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A SPECIAL (S) thought!
#1
What ho all

What about a contentious idea?

Might it be possible, and possibly necessary, that those of us interested in building specials, and "Ulster" specials, have a separate sub forum on this site?

This could mean that those building such and interested in such could banter to their hearts content about the things that sometimes have a tendency, so it appears, to antagonise some of the "purists"?

I have heard a couple of people email me off-line saying that they found certain aspects of the forum intimidating when discussing specials and "Ulster" specials, since some on here frown somewhat, and also that they felt that they were discouraged from posting or simply afraid to do so?

If there was a separate sub forum, then those not interested in its content would not need to read posts if they weren't interested, and wouldn't feel the need perhaps to comment....who knows?

Those interested specifically in specials and "Ulster" specials could then discuss all kinds of options, share photos, talk about different engines etc without feeling the breath of any disapproving purists down their necks?

There does seem sometimes to be....a them...and us type of situation so it seems.

Arthur
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#2
I'm a newcomer to the forum and have no wish to tramp in with my size elevens. But having said that, in my opinion it would be a pity to have any kind of segregation. Even the word suggests divisiveness. It is worth remembering that Austin Seven specials have been on the scene almost as long as the car itself and are part of the heritage. Many aspects covered can have a broader interest such as braking, suspension and running gear. There is something that can be gained by keeping everything together and drawing on each other's strengths. We all have our own special interests whether it be Shows, Trials or motor racing but at the end of the day the iconic little motor car is the kernel of our passion and as such I believe we should stay together.

John
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#3
John, well argued and I agree with what you’ve written.

I’m a Replica/special builder and most owner driver mechanic A7 folk
Would also support your viewpoint.

Bill G
Based near the Scottish Border, 
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#4
(14-03-2018, 11:25 AM)John Bonnett Wrote: I'm a newcomer to the forum and have no wish to tramp in with my size elevens. But having said that, in my opinion it would be a pity to have any kind of segregation. Even the word suggests divisiveness. It is worth remembering that Austin Seven specials have been on the scene almost as long as the car itself and are part of the heritage. Many aspects covered can have a broader interest such as braking, suspension and running gear. There is something that can be gained by keeping everything together and drawing on each other's strengths. We all have our own special interests whether it be Shows, Trials or motor racing but at the end of the day the iconic little motor car is the kernel of our passion and as such I believe we should stay together.

John
What IS a special?
In the 50/60's Sevens were cheap & basic transport. Modifying was a way of getting somewhere a bit quicker (or even just getting there!) My first Seven was a 1931 saloon that a previous owner had cut the roof off & built a boat-like wooden structure over the raw edges! He (I'm sure it WAS a he!) had neglected to make a hood: the doors regularly flew open and it had a big updraft carburettor and a 1" nail as a "fuse". Cost £30 in 1958 and "I wuz robbed!" I lusted after a Hamblin body, but couldn't afford it..... nor the time to do it.
It died so I bought a tidy 31 saloon (no idea what model...it was an Austin Seven....so who cared?!) also cost £30, much better value, even the pneumatic seat cushions held air. THAT was not a Special & may have been very original...it is now an "Ulster" according to the Club Reg No Records!
 I now have (among others) an AG tourer from 1932 that is much travelled. It has Hong Kong tax discs from the 1960's and California plates from the 1970's & I found it languishing in Ohio having not turned a wheel for 30 odd years ! It is very much a "Special" as (probably done before it went to Hong Kong) it is fitted with Morris Minor hydraulics, 16" wheels a 4 speed box, 9E1 head with downdraft Zenith 30 VE1 Carb, distributor (DK4) with auto (ish) advance & retard, "Nobby" spring assisters & other delights I have yet to find!
I am slowly bringing it back to life, but trying to do it with 1960's technology (which I am comfortable with!).
Can I use fibreglass? There is evidence of quite a bit ! What about Blind Rivets (I'm resisting them at the moment, but am sorely tempted by Blind Rivet Nuts....my fingers don't stretch far enough!)
But it is still very clearly a short chassis steel bodied AG tourer (& has the number on the tunnel to prove it!) In my opinion it would be a shame to undo all those modifications for the sake of "purity" .
What do people think?
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#5
Hi all, I am not a purist although I own a Ruby and try to keep it as original as possible except for safety modifications such as twin rear lights with brake lights and flashing indicators.I see no reason for any sub forum If there is a string that Is not doesn't interest me I don't read it. If we start with sub forums where will it end individual ones for all the models of Austin Sevens from Swallows to Big Sevens.

