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Austin 7 Trials Special
Good evening all, I’d be obliged if I could pick your respective brains over my Austin 7.I’ve just bought the car and intend to enter VSCC trials (the car has a history of entries) The previous owner had the engine bores honed and new pistons and rings fitted and suggests that I need to run the car in for 700 miles? Can anyone tell me if this is correct ? I’d also appreciate further advice with regard to making space in the cockpit.As is I can fit in the car but it is uncomfortable,it has a 15ins steering wheel that rubs on the top of my legs,is there a smaller wheel ? Or is it possible to buy a steering wheel boss to fit an aftermarket wheel? Or can I cant the steering column up to lift the steering wheel? I’ve seen alloy wedges to alter the steering column ,but presume they are lower the wheel for racing sevens.Thanks in advance, regards Peter. I’ve attached a photo

Here’s the car

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I would look at your seating position and footwear, moving you backside down and forwards will ease the problem as will shoes without a heel.
Black Art Enthusiast 
Thanks, agree shoes help, With puma driving shoes I can drive it, but moving forward just lifts my knees, I think I’ll have to do something physical with the space, ie cut the boat tail a bit further back or get a smaller steering wheel ? Cheers Peter
moving forward will lift your knees behind the wheel but ease the clash with your thighs due to the altered angle, try reducing the thickness of the seat squab as well. As it is a home built special you may also have an issue the the pedals, especially if it has a lowered column and seating position but un-altered pedal stalks.
Black Art Enthusiast 
I’ll try the position change and look at the pedals, did’nt think of that,cheers Peter
The minimalist seat in my special is (araound) 6" high at the front, only 1" at the rear, which sits on 3mm ply, which sits on the chassis.

Many special builders use a slab of 4" foam and leave it at that, so taking up un-necessary space.
Presumably the seat cushion is removable? Try sitting on the floor with no cushion for starters, and then build up the padding with folded blankets until a suitable compromise is reached,
Hi Peter

Regarding running in, it will largely depend on the engine build but 700 miles seems a bit high, certainly at my patience levels.  I would however change the oil at 100 miles, 300 miles and possibly 500 miles.

You can “cant” the column by fitting a different steering box but again that depends on what box is in the car at the moment.  It’s also quite a bit of work as you’ll have to modify the dash and potentially the floor.

I’ve done several mods to my special.... dropped a small part of the floor to form a heel pit in front of the accelerator, bent the brake and clutch pedals and fitted an offset pad to the brake pedal. I also have just 2” of memory foam for the seat cushion and just 3/4” foam for the squab.

I think Ian explained in another thread the seating position in a vintage car is different to a modern...knees bent under the wheel and the wheel much closer to your chest.

Looks a lovely car have fun


Lovely Model A pick up too.
How about fitting a Ruby steering wheel? That sits a bit higher than the earlier wheel and might help towards achieving more leg room. Relatively easy mod and not out of keeping on a special.

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