation if it is to maintain its maximum performance.
Second gear provided very snappy acceleration and was of great assistance in putting up high average speeds over a twisty cross country route. Between 50 and 55 m.p.h. was possible in this gear, while the engine balance at high speeds was perfect. At low speeds there was a slight tendency to roughness if made to pull hard, but this is only what one would expect, and in any case such a vehicle is not meant to be driven at a crawl on top gear. Provided, however, that the revs are kept up, the top gear performance is remarkably good, and hills which would call for a change of gear on a standard Seven could be taken in it stride at a rousing speed; while if an obstruction occurred, second gear was more than adequate to regain the lost speed, and pass any normal car.
It is this property of combining a high performance, with such small dimensions and ease of handling, that will always ensure a growing market for this type of sports car, while on the score of running costs there can, of course, be no comparison. The petrol consumption even when driven really hard, appeared to differ but little from that of the standard model, while the cost of upkeep in other respects, such as oil, tyres, etc., helps to make it just the car for the man who wants a sports car, but who has only a limited amount of cash with which to maintain it.
The standard fully equipped B.C. Austin costs £197 10s., and the O.H.V. model £25 extra, and is turned out by Messrs. Boyd-Carpenter, Ltd., of 47, West End Lane, Kilburn, N.W.6.
W. S. B.

Motor Sport, September 1930
October 1930Motor Sport; Sports Models for 1931
The Austin Motor Co. have already had their latest type sports "7" in production for some time. With its lowered chassis, long bonnet and modified springing it is an extremely attractive little vehicle, and moreover has a genuine sports car performance, with a maximum speed of 80 m.p.h. It can be had either with or without a supercharger. Prices: £185 (without supercharger), £225 (with supercharger).




On the 12 hp. 4-cylinder chassis is a Watford four-window fabric saloon; this costs complete as a five-seater £275, the chassis being £187 10s. Here the engine capacity is 1,861 cc., the stated brake horse-power at 2,000 rpm. is 27, the crankshaft runs in five bearings, the back axle ratio is 5.12 also, ignition is by magneto, the wheelbase and track are on the Sixteen.
Prices of the Twelve vary from £275, which is the new price for the Watford saloon, the new open road 5-seated tourer, and the Eton 2-seater, to £299 for the six-window coach- built saloon and the four and six-window fabric saloons. All these last three types have been reduced in price.
September '30


  wb: 112 in.
(2844 mm)
6 cyl.
2249 cc
36 bhp


16 Burnham Sunshine Saloon
There is a now 16 h.p. 6-cylinder Austin with a six-window fabric saloon body the roof of which folds right back and gives the passengers a view as from an open car. Each of the front seats is adjustable and all six windows are worked mechanically. The equipment includes leather furniture, hide or moquette upholstery, dip and switch headlamps, roof', ventilator, an improved luggage carrier, shock absorbers, radiator cowl, a radiator motometer, chromium plating, petrol gauge, wire wheels. The chassis costs £240, and the folding-head saloon £400. The wheel-base and track are 9ft. 4in. and 4ft. 8in., the six cylinder have a capacity, of 2,249 cc. and the brake horse-power at 2,400 rpm. is. stated to be 36. 'The valves are at the side, the-crankshaft runs in eight bearings, there is coil and battery ignition, and water and oil circulation are forced. A single-plate clutch passes the power to a four-speed centrally controlled gearbox, and from there to a three-quarter floating axle with helical bevel gear and a ratio of 5.12 to 1. There are five brakes, with simple adjustment, the steering has a roller worm wheel, and the half-elliptical chassis spring have Silentbloc shackles, zinc-lined leaves, and shock-absorbers.
June '30
The chassis details of the Sixteen remain as before except for the addition of an air cleaner. This 6-cylinder engine is of 2¼ litres capacity and is stated to develop 36 brake horse power at 2,400 rpm. The crankshaft runs in eight bearings, and has a vibration damper in front. The Sixteen has a wheelbase of 9ft. 4in. and a track of 4ft. 8in. The three types of saloon now cost £335 each, the coach-built and six--window fabric saloons thus being reduced £40 each. The two open cars remain the same at £310.
September '30

Austin 16 HP six-cylinder with new Open Road Five-Seater bodywork is offered at £325.


  wb: 6 cyl. SV
3397 cc
57 bhp
23.5 HP
Whitehall 120 in.    
Maifair 130 in.    
Ranelagh 136 in.    


