Author Topic: My 1929 Austin Seven  (Read 115 times)

Online Greybeard

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My 1929 Austin Seven
« on: 07.06. 2021 10:23 »
Recent discussion of brake cables reminded me of my first car.
My 1929 Austin Seven had open cable brakes. The footbrake worked only on the back brakes. The front brakes were operated by the handbrake lever. The drums were only 7 inches diameter. Brakes like that teach you to anticipate. And yes, the car was fairly nippy.  No synchro mesh on the three speed box, so double-declutching when changing gear. No indicators, so hand signals.

Here is the technique for a right turn, (UK drives on the left) foot on the brake pedal. Stick right hand out of window. Hand back on the steering wheel. Left hand on the gear lever, double declutch into 2nd. Foot back on the brake pedal. Touch of handbrake. Left hand back on the wheel. Right hand out the window. Hand back on the wheel. Bit more handbrake. Make the turn.

And people these days cannot manage to press their indicator stalk! 😳

I can't put my electronic finger on a photo of my car at the moment so this is an example of what my car looked like.
Greybeard (Neil)
1955 Golden Flash, sprung frame
Supporter of THE DISTINGUISHED GENTLEMAN'S RIDE https://www.gentlemansride.com

Warwickshire UK


A Distinguished Gentleman Riding his 1955 Plunger Golden Flash

Online RDfella

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Re: My 1929 Austin Seven
« Reply #1 on: 07.06. 2021 10:53 »
Passed my driving test at 17 in a 5 ton truck - no syncromesh or indicators either. The way we used to reverse would give people a heart attack these days. Sit on seat, start, select reverse and gently engage clutch. Then open door, left foot onto running board, right hand on steering wheel and right foot on accelerator. That way one was standing outside the cab, facing backwards whilst steering and regulating speed. To stop, simply manoeuvre back onto seat and adopt normal driving position. Sounds scary, but it was actually quite easy and (relatively) safe. Considering mirrors were an optional extra in those days and a load on the truck meant one couldn't see through the cab rear window, the only other way was to get someone to guide you backwards.
'49 B31, '49 M21, '53 DOT, '58 Flash, '00 Firestorm, Weslake sprint bike.

Online Greybeard

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Re: My 1929 Austin Seven
« Reply #2 on: 07.06. 2021 11:04 »
It took me a moment to picture what you wrote but I can see it now.

So, if you lost grip of the steering wheel and fell off, the truck would be off on it's own adventure! 😳
Greybeard (Neil)
1955 Golden Flash, sprung frame
Supporter of THE DISTINGUISHED GENTLEMAN'S RIDE https://www.gentlemansride.com

Warwickshire UK


A Distinguished Gentleman Riding his 1955 Plunger Golden Flash

Offline Butch (cb)

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Re: My 1929 Austin Seven
« Reply #3 on: 07.06. 2021 11:10 »
I'd like to pick one up for a retirement project in a year or two.
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Re: My 1929 Austin Seven
« Reply #4 on: 07.06. 2021 11:11 »
Usually had one's left hand on the outer edge of the open door, and the outside footrest, being pretty substantial, was a stable platform so the risk of falling and having a runaway truck was pretty small. At least one had good rear visibility, which is more than can be said for many modern cars.
'49 B31, '49 M21, '53 DOT, '58 Flash, '00 Firestorm, Weslake sprint bike.

Online Bsareg

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Re: My 1929 Austin Seven
« Reply #5 on: 07.06. 2021 12:07 »
I also remember if there were other lorry drivers about while you were maneuvering, they would kick the front wheels to help you turn the steering (no power steering then).
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Online Greybeard

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Re: My 1929 Austin Seven
« Reply #6 on: 07.06. 2021 13:48 »
I'd like to pick one up for a retirement project in a year or two.
A 5 ton truck?!
Greybeard (Neil)
1955 Golden Flash, sprung frame
Supporter of THE DISTINGUISHED GENTLEMAN'S RIDE https://www.gentlemansride.com

Warwickshire UK


A Distinguished Gentleman Riding his 1955 Plunger Golden Flash