Wheels24

'Baby Austin' turns 90!

2012-04-18 10:39

The Austin Seven was produced from 1922 - 1939 in the UK and soon came to be one of the most influential vehicles of all time. Nicknamed the "Baby Austin" it soon overtook most other British vehicles in sales and was licensed and copied by automakers around the world.

The very first BMW, the Dixi, was a licensed Austin Seven, as were the original US versions. In France they were sold as Rosengarts and even Nissan used the Seven design as the basis for their original vehicles.

The first Lotus, the Lotus Mk1, was based on an Austin Seven.

CLASSIC CAR CELEBRATION

Now in 2012, the Austin Seven celebrates its 90th birthday and to mark the occasion the 750 Motor Club has a special rally planned at Beaulieu, Hampshire Uk.

The Austin Sevens will be displayed on a rally field for visitors to chat to the owners, check out the vehicles 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 see Austins race around an arena course.

There will be static displays of cars, including an Austin which competed in the Le Mans 24 hour race in 1935 and won its class. In 2010, 75 years later, the same car competed on the French circuit in competitive dicing with Bentleys, Bugattis, Aston Martins, and Lagondas in the Le Mans Classic. A 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.