Austin Twenty Mayfair Saloon
Austin Twenty is one of the Company's most expensive models, selling at £530. Wheelbase is 11 ft 4 in (long). Chassis is also available with 10 ft 10 in wheelbase. The car is powered by a 3400-cc (79.5 x 114.5 mm) 49-bhp side-valve Six, rated at 23.5 HP. For 1930 the specification includes Biflex magnetic dip and switch headlights and wire wheels.
The 20 h.p. Marlborough landaulette and Carlton saloon have each been reduced from £560 to £525, while the Ranelagh, which is now undoubtedly a handsome car sells at £575 instead of £630. The petrol tank on the Twenty is now at the back, and an air cleaner has been fitted to the engine. As with the other type of coachwork, there is improvement here. The shortening of the scuttle has allowed the bonnet to be lengthened, there are better roof lines, the windscreen is sloped, and the waist-line moulding extends along the scuttle and bonnet. This Ranelagh limousine has a sun visor, and the radiator cowl is higher and narrower. The car is elaborately fitted inside and there is a hinged central arm rest. The wheelbase is 11ft 4ins. There will also be a new saloon on the Twenty chassis shown at Olympia, but with a wheelbase 10ft 10ins. The 6-cylinder engine, of 3,400 cc. capacity, is stated to develop 49-horse power at only 2,000 rpm.
September '30

Austin Twenty Ranelagh Enclosed Limousine, the Company's most expensive model, selling at £630 (£640 with sliding roof).



  Event: Entered: Raced: Finished: Best results:
10.05.1930 Double Twelve 4 4 1/3 91 A. C. R. Waite / The Earl of March Seven (747 c.c.) 7th 500-750 1st
          92 A. Frazer Nash / Poppe   nc  
          94 F. Burt / Edwards   nc  
18.07.1930Irish GP Saorstat Cup   6 5 51 Archie Frazer Nash Seven 750 cc L4 (s) 3rd Class H 1st
          52 Arthur Waite Seven 5th Class H 2nd
          47 Crabtree Seven (s) 8th Class H 3rd
          48 John Donald Barnes Seven (s) 14th Class H 4th
          49 G. V. B. Cooke Seven (s) 16th Class H 5th
23.08.1930 Tourist Trophy 4 4 1 23 Gunnar Poppe Seven 747 cc L4 (s) 5th 500-750 1st
04.10.1930 500 Miles Brooklands   5 1 1 The Earl of March / S.C.H. Davis Seven 747 cc L4 (s) 1st Class H 1st

Tourist Trophy
Motor SportOctober 1930

The Earl of March and Sammy C. H. Davis won the B.R.D.C. 500 Miles Race at Brooklands in the supercharged 747 cc Austin Seven.
Motor SportOctober 1930
THIRTEEN international class records were broken at Brooklands last month by S. C. H. Davis and C. Goodacre on the latter's 500-miles' Race Austin "Seven."
These were :-1, 3, 6, 6 and 12 hours at speeds of 84, 83, 83.45, 83.73, 81.71 m.p.h. respectively. The remaining records were for 50 kilos (83.58 m.p.h.), 100 kilos (84.56 m.p.h.), 200 kilos (85.07 m.p.h.), 500 kilos (83.82 m.p.h.), 1,000 kilos (82.80 m.p.h.), 50 miles (84.35 m.p.h.), 100 miles (84.94 m.p.h.), 200 miles (82.98 m.p.h.) and 500 miles (83.72 m.p.h.).
Before completing its record run, the Austin was driven for two hours in the darkness, the salient points on the track being marked by red lights.
  Event: Entered: Raced: Finished: Best results:
26-29.01.1930 Rallye Monte Carlo 2 ? 0     ?
Motor Sport
South African records-Austin makes a "bag".

The " Baby " Austin has added a page to the history of light car racing in South Africa by establishing an amazing series of records at the Clairwood Speedway, Durban. Driven by E. H. M'Crystal, the tiny car purred contentedly round the flat unbanked speedway mile after mile, piling up a mileage little short of amazing for so small a vehicle. When the gun went at the end of the hour the car had actually covered 47 miles, 1,289 yards, which is a South African record for classes 750 and 1,000 c.c. The fastest time was recorded on the 27th lap, when the circuit was completed in 1 min. 12 ⅗ sec.—another record for the little car. The first five miles were covered in 6 min. 16 ⅘ sec., completing the bag of records for the day. The record run was observed by officials of the Motor Cycle Union of South Africa. The car was a standard model in every respect with only hood and wings removed.
Those who are accustomed to study Brooklands figures, where fast times are recorded by racing cars on a banked track, may think the above times somewhat unexciting, but motorists who know anything about high speed work on gravel, and the difficulties associated with the small flat circuit, will recognise that Mr. M'Crystal's latest performance marks him out as a driver of more than ordinary skill.
It is not very long since the same enthusiast knocked thirty-two minutes off the Durban-Johannesburg record with an Austin Seven.