Mildred: living with an Austin Seven

I give a talk on motoring life in the 30s and my experiences of living with and maintaining, Mildred, our 1933 Austin Seven Box Saloon.

We bought her in July 2007. She has had 5 previous owners. Her last home, of 11 years, was a barn with 40 assorted cars, where she was seldom let out into the fresh air.

We drive around 700 miles a year in Mildred, which, at  a cruising speed of 30mph, with only string brakes to stop you, a hair trigger clutch, and steering that is less than precise, is enough…

Whilst we have many pictures of enjoyable drives out and visits with the Essex Austin Seven Club and beyond (which form a part of the talk I give), I did have to recognise that, when any of us reach the age of 80,  a few ‘leaks’ and ‘breakages’ have to be expected, so there are also a few pictures below from some of Mildred’s ‘surgery’.

Andy Bennett Austin seven show   Andy Bennett Austin Seven maypole

Andy Bennett Austin seven snowThis picture was just to prove that we don’t only go out in fine weather, this was taken at 8am on New Year’s day on our way to the traditional New Year’s day run.




Andy Bennett Austin Seven engine outAndy Bennett Austin 7 clutchThis is what an Austin Seven looks like without its engine following a clutch problem, with the beautifully refurbished clutch assembly ready to go back on.






And finally, I borrowed a thermal imaging camera to check the efficiency of Mildred’s cooling system. She has no water pump: it all works on thermal cycling. But, it did reveal a dangerously overheating rear wheel hub caused by a broken brake pivot, which I was then able to fix before it became dangerous.

Andy Bennett Austin Seven thermal imaging      Andy Bennett Austin seven thermal