The reason that this vehicle is interesting is that most people are familiar with the rise in popularity of the Model T and Ford Motor Company. The effect that the Austin 7 had on the British market is very similar to the impact that the Model T had in the United States. The Austin 7 was considerably smaller than the Ford Model T with a wheelbase of only 6'3" and weighed only one half as much.
It also was licensed and copied by companies all over the world. Actually, the first BMW models were licensed Austin 7s. In Japan, Nissan also used the Austin 7 design as the basis for their original cars, although not formally licensed.
After World War II, many Austin 7's were rebuilt as specials The first Lotus, the Lotus MK1 was based on the Austin 7. A beautiful example of a 1937 Opal Tourer is shown below.
The Austin 7 name was so well regarded that it was reused for versions of both the A30 in 1951 and the Mini in 1959. We will have an upcoming post on the historical Mini in the future! A 1937 Peal Cabriolet is outlined below.
Austin Motor Company was advanced from a technical standpoint. The Austin 7 was the first mass market car to be fitted with a "conventional" control layout that is found on today's modern cars. Also, the engine was a aluminium crankcase with a cast iron cylinder block and head. They were light years ahead of other auto manufacturers. Shown below is a 1939 Big Seven Sixlite.