1937 Austin 7 Ruby mk 2
I am an Austin Seven Ruby manufactured in September 1937 but for some reason did not meet my first owner Mr Harold Reed until April 1938 who bought me from Station Garage Princes Risborough. We lived at Rose Cottage in the middle of the Buckinghamshire countryside and I completed 11,000 miles in his ownership.
In 1954 I was then sold to Mr Babb who also lived out in the Country. He kept me until 1964 when I had completed 57,000 miles I was then sold to Anderson’s Garage of Great Kingshill the local Austin Dealer. My coachwork was in lovely condition and I looked forward to a new owner and new adventures…..
Unhappily, or as fortune may have it, I was unwanted and lay in a corner until discovered by my last owner Mr Ron Soanes in 1974. Ron lived by the seaside at Clacton so my life continued in areas with no hills.
He paid £100 for me….(Ask my new owners name)
Ron was the owner of a bodyshop and he took me back there and over a period of 17 years I was completely restored with a body off restoration.
Ron was keen to keep me original so the rear lights were not attached to the rear wings as is usual and I have my original running boards, radiator and engine (bored out 20 thou) with crank as standard.
I am afraid the mice had a go at my trim so Ron treated me to a full leather interior and new roof and headlining.
In 1991 after 17 years we had a party when at last my wheels were able to turn on the road again.
I think you will agree Ron gave me a very smart shade of green.
Ron lost his sight and for the last three years my only trips were for my annual medical and in October 2011 John turned up looked me over and took Ron for a last spin and listening to the conversation I gather John was to be my new owner and to be looking after me in the future. I did my best as John seemed a nice sort of chap – I nearly got him into trouble though as I was a bit naughty and speeded up to over 45 mph in a 40 limit! John soon put a stop to that! In so doing I showed that my brakes are ok.
Being sold was a bit of a shock after 38 years with Ron as I was put on a low loader (what an indignity!) and all the neighbours waved me goodbye – where was I going? On the journey it rained (a lot) I can’t remember when I last went out in the rain.
I ended up in Sedgley (John seemed pleased I was all dry inside) – back in the West Midlands near to where I was made. After Clacton and Buckinghamshire it was ever so hilly – my joints ached, my clutch didn’t like it and I had a nosebleed on John’s very steep drive.
John took me to his local garage (where I me a rather snooty Bristol 401). Dave and Tony Pym made sure all my working parts were ok but as Ron had made sure my oils were changed and everything regularly greased after a little attention everything was fine.
But on deflating my tyres we found they were perished (although inflated they looked ok) so I had a set of new tyres and I was ready for the road and passed my medical with flying colours. One funny thing though my former owners had not noticed that my chassis number was wrong (since 1954) on my log book a number 7 had been copied as a 2. I am afraid the last MOT tester was not very thorough.
SPWCC CAR PROFILE
Name: Neil Trinder
Club Member for:1 ½ years.
Make of Car: Hillman.
Model: Minx Magnificent.
When did you first acquire it? March 2012.
Why did you choose this car? It chose me.
How would you describe its condition on purchase? Body and chassis in good condition, mechanically though, very poor.
What is its current condition? Mechanically: Very sound.
Bodywork: Very sound, doors need some attention.
Paintwork: Sound overall, needs some re-touching in places.
Colour: Military green.
Is that original colour? No
What do you like best about ownership? Always puts a smile on my face when I drive it.
What do you like least about ownership? Not a lot really.
What other vehicles do you have? Matchless G3 1940 WO 350 cc single (girder forks) Despatch rider motorcycle
1964 Royal Enfield Continental 250 cc Café Racer
1978 Moto Morini 3½ Sport 350 cc Café Racer
Why did you profile this one? It is the only pre war car I own.
Give a brief history of the car before ownership
The car was owned by a near neighbour, who acquired it from a friend of his prior to his subsequent death who was responsible for restoring the car to the condition in which I purchased it.
He researched the car’s history and found out that the car had been requisitioned in 1939 at the outbreak of WW11 and sent to Headquarters Royal Marines Chatham Division. Upon viewing the car, I saw the Marines identification and had to purchase it as my great uncle served in 1st Marine Light Infantry Chatham Division in 1917 and subsequently killed in action on the first day of the third battle of Paschendael on October 26th.
Like a lot of ‘restorations’ the cosmetics were seen as a priority not the mechanics. The car had not run for about seven years before purchase.
Give a history of the car since coming into your ownership
Since I have owned the car, I have replaced or repaired the following:
Renovated the differential and replaced both half shafts and axle seals.
Replaced the kingpins and bushes and replaced the track rod ends and the drop arm swivel joints.
Had the engine completely overhauled and rebuilt with white metal bearings replaced, rebore and new pistons etc.
Radiator has been renovated with new core fitted.
I have undertaken a trip to Ieper in Belgium for Armistice Day in 2013, with no trouble encountered during the journey and drive the car fairly regularly.