BF AUCTION: 1935 Austin Ruby Saloon

Asking: $4,499Make Offer

What the Ford Model T did for Americans, the Austin Seven did for the British. The Seven was introduced in 1922, with a design that is surprisingly similar to the Model T or even the Model A. While its looks and simplicity made it popular, it was its low price and low horsepower tax that made it a real hit for Austin. These small economy cars stayed in production until 1939 and were being built and sold under license all over the world. There was even an American version, but this example is a real deal British built model that was imported to British Columbia where it spent 60 years in a barn. From the Canadian barn, it went to Portland, Oregon, on to Portland, Maine before ending up at the Owl’s Head Museum. It’s an award-winning car and is being offered here as a Barn Finds Auction! You can find it and the trailer that comes with it in Delmar, New York.

The Seven was offered in a variety of body styles, ranging from a lightweight roadster up to a van. This example is a Ruby Saloon, which came with seating for four, roll-up windows, and the other basic creature comforts required to drive year-round. It really does follow the same formula as Ford’s mass-produced people carry, except on a much smaller scale. And since it is so much smaller, it doesn’t need as much engine to move it down the road.

The 756cc side-valve 4-cylinder engine produces all of 10 horsepower, but it’s plenty for this tiny car. Even with so little power the car’s simplicity and low weight made it a popular choice with aspiring racecar drivers. As a matter of fact, both Bruce McLaren and Colin Champan got their start modifying and racing Austin Sevens!

From the Seller – This rare little award-winning Brit is in solid and remarkably original shape. Originally imported to British Columbia, then 60 years in a Canadian barn, then to Portland OR then Portland ME. The current owner bought it in 2015 from the Owl’s Head Museum. It is currently registered, inspected, and roadworthy (35-40 mph). The car has had a full mechanical refurbishment; the cosmetic bones are there but more needs to be done. Almost all Austin 7’s were RHD and sold in the UK. Very few LHD survive. We know of only one in the U.S. It’s a genuine Austin 7 (not its poor cousin the American Austin). Car reviewers in the UK in the ’30s said of A7’s… “Mediocre motoring for the millions!”

The former owner did the blue upholstery front and rear and a new wood/canvas roof. Current owner did mechanical and functional refurbishment. Some exterior paint is original, the interior is original but the fabric needs replacement. Body and interior metal have surface rust but no rust-through inside, outside, or under. The clutch is good, transmission is excellent (3-speed synchro plus 4th gear creeper low nonsynchro). Includes 5 new tires on 5 original spoke wheels in excellent condition. The dashboard is original and all gauges/switches/knobs are there (ammeter and oil pressure work). The windshield folds out and 8 side louvers work fine. New horn button under dash. Awards: Stowe British Invasion: First in Class in 2016, Second in Class in 2017. Saratoga Museum Brit Fest First in Class 2018. The trailer is included bought new in 2016. Aluminum. It’s been modified to fit this car. Has highway straps, wheel guides, ramps, and a winch. Combined weight Car and Trailer 1800 lb.

The seller provided us a list of all the work they have done to it since 2016:

  • Rewired engine and lights. Rebuilt Carb.
  • Replaced all 18 grease fittings with modern ones.
  • Rebuilt emergency brake. Mechanical brakes only needed adjustment. Shoes good.
  • Moved driver seat back on extended frame — a normal person now fits.
  • New rubber – fenders, doors, lights, windshield surround, wipers, pedals, starter.
  • Rebuilt wooden framework inside doors. New inside panels. New window channels.
  • NORS door mechanisms, door handles, chrome bits sourced in England.
  • Rebuilt shocks using Garolite to replace/improve poplar disks. Two rear shocks, one front.
  • Installed after-market trafficators (semaphore turn signals).
  • Installed new rear side lights – they’re correct for a ’36 Ruby.
  • Fuel pump refurbished in September, 2020

As you can see, the seller has done the needed work to get this car back on the road and they’ve done their best to preserve its originality and history. Upon my initial review of the car, I thought it would be the perfect starting place for a period-correct Seven racecar, but after a closer look, I came to the conclusion that this one deserves to be preserved rather than modified.

This really is an amazing find and hopefully, it finds a good home with a reader that will maintain and enjoy it the way the seller has. The trailer is a great added bonus that will make it easy to haul this one home and to take to events. Additional photos and video of the car and the trailer can be found here on Drive. So, if you’d love to give this Austin a new home, be sure to bid below! And if you have any questions, please leave them in the comments.

