Betty Haig – A Life behind the Wheel

by Roger Farmer 2019 review by Guy Loveridge I had been very much looking forward to reading this biography....

High Performance: When Britain Ruled the Roads

by Peter Grimsdale 2019 review by Anders Ditlev Clausager When I was a young child, trying to learn how...

Aspects of Motoring History # 15

Published June 2019. 118 pages, colour cover, over 85 black & white illustrations and charts, softbound, and 15 pages...

Aspects of Motoring History # 14

Published July 2018. 114 pages, colour cover, over 80 black & white illustrations and charts, softbound, and 16 pages of full colour. Contents:...

Snapshot 215: Austin 7 ‘Boat’

It was low tide in Vicarage Gardens, W8, when this sad little craft caught the photographer’s eye. But fame, if not fortune, awaited YX6686, as, spruced-up, not to say ship-shape, it featured widely in full-page advertisements for Ferodo brake lining material, this at a guess in the 1960s. Whether its creator built the boat body to suit the chassis, or whether a small motor-boat body, maybe obtained from a seaside pleasure-ground attraction, was grafted into place, isn’t known. It is said that this ‘marine conversion’ was carried out during WW2, and by one Bill Rose.

But the chassis was – and is – a 1928 Austin 7: today it again is a standard ‘Chummy’ and a very smart one too, much-loved by Sarah Pennington, its current owner. In 2004, Sarah acquired the car in its present configuration: a previous owner must have returned the car to standard specification. Even more remarkable – the boat body not only also survived but was transferred to a 1937 Austin 7 ‘Ruby’ chassis. Looking much as it did in those heady ‘Ferodo’ days, it is on display in Sweden’s Motala Motor Museum, some 80 miles WSW of Stockholm.

A gunwale ladder fixed on the nearside gives cockpit access; the hood, which contributed little to the ensemble visually, is long gone, and the six inches of extra wheelbase gained by the Austin 7s between 1928 and 1937 results in the rear axle being that much further back… sorry; aft.


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