John Mason
Running a Seven on a shoe string budget.
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#6
On Ruairidh's thread about his father's RK, it is nice to see the characterful touches which 'stick' over time. It struck me that many people walking around Beaulieu are either searching for the way to correct something "properly" (towards the perfect order of a "restored car") or as mentioned in that thread, using knowledge to identify things which deviate from that perfect order which Wyatt and Rinsey Mills teaches us. Yet someone with very original cars mentioned to me that they yearned for something to tinker with properly rather than just fix.
One car I know as a special was re-built in the early 60s - and has its own patina relating to the owner driver and his mindset then, materials available and his needs for its use. Should that be restored to a vintage car?. Probably, if those qualities ever get into the hands of someone who doesnt recognise them so much, then it probably will. But my gut feeling is that it is more special historically now because it has those qualities; has those extra layers.

It feels quite freeing realising that one has flexibility to do things within the parameters over what is morally right. i.e. if something has already deviated from the norm and is lost, then anything goes. I'm presently thinking of lightness as a way forward for a project - abandoning what not needed (if it's not original).

The forum seems to get a bit sniffy about special builds where the goalposts become too wide to involve the majority here. But most posters keep the threads on message linking back to the core values, I'd say? Leave as is!
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#7
I'm inclined to agree with the one size fits all approach. I think what you perceived as sniffiness towards special builders is more likely to have been the reaction solicited with your lack of tact/patience when responding to anyone trying to give you (by your own admission new to sevens) a balanced view. 

Just sayin'... Smile

Actually... Now I come to think of it... I think it all started with a post that seemed destined to ruffle a few feathers?
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#8
The death of many forums (fora?) is subdivisions.
There's an appropriate quote in "The Life of Brian".

Charles
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#9
(14-03-2018, 10:45 AM)merlinart Wrote: What ho all

What about a contentious idea?

Might it be possible, and possibly necessary, that those of us interested in building specials, and "Ulster" specials, have a separate sub forum on this site?

This could mean that those building such and interested in such could banter to their hearts content about the things that sometimes have a tendency, so it appears, to antagonise some of the "purists"?

I have heard a couple of people email me off-line saying that they found certain aspects of the forum intimidating when discussing specials and "Ulster" specials, since some on here frown somewhat, and also that they felt that they were discouraged from posting or simply afraid to do so?

If there was a separate sub forum, then those not interested in its content would not need to read posts if they weren't interested, and wouldn't feel the need perhaps to comment....who knows?

Those interested specifically in specials and "Ulster" specials could then discuss all kinds of options, share photos, talk about different engines etc without feeling the breath of any disapproving purists down their necks?

There does seem sometimes to be....a them...and us type of situation so it seems.

Arthur

All together as Austin Seven enthusiasts is best.
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#10
I am not a purist, however this is an Austin Seven Forum.For me the car has to have Austin Seven running gear,i.e. engine,gearboxes,axles, and Chassis.I don't think there's a place for mongrels here, no doubt you can make a presentable special with a Morris 1000 rear axle, herald front suspension, home made Chassis, and whatever engine you like and use an Austin Seven V5 (yes saw one for sale a while back) a case of an old broom with many new handles, and heads.
Exceptions might be specials with alternative prewar engines, Granny comes to mind.
Definitely don't think we need a sub forum
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