  • Location: Delmar, New York
  • Mileage: Actual Unknown
  • VIN: M202706
  • Engine: 756cc 4-cylinder
  • Transmission: 4-Speed
  • Title: Clean

Bid On This Vehicle

High Bid: $4,480 (Reserve Not Met)
Make An Offer
Ended: Sep 25, 2020 11:00am MDT
Top Bidder: Urtoast
Buyer Premium: 5%
  •   
    Urtoast bid $4,480.00Sep 22, 2020 12:09am
  •   
    phowe@sshydro.com bid $4,200.00Sep 20, 2020 1:35pm
  •   
    1930 durnt bid $4,000.00Sep 20, 2020 3:27am
  •   
    1930 durnt bid $3,500.00Sep 20, 2020 3:26am
  •   
    1930 durnt bid $3,000.00Sep 20, 2020 3:25am
  •   
    jaguaretyp@aol.com bid $1,200.00Sep 20, 2020 1:24am
  •   
    Stlcard12 bid $950.00Sep 19, 2020 8:51pm
  •   
    pamond@gmail bid $850.00Sep 19, 2020 5:59pm
  •   
    Urtoast bid $750.00Sep 19, 2020 1:01am
  •   
    Bryan oppel bid $500.00Sep 18, 2020 5:20pm

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Comments

  1. Little_Cars Little_Cars Member

    Cute!

    Like 5
  2. Bill-W

    Neat little car! Amazing how small the engine is!

    Do not know how far back Austin of England was selling cars in Canada, but the earliest info I have is 1932. And their cars were LHD. And it was in the 1930’s the Austin started using the “Austin of England” tag on Austins sold in Canada. The U.S. firm, American Austin, (Butler, PA) was sold in Canada during the 1930’s and people were getting confused which one was which..

    British Columbia, being so far from the east coast and the American influence, used RHD until 1923. Austin, Morris and Hillman all exported cars to Canada prior to WW II.

    Like 5
  3. John & Sue Corey Member

    I know this car and I know this seller. Top notch examples, both. Good win to the buyer and I hope they continue the conservatory ownership it has enjoyed so far.

    Like 4
  4. bobhess bobhess Member

    Pictures are spread out over a period of time. Notice some with only the middle taillight and some with early ’50s BMC taillights. Probably for turn signal use. Neat old car. Bill-W got the small engine right. Had a friend who owned 3 Austin roadsters, probably mid ’30s, and I helped him lift one of the engines out to replace the clutch. He got one side, I got the other and out it came.

    Like 1
  5. luke arnott Member

    The UK registration plate is from 1967.

    Like 2
  6. ken tilly UK

    My family consisting of Mother, Father, Grand mother, Grand father, elder brother 11, me 7, and baby brother 3 sitting on adult laps, all went to the UK seaside in my Dad’s Austin 7 Ruby. On the way home the right rear wheel came off, bent the brake back plate, wheel found and re fitted, and off we went again. To do this my Dad had to remove one nut from each wheel in order to fit the rear wheel back on the car, and as anybody that knows Austin Sevens the wheel only has 3 nuts as they are slotted so the wheel fits over the nut and is then turned clockwise before being locked into place. So, 3 wheels with only 2 nuts, one with three and seven in the car. My Father must have been worried sick on the rest of the drive home +- 30 miles! Great fun. Not!

    Like 4
  7. Johnny

    I like it,but as they say. Look all you want,but you can,nt have it. haha. If the motor has 10 HP. How come my rideing lawn mower has 14 1/2 hp and does,nt move it 30 mph? Could it be we are lied about the lawn mower motors? I really like this and hope who ever buys it.Keeps it original and takes care of it. Very nice little care. I love it. I can,nt see why the bid has NOT been higher as good shape it is in.

    Like 1
  8. John A Corey Member

    Johnny, the rated HP is a TAX HP, calculated for British taxation on a formula using bore, stroke, and cylinder count – it has no relation to actual engine power!
    The RAC (British) formula for calculating tax horsepower:

    RAC h.p.=D2×n2.5
    where
    D is the diameter (or bore) of the cylinder in inches
    n is the number of cylinders

  9. Mike

    I’ve always wanted to own a saloon…not much room for the bar in that one….pass

    • Urtoast

      The wonderful thing about transporting Austin’s is they fit inside a Enterprise rental Van ;-)

      Like 1
      • ken tilly UK

        @URToast. That’s o.k. for an Austin Seven, however, the Austin A 125/Sheerline is considerably larger, in fact as large as some Bentley’s and Rolls Royce motor cars.

  10. steve anderson

    I have a ’37 OPAL , left hand drive .. STEVE in Tucson AZ

    • Little_Cars Little_Cars Member

      How many carats, @steve anderson? Most of my GM of Germany cars have been Opels.

  11. steve anderson

    My Opal is English Austin , STEVE

    • ken tilly UK

      Correct, it’s Opal not Opel as is the German car manufacturer.

  12. Little_Cars Little_Cars Member

    Learn something new every day. My apologies Steve.

  13. Josh Staff

    We just lowered the bid increment! It’s so incredibly close to meeting the reserve! The next bid wins it.

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