1960 Austin Seven Mini Deluxe
Thought to have originally completed the Monte Carlo Rally in 1963; comprehensively rebuilt in 1996 and entered in the 1997 Monte Carlo Challenge; engine rebuild by Avonbar Racing; uprated clutch; fitted with full harness belts and roll cage; ready for new adventure
This Se7en is one well travelled machine, having possibly completed the Monte Carlo Rally in 1963, definitely taking part in the same challenge in 1997, been part of a private collection in the USA and originally supplied to a garage in Scotland.
The Heritage Certificate on file confirms the date built as 1st November 1960, being supplied to Lamb’s Garage Ltd in Dundee. The earliest known owner at just over 500 miles was Mrs. Hewett of Lambourne, Berkshire and regular service records show much care was taken up and untill at least 1970. There is mention in the paperwork that she also completed the Monte Carlo Rally with WRX 452 in 1963 as a private entrant. Unfortunately, at the time of writing we are not able to confirm this, but it would certainly add an extra dynamic to the already interesting provenance to this car.
A total of 28 services were completed during the 1960s, all in Lambourn on behalf of Mrs.Hewitt. (The speedo appearing to be reset at 12,300 miles in 1964). We understand that the car was sold in 1970 back to the garage that had been maintaining it for so many years. Sadly, it was not used a lot and it was squirrelled away until 1996 when it was bought by the next owner, Mr .West, who managed to re instate the original WRX number and start the restoration process for the 1997 Monte Carlo Challenge.
For reasons unknown, registered keepers changed a couple of times in 1997, but work commenced to prepare the little Austin for Mr.West to get to Monaco, as can be seen in the photographic archive within the file. Avonbar Racing were commissioned to completely rebuild the engine and prepare it for some rally action, all the while sticking to 1960 specs as much as possible. The engine was fitted with a modified Stage III cylinder head, a Piper 255 camshaft, new old stock pistons, 1 1/4in SUs, proper air cleaner, RC30 exhaust system and made ready to go. The clutch was uprated, halogen lamps were fitted, working from the original dynamo, all suspension replaced or rebuilt. The interior was attended to too, having gauges replaced, seats filled with Dunlopillo foam and most importantly a Mk.2 heater box. Further rally additions included the full harness belts, roll cage, sump guard, rally tyres and roof rack. Most of this is still evident today of course, the roof rack no longer on the car but is included in the sale.
After completing the Monte Carlo Challenge the car was kept in London for a short time, before being sold on circa, 1999/2001 to an American collector in Indiana. Officially exported to the USA in 2002, one can only imagine it was part of a static collection and in 2014/15, the little Austin was treated to an American birthday, having the clutch, carburettor, hoses, oil and filters all renewed. Sadly, some mice had got at some of the wiring so this was all attended to too, a cut off switch fitted to the battery, various switches and interior panels refitted and screwed down. The engine also needed some attention and after discovering various leaks and gaps, the head was repaired by Haas Machine Co, valves were replaced and new gaskets fitted. Work continued on the brakes, wheel bearings, radiator hoses and general lubrication and tidying up. A new front grill was fitted and shortly after that the car was sold on to our vendor, who, apart from transporting it back to the UK and acquiring the up to date WRX 452 V5C for it, she is now up for sale again. A few little jobs are likely to still need doing but once done, she would really like a long drive back to Monaco. Now showing 54,000 miles, we think she probably knows the way now!
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