Much as I enjoyed Bill Boddy’s article about the racing history of Herbert Austin’s Sevens, I was disappointed that he did not include in the competition history the only grand prix win by an Austin Seven, the Australian Grand Prix of 1928.
It was won by Arthur Waite and was a 100-mile road race, run in handicap form, at Phillip Island, not far from Melbourne.
Captain Waite, an Australian who had served at Gallipoli before working for Austin, had returned to Australia in 1927 and, when the grand prix was announced, naturally chose an Austin Seven in which to compete. The car the factory sent him was a Sports model with a Cozette supercharger and a four-speed gearbox instead of his choice, his special Brooklands car, which had already been sold. The car won both its class and the race overall.
While the original car was apparently broken up, the ‘eight-stud’ special engine and gearbox have survived and are in a replica chassis and body.
The Australian GP trophy has a model of the Austin as its centrepiece. More details — of race and car— are in the book The Official 50-race History of the Australian Grand Prix.
I am, yours etc,
Tony Caldersmith, Australia
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