The Austin 7 world and the motoring scene in general is the poorer for the death, aged 86, of Stanley Edge, who will forever be associated with the birth of the A7. Young Edge joined Austin’s aeroplane division in 1917, and after a spell in the armoured car department, Herbert Austin took the lad on to help in the drawing office he had set up at his house, the threatened Lickey Grange, Bromgrove, on the design of the new baby-car.
When I interviewed Stanley many years ago, he told me how he was able to deflect Austin’s thoughts of a flat-twin air-cooled engine, based on the successful Rover 8, to the tiny four-cylinder water-cooled power unit that now we know all so well. He also told me how, after drawing the chassis and engine of the original 1922 A7 and assisting with the first racing car versions of it, in 1927 he went on to Triumph’s, to guide them with the production of worm-drive Triumph Super 7, etc.
Before that Stanley Edge had worked for Standard’s and the Clayton Wagon Works and then he returned to work on Dewandre vacuum-servo brake equipment, and remained a consultant on such braking systems and power steering after his retirement in 1956.
In recent years Edge derived enjoyment from attending various A7 meetings and he was ever ready to recall his days at Austin’s and discuss the ubiquitous A7. We who own and enjoy these jolly little cars will ever remember Stanley Edge.