The only unrestored early Austin Seven AB Tourer in existence has arrived at Great British Car Journey. She will be on public display throughout half term.
‘The Austin Seven ‘Chummy’ or Molly’ as she is known to her owner David Mawby, celebrated her 100th birthday at the award- winning classic car attraction in Ambergate, Derbyshire.
Despite being 100 years old, the car has just 19,000 miles on her clock and is in all original condition, including the paintwork, upholstery, engine and hood.
Molly was one of the very first Austin Sevens to roll off the production line in 1923 when the world’s first affordable mass-produced family car went into production. By 1939 when production finally ended, 290,000 Austin Seven cars and vans had been made.
A small handful of Austin Sevens remain to this day; however, Molly is the only one not to have been restored in any way. Although fragile, she can even still be driven.
First registered in 1923, Molly has had a fascinating history, including an appearance on TV, when she was awarded the prize for the most original Austin Seven by Top Gear in 1982.
She spent just three years on the road after being purchased from new before being laid up in 1926 when her first owner died. She remained hidden away until 1950 when his widow died, and the car was then sold.
The car was then purchased by a garage where it was mainly used for display purposes. The garage owner retained the car when he retired and only lightly used it. Molly has since had a couple of other owners, who have also resisted the temptation to restore her.
Current owner David explained how he acquired this unique piece of motoring history in 2007: “My interest in her began on my 21st birthday when I was given a copy of the ‘Original Austin Seven’ magazine featuring Molly as the main story. I had always admired original cars and had dreamt of owning this AB Tourer. I traced her owner, and he sold it to me under the strict condition that I would never sell her.”
Delighted to welcome Molly to the museum exhibition, Richard Usher, founder and CEO of Great British Car Journey who was treated to a ride in Molly, said; “It is always a pleasure to welcome significant historic cars to the museum, especially when they were made at Longbridge. As a Brummie boy myself, I am always overwhelmed by the magic of the Austin Seven and a ride in Molly was a real lifetime motoring highlight.
“The Austin Seven is one of the hero cars of Great British Car Journey so to have Molly with us for her 100th birthday is extraordinary, She’s a must-see for all Austin enthusiasts. But be quick, she’s not with us for long!”
This October half term (from Saturday 21st October until Sunday 5th November), kids go free at Great British Car Journey. Just use the code KGF23 when booking online and any child’s ticket you buy with a full price adult ticket will be free. Find out more here.
For details of all opening times, visit here.