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Thread: Austin 7- amazing find!

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    Great Pumpkin JPSmit's Avatar
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    Austin 7- amazing find!

    My Austin 7 came with the original license plate - MW 6137 still attached. Recently on another forum there was a link to the Kithead trust

    http://kitheadtrust.org.uk/ transport archive, Turns out the MW prefix is a Wiltshire car and today from the Wiltshire & Swindon Historical Society I received this:


    ‘MW 6137; Skurrys – written in pencil; A.H. Graver; Savernake Forest; Marlborough; Car Austin; 31/01/1930’.

    So, I have the first registration of the car! Hurray Also, the dealer, Skurry's of Swindon sold Vauxhall, Opel, Jaguar and Rover. (at least by the 40's)

    There is something to be said for leaving the plate with the car rather than the owner.

    amazing!

    John-Peter Smit
    1976 MG Midget
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    1958 Fiat Multipla (Barn art)

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    Yoda waltesefalcon's Avatar
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    Re: Austin 7- amazing find!

    That's very cool!
    Cheers,
    Walter
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    Great Pumpkin JPSmit's Avatar
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    Re: Austin 7- amazing find!

    So, got this:

    Skurry’s were indeed the dealers. The 1931 Kelly’s Trade Directory Lists:

    Skurry’s Ltd.; Motor & Automobile Engineers, Car Agents & Garage, 30 & 32 High Street, Swindon.

    The directory also lists the owner:

    ‘Arthur Herbert GRAVES, Durley, Savernake Forest, Marlborough’.

    making me think A.H. Graver is actually Arthur Herbert Graves the owner of the dealership.
    John-Peter Smit
    1976 MG Midget
    1969 Vauxhall Viva GT
    1958 Fiat Multipla (Barn art)

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    Darth Vader Bayless's Avatar
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    Re: Austin 7- amazing find!

    Sweet piece of history.
    Was Man nicht im Kopf hat muss Man in den Beinen haben
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    Great Pumpkin NutmegCT's Avatar
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    Re: Austin 7- amazing find!

    JP - congratulations on the original records and documents!

    Tom M.
    Mac & Phyllis Take a Trip: http://nutmegflyer.com/trip-details-daily-updates/
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    Re: Austin 7- amazing find!

    Like opening a time capsule... A great find!
    Elliot
    Central PA
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    Yoda dklawson's Avatar
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    Re: Austin 7- amazing find!

    I am extremely jealous! Congratulations on both having a Seven and for your find!
    Doug L.
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    Great Pumpkin DrEntropy's Avatar
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    Re: Austin 7- amazing find!

    "Ambiance!" Quite the find!
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    Re: Austin 7- amazing find!

    And from the Austin 7 Forum just a tidbit more:

    A. H. Graves ( not Graver ) Arthur Herbert. Born 26.08.1895, died 29.03.1966, leaving an estate of £2955 ( £56K today )

    1939: described as an agricultural estate agent, living at the Durley Estate Office, Durley House, Marlborough.
    John-Peter Smit
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    Great Pumpkin NutmegCT's Avatar
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    Re: Austin 7- amazing find!

    JP - would be really interesting to find what Mr. Graves did during the War, and afterward.

    Tom M.
    Mac & Phyllis Take a Trip: http://nutmegflyer.com/trip-details-daily-updates/
    History: 1976 MGB, 1959 Triumph TR3A, 1960 Mercedes-Benz 190b, 1958 Rambler American.
    Current: 1953 MG TD27318.

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    Great Pumpkin JPSmit's Avatar
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    Re: Austin 7- amazing find!

    Quote Originally Posted by NutmegCT View Post
    JP - would be really interesting to find what Mr. Graves did during the War, and afterward.

    Tom M.
    Indeed - will keep on looking
    John-Peter Smit
    1976 MG Midget
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    1958 Fiat Multipla (Barn art)

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    Re: Austin 7- amazing find!

    Well lads here I sit on a Sunday morning with no church to go to (I had a colleague tell me he never thought he would give up church for lent )

    One of my distancing tasks has been scanning things - mostly work but some personal. Thought you might enjoy this continuation of the documents from the A7 file. This came from the owner when I got the car (Richard Shipman) - but it goes back to Mrs. Minna Elsey in 1957

    Registration that came 01 horizontal.jpg

    Registration that came 02 horizontal.jpg
    John-Peter Smit
    1976 MG Midget
    1969 Vauxhall Viva GT
    1958 Fiat Multipla (Barn art)

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    John-Peter Smit
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    1958 Fiat Multipla (Barn art)

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    Re: Austin 7- amazing find!

    It is so interesting to see the old documents. Thanks for posting.

    Which of course leads to ... how's your work on the Austin going? Final touches on the interior? Fine tuning of the carburetor? Ready for the Cars and Coffee circuit?

    Mac & Phyllis Take a Trip: http://nutmegflyer.com/trip-details-daily-updates/
    History: 1976 MGB, 1959 Triumph TR3A, 1960 Mercedes-Benz 190b, 1958 Rambler American.
    Current: 1953 MG TD27318.

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    Re: Austin 7- amazing find!

    Quote Originally Posted by NutmegCT View Post
    It is so interesting to see the old documents. Thanks for posting.

    Which of course leads to ... how's your work on the Austin going? Final touches on the interior? Fine tuning of the carburetor? Ready for the Cars and Coffee circuit?

    Don't make me come down there - Oh wait, I can't
    John-Peter Smit
    1976 MG Midget
    1969 Vauxhall Viva GT
    1958 Fiat Multipla (Barn art)

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    Yoda John Turney's Avatar
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    Re: Austin 7- amazing find!

