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New member RP questions
Hello everyone! 

I best introduce myself and explain what kind of nut case I am so this post makes sense. 

My name is Delia Chapman I'm 24 (nearly 25) and a antiques collector who has worked in the antiques field from the age of 16 till recently.  I am based in Belfast Northern Ireland. 

I collect antique bicycles. Restore valve radios, record players and black and white tvs (mostly 405 line standerd) my main TV is a 405 line ekco I've just never liked colour TV. 

I also collect antique Teddy bears, antique light bulbs (any pre 1970 electrical goods) , clocks, phonographs and gramophones, furniture, live steam toys especially O gauge live steam locomotives, vintage and antique clothing etc. 

I'm currently sadly not a 7 owner but hope to rectify this in a year or two. My dream car from I was a very small child was a Austin 7. Probably the fault of having grown up with Brum on TV. 

My current "daily driver" is a 1950 98cc two stroke New Hudson autocycle (seen in my user image) with a top speed of 30mph. So I'm rather used to a slower vehicle. 

I have no intention to change to a modern vehicle as I have a deep dislike for them.  I am rather machanicaly minded and have always loved maintaining my own equipment. 

As can be seen from my user name my favourite 7 is the wonderful RP Box saloon. I like Rubys as well but the styling is a little modern for me  Big Grin

My intention is to use one as a daily Driver and my first car and if all goes well my only car. 

My question is to those who already daily there's have you had trouble finding insurance companies to cover you? 

Have you found the car to be reasonably reliable? ( I don't mind doing repair work just curious) 

Do you use lead replacement mix in your petrol? 

How has running costs been?

Plus any advice to someone new to 7s.

Thanks for your time and help Smile

I look forward to talking with you all and eventually joining the fraternity of owners. 

Regards Delia
I think our woodwork guru Martin Prior is the person to answer you as he has run an RP as his daily driver for years, no doubt he will be along after the football.
The RP combines vintage appearance with useful roominess, 4 speed synchro /constant mesh gears, simple hand advance.  Not  lively and best suited to slow roads, preferably flat, ideally winding! Brakes may be disturbing but can apparently be made effective.
With sound bes, steering arm, rear axles and hubs, front axle ends, dynamo correctly adjusted, is a very reliable car. Original  cranks a liability but if cr not raised and driven reasonably, often very long life. Most cars inevitably need a lot of tinkering but everything is accessible, construction apparent, and components of manageable size and work  is not a bewildering and complex chore as with a modern.
Due inherent construction and water leaks past window seals the RP body is very prone to severely rusted doors, rear floor, rear inner guards. Some have escaped and some have been repaired properly. But some are masterpieces of the bog artists skill and, although may look stunning,  must be avoided. An owner bravely exposed his disturbing example on this Forum a year or so ago.
A couple of pics for your current interest.



Don't think you can go far wrong with a good RP saloon.

Very popular at one time with the Cornwall club, I apreciate there thinking. It's got as many updates as you will get without buying a Ruby.

Nothing wrong with a Ruby, and many apreciate it as a saloon. But for me the RP holds a lot of charm with its old fashion shape, and chrome rad.

Hold out and pay for a good one, dont just buy because it's the cheapest. There are well kept ones regularly on the market.

Thank you for your kind replays! Lots of useful info.

I have had it in mind to stay at the higher side of the price/condition range. I know a cheaper car can fast turn into a money pit! When I am purchasing the car I'm bringing my machanic friend with me I would like to avoid buying a dog!

All this advice on parts to watch out for is very useful thank you! Smile

Tony: Thanks for the pictures! The New Hudson flat tanker in particular is a thing of beauty!

If you can locate some local Seven mechanical expert to assist it could be very helpful. Sevens differ from conventional cars in many ways. An expert may spot the likes of grossly retarded ignition, often adopted to quieten the engine. Many modern mechanics overlook that the car has a compression tester permanently fitted.

I reccomend joining an Austin Seven specific Club, if you have not already done so.

A full list is here:

It currently lacks detail, whilst permissions for the new data laws are gathered, if you see one that suits you geographically come back and details can be found for you.

Buying a known car will always be better, in my opinion.
Whatever you do, don't take my word for it!

Delia, mostly good advice above (always listen to Ruairidh, despite him telling you not to!) Some direct answers to your questions - yes, there's a very good club insurance deal with Richardson Hosken; yes,Sevens can be very reliable if set up properly & with one or two judicious modifications; most owners use unleaded though a lead replacement additive can do no harm, consider using 'Ethanolmate' if the car is not in use for any length of time; running costs are pretty modest and spares availability / pricing puts a lot of more modern cars to shame. Making contact with other owners via a nearby club is a good move, expect quite a lot of grey hair but I think you'll find most owners very helpful and approachable. Welcome!
Love the New Hudson, you'll enjoy a 7.
If you have space I have a collection of valve wirelesses and some Primus stoves to dispose of... collecting things is a recognised addiction which needs treatment!
If anyone can post a reference to the incredibly rusted but immacualte green and black RP which appeared a year or so ago, it would provide a great object lesson reminder for all potential buyers. (Did we ever learn its ultimate fate?)

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