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1931 Austin 7 RM Saloon
Registration No. SV 7611
Chassis No. 134883
Engine No. M 95464 (1929 da
Hammer price:£ 4350
In the continuing battle to keep at the front of the small car field, the Austin Company had a continuous programme of development and improvement some of which may have modernised the car and made it more ‘user friendly’ but at the same time lost some of the charm of the earier models, such as this ‘early-perpendicular’ car from 1931.
January 1931 saw the introduction of the RM series cars, virtually identical to the earlier vintage models with doors cut away to fit the rear wings and with the taller chrome plated radiator, and with slightly longer ‘short’ scuttle. The cars were still built on the short wheelbase chassis, and were very much smaller and narrower than the later ‘RN’ saloons built on the long chassis from October 1931. The steel panelled body was built as before on an ash frame, and is easily recognisable by the two vertical seams at the back, and early type ‘light’ wings were fitted. This car represents to many a peak in the design evolution of the Seven, modern enough to have the larger coupled brakes and updated steering and electrics, but still retaining the best of the vintage characteristics and styling, particularly the smaller narrower body and wings on the 6ft 3 inch chassis.
SV 7611 was first registered on 4 May 1931, and the car numbers tie in with an April production date, although the engine has since been replaced by an entirely suitable 1929 unit. The original cost was £130 with an extra £5 for the optional sliding roof fitted.
The present lady owner bought the Austin in 1988 from her predecessor who had the car from 1976, and she has used and enjoyed the car for the last 24 years. The body, which was originally blue, has now been coach-painted green and black, and in the 1970s the upholstery was replaced by vinyl, which is still in good condition. At some stage a later carburettor and manifold and effective dipping Butler headlamps have replaced the original items, but they have made the car more useable and could easily be replaced if originality was important. The exhaust system was recently renewed, a new MoT obtained, and the car is now taxed and ready to drive.
A very straight and honest car, from long-term ownership in reliable and useable condition, from the last series of attractive ‘vintage’ style short wheelbase saloons.