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New member RP questions
Hello Delia and welcome to the Forum

As well as running a Seven, I too restore valve radios from the 1930's and have a 1952 405 line TV which still works.  I'm aware of two or three other forum contributors with an interest in such things.

Back to Austins, the RP and even the Ruby just pre-date the introduction of lead in petrol and are low revving engines, so you shouldn't need any lead replacement additive though it will do no harm.  The thing which can potentially cause upset is the ethanol added to modern fuel.  I use BP ultimate, as it is reputed to have little or no ethanol.  I've had no trouble with corrosion or the formation of gum etc when laid up.

The term "Daily Driver" covers a wide spectrum.  The dream for many is to pootle round traffic free country roads in the sunshine a la James Herriot.  The reality may be nearer to grinding through traffic on a winter's evening over salt covered roads, and coping with modern drivers who have no concept of trafficators or longer braking distances.  Although some modifications like better lights can be made, one has to bear in mind that when these cars were designed many people used them for just picnics and pleasure, I suspect that use for work was a rarity.  It wasn't unknown for cars to be only used for 6 months in the summer and laid up in the winter.

My personal choice it to use my car for pleasure trips when the sun shines, figuring that if it has survived 80 odd years it deserves to relax a bit in its retirement.  I do concede that all cars benefit from regular use, and others are much more daring in the extent of their motoring.

Spare parts are in good supply at present, though original spares are naturally becoming scarcer with prices to match.

Do try actually driving a Seven before committing - they demonstrate how far steering and handling have advanced over the years, and need to be driven more "actively" which for many is part of the charm !

Anyway, best of luck with your search for an RP.

Cheers,  John
(11-07-2018, 08:45 PM)Little Miss RP Wrote: 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

Hi Delia.

Welcome to the weird and wonderful world of Austin Sevens!

I bought my RP in 1973, when I was 15, and restored in in time to take my driving test in it two years later.  Apart from a time off for a couple of re-restorations, it's been my daily driver for over 40 years.  I've lost track of its mileage, but it certainly has over a quarter of a million miles on its original engine.

It was trailered home once in 1977, when a learner driver manage to strip some teeth in the diff, and a year later a steering arm failed, fortunately on my parents' drive.  I've made minor roadside repairs and/or limped home on a handful of occasions. 

I'm a great believer in two things:  The more you use it the better it gets and "If it ain't broke, don't fix it".  I keep the car oiled, watered and periodically greased and that's about it.  I adjust the brakes every few hundred miles, but that's about it.  I don't use a fuel additive. 

My Daughter Charlotte (now 28) has driven a PD two-seater regularly since she was 17 and I've only had to rescue her twice.

Insurance shouldn't be a problem.  RH Insurance has a very good scheme for members of A7CA member clubs.  Joining an A7 club has lots of benefits, not least of which can be access to cars for sale before they go onto the wider market.

Good luck with finding a car!

..............same car, 44 years apart....................

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Hi Delia
I have owned my RP for 10 years, but not as a daily driver. She is 85 tomorrow and going to the seaside for her birthday).

I didn't take an A7 'expert' with me and frankly got away with some things I missed, but didn't end up costing me too much to rectify with the kind help of an A7 engineering expert in the local Essex club. The original owner also took the car back to rectify a more expensive engine problem. In retrospect I was somewhat lucky.

Message is, whatever experience a friend may have (and appreciate you clearly have experience with older machines), unless it is with pre war and ideally Austin Sevens then you risk hidden problems.

I am also a beekeeper and warn prospective beekeepers in a similar way. Many bees/cars are for sale because the owner has found that they don't use the car anymore or don't much care for the bees. The result is varying degrees of neglect, from dust to a full recommissioning. What you often aren't buying is the equivalent of the cars you see on the weekly club runs or the well cared for bees you have seen at a club enthusiasts apiary. I'll stop the analogy now.

As others have said. Joining a local club may give you access to a known club car for sale or link you up with someone willing to come along for a test drive with one you find. I guess unless you are able to travel over to the 'mainland' your pool of potential cars is somewhat more limited.

Very best of luck. You wont regret an RP

Andy B
Enjoy yourself, it's later than you think!
Hello everyone and thanks yet again for the great advice! 

I'm definitely going to join a local club. It seems a sensible idea to connect with more people in the know. The more the better! 

As for purchasing a 7 it will definitely be a trip to the mainland as the pickings are truly slim here in Northern Ireland. I've seen one Ruby for sale here on Car and classic and its the only 7 I've seen listed for a considerable time. 

As for the subject of handing and breaking compered to a modern it doesn't really bother me. I want a drivers car. A car you can really learn from driving and maintaining  

With the New Hudson I'm used to looking for danger and unexpected movements by other road users. You really have to be careful riding around on a motorcycle with only 5" drum brakes front and rear. Even when adjusted correctly they are more a  suggestion of stopping than definitive brakes especially compared to modern bikes!  Big Grin

Martin Prior: that's a wonderful story! I'm glad to hear that you are driving your RP daily. I emagin you get the same old questions I get on the New Hudson. "you drive that every day? Don't you break down all the time?" 

I'll definitely get a 7 expert to come with me if I can! I don't suppose anyone on here would be interested in that job come the time? It'll be hard to bring someone from N.I. over especially given it'll be a day or two trip back! 

Duncan Grimmond: I would love to take you up on the offer but unfortunately I'm in Belfast so it would be a bit of a trip to fetch them! Thank you kindly for the offer though! Smile 

And for those interested here's better pictures of the New Hudson!

Best regards Delia

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...I'll definitely get a 7 expert to come with me if I can! I don't suppose anyone on here would be interested in that job come the time? It'll be hard to bring someone from N.I. over especially given it'll be a day or two trip back!... 


I'm sure you will find volunteers when you find suitable cars to look at, but in the meantime I can certainly offer my help for anything you find in the North East Midlands  - say Derbyshire, South Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire, maybe even further afield. PM me if you find something ...
The VAR (Vintage Austin Register) is very active in N.I.

They have a website and Facebook pages.
Whatever you do, don't take my word for it!

Thank you Mike! I will keep that offer in mind when I am on the lookout proper Smile

I'll keep you posted

Ruairidh thanks for the heads up about them I've had a look Smile they seem an interesting bunch!
Very tidy looking panniers, were they made to a period pattern?
I found some early French ones for my Velo-Solex on eBay a few years ago as I couldn't find anyone to make new ones for me. BTW are you a member of the National Autocyle & Cyclemotor Club? Very useful for contacts...
Duncan: no they weren't they are in fact from halfords! They are Victoria Pendleton panniers. I don't tend to like Pendleton bicycles as the are rather poorly made but these panniers as exceptionally well made. 

They feature stiff plastic inserts that alow you to transform them into rigid panniers.

I couldn't find any originals unfortunately but these are extremely close to period 50s ones. From the outside the are almost indistinguishable from original period ones except for the high viability piping to the sides. 

I am currently not a member of the NACC I had been meaning to join. It usually takes me ages to get round to such things! I already know several members though.  Thoroughly decent chaps. Smile


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I'm sure now that you've touched base with the Friends Forum, if something turns up that you're interested in, maybe before you go to see it, check that there's someone willing to accompany you from the Forum in that particular region. If I'm around and it's in the Hampshire, West or East Sussex areas I'd be willing to volunteer. History of the car and plenty of photos are useful but beware there are a few scams about especially on Ebay. With the lack of need for an MOT I'm sure things could get worse making an experienced opinion an even more important issue but remember most of us we are keen enthusiasts, not professional engineers and we all can get caught out.

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