Letter dated 18 September 2001 from Mr Clive Warner of Norwich:

Dear Sir,

   I am writing to you to see if you have any knowledge of the whereabouts of an Austin 7 I owned whilst a student at Leicester College of Art in the 1960s.  Prior to the Seven, I owned an Austin 10 Cabriolet and two Austin 7 Rubies, one also a cabriolet (an Opal?).

   I bought the car from a huge scrapyard near Leicester, which contained many wonderful cars at the time, for 7.10s (7.50) minus hood and battery and no MoT but it proved to be reasonably sound needing mainly kingpins and brakes sorting, all of which I did myself.  A new hood was made by a sailmaker in Norfolk (my home town was Lowestoft) and I hand painted the car in normal domestic gloss (dark green). The car was used for an extensive tour of Europe in 1963 which took in Belgium, Germany (see press cutting), Switzerland, France and Spain.  The guy in one of the pictures, the one with posters in the background dated 1963, was a Swiss hitchhiker who looks depressed - it had taken so long to get to his home country I think he lost the will to live.  Only technical problems were 2 punctures and a detached plug lead, although I always carried a mass of spare parts.

   I was also asked to leave Switzerland within 24 hours by the police who said my headlights were "too dull"!  Whilst staying in a hotel in France, I parked the car in the street overnight with the hood down and with all my possessions in full view including a transistor radio and my guitar. Next day everything was still intact and untouched - try that anywhere today!

   Unfortunately in 1966 I had to move abroad and lacking storage, the car was sold to somebody in Halesworth, Suffolk for about 25.00. I would love to know if it still exists as I have many happy memories of it and tales to tell.

   My interest in old cars has never waned and eventually I ended up owning a Citroen Light 15 for nearly 20 years - maybe the influence of driving through France in the '60s was planted deep in my brain as these cars - then already quite old in themselves - seemed to be always rushing past (come to that so did everything else!).  The Citroen came as a revelation to me after the Seven with its fabulous road holding, rack and pinion steering (it actually went in the direction you steered it!) and hydraulic brakes and independent suspension despite being only slightly newer than the Austin.  I now run a Fiat 500 so I have 'downsized' and moved from the 1930s to the 1960s!

  

Best regards and grateful for any information.

 

[Mr Warner has been informed that his Seven is listed in he A7OC Register as a 1934 Saloon and that its last known owner was with the Bristol A7 Club