THE CHUMMY 1929
The Chummy, built in late 1928, is already a veteran of several long-distance runs. In fact, it was on the 2009 Argentina trip (her first “enduro run”) that Feisty earned her moniker, having successfully navigated over 5500 miles of roadway, with more than 1100 miles of the trip on un-metalled ripio, which included a harrowing stint on the infamous, inhospitable and boulder-strewn Ruta 40. Since then she has completed a Cornwall Raid and two Yorkshire Experiences, as well as a summer holiday through Normandy and the Loire Valley. Most recently, she completed half of the Alpine Amble, choosing to remain for an extended time in Interlaken owing to a broken back axle. Currently on the mend under the skilled hands of Austin 7 expert David Williams of The Austineers of Bradford on Avon fame, Feisty is being made to be as roadworthy as an 85 year old car can be, in anticipation of this epic endurance run.
The daughter of hardcore Austin 7 enthusiasts, Ron and Veronica Garside, Diana literally grew up in the back of a 1932 Box Saloon, as Austin 7s were the family’s only mode of transport until she was 19. Diana is a veteran of countless rallies and several long-distance runs, including a JOGLE, continental runs to San Marino and Andorra, as well as an Isle of Man rally. As a youngster, Diana took every opportunity to escape the confines of the backseat of the Box to ride in a Chummy, the model she was completely smitten with, which often resulted in her navigating for Vince Leek. In 2005, she planted the seed with Vince for an endurance run across the USA on Route 66, in memory of her recently-deceased father. Led by Vince, 5 Baby Austins successfully completed the cross-country run in 2006 and introduced her then-boyfriend, River Dukes, to a little car with such big potential. The couple’s fate with Austin Sevens was sealed when River proposed to Diana on the Santa Monica Pier with none other than the choke ring from Vince’s 1930 Chummy. In 2007, River and Diana became the proud owners of their own Chummy, when they were presented with Feisty as a wedding gift from Veronica, herself an acknowledged Austin 7 driver.
River Dukes, an American by birth, was blissfully unaware of the Austin 7 world until the Route 66 trip. Prior to that, he learned about cars and car repair from his student days, when, for budgetary reasons, he worked on his own Volkswagen Beetles and Combi Vans guided solely by the famous classic “How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive for the Compleat Idiot.” His dream to drive the PanAmerican Highway has been burning (some say “festering”) for over 30 years, when he first ran his eye along a map to discover a nearly entire roadway linking North and South America. Since then, he has lived or worked in many parts of the route, and is looking forward to finally connecting all the dots. He comes to the trip prepared with his famous “tea-at-the-ready” cook stove and the ability to speak Spanish fluently and American (i.e., rudimentary) English.
THE RN SALOON 1932
The RN ‘Box’ Saloon, is also a veteran, of the Mad Motorists Peking to Paris adventure in 2007 and Argentina in 2009. Owned for many years and being rebuilt at the moment for this next trip, this car is suited to these long journeys by its light weight and simplicity.
Stan Price, born in Bolton now living with wife Anne in Cumbria, has the temperament of a Werthers original, sweet natured and full of joy he is a delight to travel with. His daily “Shall we go for a Drive” is enough to start anybody’s day the hard way.
Dusty XJ 1877 – 1932 Austin 7 RN Box Saloon
The following gives the Know history of Dusty together with trips undertaken.
|Owner||Key Dates||Events / Notes|
|Unknown||2nd July 1932||First Registered in Manchester , England|
|unknown||1961||Believed to have moved to Northern Ireland in 1961. However, the car does not appear to have been (legally) used very much until 1984|
|Unknown||21st March 1984||MOT’d in Belfast , engine number now changed from original|
|David Foggo||2nd October 1990||David was Chairman of the South of Scotland Veteran and Vintage Vehicle Club (1991 – 1993)Recorded Trips:1991 – Kirkcudbright Festival Run1992 – SSVVVC open run to Langholm1993 – SSVVVC open run to New Galloway|
|unknown||1993 to 1995|
|David Longmoor||8thJanuary 1996||David undertook a body off restoration of the car but never really used it after completion.|
|Stan Price||8th August 1998||Recorded Trips:1999 – Cumbrian Caper (UK)2000 – John O Groates to Lands End (UK)2002 – Eurotour to Berlin (France, Belgium, Germany)2003 – Molentocht (Netherlands)2003 – Yorkshire Experience (UK)
2004 – Molentocht (Netherlands)
2005 – Molentocht (Netherlands)
2005 – Ballymena, Northern Ireland
2005 – Enneskillen, Northern Ireland
2006 – Elfsteden Oldtimer Rally (Netherlands)
2006 – Molentocht (Netherlands)
2006 – New York to Chicago and then route 66 to Los Angeles (USA)
2007 – Peking to Paris (China, Mongolia, Russia, Latvia, Lithuania, Kaliningrad, Poland, Germany, Belgium, France)
2007 – Enniskillen, Northern Ireland
2009 – Buenos Aires to Tierra Del Fuego – Buenos Aires (Arentina, Chile)
2011 – Elfsteden (Netherlands)
2011 – Molentocht (Netherlands)
2012 – Scottish Austin 7 Club Rally to Oban (UK)
2012 – Molentocht (Netherland)
THE RP DeLUXE SALOON 1933
The RP ‘Box’ Saloon, is a fairly new acquisition in January 2011. Already a veteran of a Cornwall Raid, Yorkshire Experience and 750 Club Alpine Amble, it is being prepared for the journey including a rebuilt engine, gearbox, prop shaft and back axle, front axle, brakes, seats and steering. Modifications include SU carb., 12v electrics, semi-Girling back axle and front stub axles, and overhauls to the sliding roof, wiring, instruments and controls.
Amanda Peters, resident in Oxford since 1984, first drove an Austin 7 in 2011 preparing for her first long journey to The Yorkshire Experience. Since then she has gained a wealth of ingested oil fumes and noted the foibles of a 7, crossing Alpine passes and dealing with rush hour traffic on the M25, calm and collected and very little muttering under her breath.
Jack Peppiatt, resident in Oxford since 1985, my first car was a Mk1 Ruby given to me by my uncle before my 17th birthday. It needed a new back axle (conveniently located on the back seat), car and replacement axle cost 30/- shillings each (£1:50) Never since without a 7 of some description, I was fortunate enough to share the 2009 Argentina trip with Vince Leak, apart from the snoring that is.