Those who read the previous article will have been introduced to Dixie, my 1937 Austin 7 Special.
Special building of Austin 7s took off with great pace after the Second World War, with Austin 7 parts so readily available and affordable. The engineering concept of the 7 was also very straightforward to learn.
The principal was simple, use Austin 7 parts to build a sports car. Two of the more successful specials included Bruce McLarens first racing car and the Lotus Mark 1 built by a Mr Chapman.
Dixie – Always ‘Special’
Dixie is a relatively late Special, nothing of the pedigree of the cars mentioned above but loved, enjoyed and regularly driven all the same. All I knew for certain of her was that she started life as a 1937 Ruby.
Until recently, when I was sat at home when my phone pinged a twitter notification, someone had sent me a picture of a red Austin 7 Ruby with the registration number DXE 306.
Chris Collinson had been searching for his old Austin 7 to see what had become of her and a chance search for DXE 306 bought him to the Classic Car Curation website. I was pleased to see Dixie in her factory form, it meant a lot to me and it’s an interesting addition to her history file for future custodians to enjoy.
In his own words, Chris says:
“My father bought her for my mother in 1960 – he paid £35. I learned to drive in her and took and passed my test in her also in 1960. She was used well on numerous occasions including a camping trip with my 2 younger brothers from Kent to Land’s End and won a prize of a steering wheel at a Super Accessories event at Biggin Hill.
“She was used and abused for 2 or 3 years and eventually sold by my father (also for £35).”
The story ends at the National Austin 7 Rally at Beaulieu this year when I was happy to introduce Chris back to Dixie. Having always wondered what she looked like previously, I’m now extremely pleased she was modified, enjoyed and most importantly it’s clear she was ALWAYS special.
Thank you to Chris Collinson for getting in touch, and thanks must go to Classic Car Curation for making a platform that made it happen.