AWESOME AUSTINS: The 53rd National Austin 7 Rally held recently at Beaulieu, England was quite a treat for classic lovers. Image: Newspress
BEAULIEU, England - "Well, I've never seen one of those!" was probably the most-repeated phrase heard at the 53rd National Austin 7 Rally held recently at Beaulieu, England.
Under the theme ‘Austin 7s and their Cousins’, the 2015 version of the annual event attracted a unique collection of vehicles not only from Britain but also from France and Germany.
Alongside dozens of the more-familiar home-produced Austins were rarities from BMW Dixi, Rosengart and Holden – each owing their heritage to the genius of Sir Herbert Austin and his designers who produced the first Austin 7 in 1922.
The car went on to become "the motor for the millions" and today is one of the best-loved of pre-Second World War classics.
The rally also had a superb display of military Austin 7s. Although diminutive, the 7 proved itself in war and the contribution of the plucky little car was shown off in great style by a selection showing the roles to which it was adapted.
IMAGE GALLERY: Austin 750 Rally 2015
For many people the rally was a weekend event with an organised drive through the New Forest countryside on the Saturday afternoon and a highly sociable barbecue in the evening; then the rally proper on the Sunday.
Trade stalls provided a wide range of parts and accessories to keep Austin 7's on the road; for the general public an exciting and entertaining driving test was watched in the arena. The Trials section of the 750 Motor Club (which organises the rally) provided demonstration rides and the afternoon was rounded off with a prize-giving.
Ian Nelson, who leads the organising team, was delighted by the success of the rally: “We had a very strong entry of 7's and other marques and were delighted to welcome so many of our Continental friends with their ‘cousins’.
"It was also very encouraging to see a substantial number of younger people taking part. They will help to preserve Austin 7's and ensure the continuation of the rally long into the future.”
The 2016 Rally will also be held at Beaulieu on Sunday July 3 and the theme will be ‘A7 Sports and Racing Cars’.
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