    Looks like it underwent some color changes.
    John, BN4

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    Re: Austin 7- amazing find!

    Quote Originally Posted by John Turney View Post
    Looks like it underwent some color changes.
    or the Registration officers over the years were all color blind ...
    Mac & Phyllis Take a Trip: http://nutmegflyer.com/trip-details-daily-updates/
    History: 1976 MGB, 1959 Triumph TR3A, 1960 Mercedes-Benz 190b, 1958 Rambler American.
    Current: 1953 MG TD27318.

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    Re: Austin 7- amazing find!

    Cool stuff JP. I have some of that for my MGB, and a bunch more for the Morris. I need to go dig them out now.

    I do like all that old history that our little cars carry with them.
    Drew Frink
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    Re: Austin 7- amazing find!

    Austin 7 pic 2 Jim.JPGTime for an update. Over on the Austin 7 forum one of the members noted that the last name on the registration matched that of an individual who had been the club secretary of the Federation of British Historical Vehicle Clubs. A quick email and we managed to connect. So, this is what I received from Jim the last owner.

    "Your email, forwarded by Emma at FBHVC, brought back memories of youthful enthusiasm – and utter stupidity – from half a century or more ago.

    I never actually drove the car – it was a wreck when I collected it in December 1966, and it was still in pieces, albeit with rebuilt chassis and engine, about seven or eight years later when I helped Dick make a wooden packing crate for it in a pub car park so he could ship it to Canada.

    I don’t have many photographs, but I’ll scan them (if I can find them) and jot down a few of my silly experiences for you sometime in the next few days."

    I then received this:

    "I was still at boarding school when Dick offered me the car on a ten-year loan towards the end of 1966 (he was moving to Canada but didn’t want to take his cars until he was properly settled). Four of us were going to travel to Nepal in a Bedford CA van for our gap year before starting university in autumn (beg your pardon – fall) 1967. I had fitted the van out with basic wooden storage lockers using the school carpentry workshop, so I had it with me at school for my last term.

    I made a crude tow bar for the van, acquired a scaffolding pole and when I finally left school in December 1966, one of my friends and I drove 140 miles from school to collect the car from an open fronted, leaking shed. We then towed it on the end of the pole 270 miles north to my parents’ home. The recollection of my stupidity in doing that in such a crude way still rather haunts me now I look back, but at the time we didn’t think about what might go wrong – and nothing did. If it had, then perhaps I wouldn’t have been stupid enough to repeat the long distance tow four years later when I acquired the first car I actually owned from a garage under the walls of Windsor Castle near London. It was a 1954 Austin Healey 100/4, bought for £75 because it had been through a hedge and had a broken gearbox, but again my luck held.

    Once I got MW 6137 home with various spares (not many, and all worn), it soon became obvious that there was no practical way of getting the car roadworthy without a complete rebuild. I started when I came back from the trek to Nepal (another youthful folly that now amazes me we survived with no harm, though we had plenty of mechanical mishaps) rebuilding the mechanical components with the body suspended from the garage roof. That part was straightforward and didn’t take too long – I think I had the chassis done and the re-bored engine running by October 1968 working only in university vacations. I started on the body work around Christmas 68, but I had absolutely no coachwork skills and no suitable equipment so my attempts to make a new floor pan were ludicrous failures and I rather lost heart because the other thing that I lacked as well as skill and equipment was money. I packed the car away in a neighbour’s garage thinking I’d get back to it when I’d earned some cash, but I never did.

    Instead, enthused by fellow students in the university motor club (of which I was secretary) I bought the Austin-Healey and started rebuilding that. I’d learnt my lesson with the A7 and didn’t make any attempt to fix the bodywork that had been damaged by the excursion through the hedge, but I did rebuild both the engine and gearbox and got the car back on the road. I loved it! Unfortunately, when I came to renew the annual insurance after my first year, the premium had increased three-fold and the car had to go as I couldn’t afford it – the insurance clerk who had arranged my first year’s insurance had mistakenly calculated the first premium on the basis that I was born in 1938 rather than 1948.

    I spent far too much time fiddling with cars when I was a student and left university without qualifying for anything, but my experience running the university motor club enabled me to get a job at the Vintage Sports Car Club. I started there in August 1972, working 300 miles south of where MW 6137 car was stored. I used to check on it when I visited my parents, but never did anything more to it.

    Dick came back to England, I think in 1976, to arrange for the car to packed for export. I think he was probably rather upset by that I had dismantled the car but failed to re-assemble it, but he didn’t say that – he was, is, too much of a gentleman for that.

    Since then, I have worked (very briefly) as a motoring journalist – another job that I didn’t have the skills for, but it was certainly fun trying modern Maseratis, Ferraris, Aston Martins et al as a complete contrast to the dozens of different pre-war cars that I had been privileged to drive while I was working for the VSCC. After the magazine, my wife and I set up as freelance club administrators and I was the founding secretary of FBHVC, serving in that role for two eight year periods in parallel with being secretary of the Aston Martin Owners Club and doing odd bits of work for several other clubs, and we’re still doing it in a low key sort of way – our only client now is the Mazda MX-5 Owners Club (I believe they are called Miatas in North America). "

    and the pics
    Attachment 62929

    Austin 7 pic 2 Jim.JPG





    John-Peter Smit
    1976 MG Midget
    1969 Vauxhall Viva GT
    1958 Fiat Multipla (Barn art)

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    Re: Austin 7- amazing find!

    The pics are a mess and it won't let me delete the post and start over so, here are the first two pics, I can't seem to change the alignment - sorry



    John-Peter Smit
    1976 MG Midget
    1969 Vauxhall Viva GT
    1958 Fiat Multipla (Barn art)

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