There appears to exist in Austin Seven circles a fallacy as to what constitutes one of the genuine 2-seater team cars, which the Austin Company raced with considerable success immediately before concentrating on single-seaters. As a result, all sorts of people who own standard, blown “Ulster” sports models are misled into saying, “It’s one of the team cars, old boy.” Actually, the genuine racing 2-seaters, which ran in orange paintwork, differed in certain rather obvious respects from the production “Ulster” cars. The body was narrower, with higher, more upswept tail. The fuel tank constituted the scuttle and held 11 1/2 gallons, and this necessitated a short bonnet like that on early touring Austin Sevens, whereas the “Ulster,” both blown and unblown, had a smaller fuel tank and a long bonnet coming right back to a very short scuttle. The team cars had a huge filler cap for the tank, whereas the bonnet had to be opened to fill the “Ulster” tank. The team cars, apart from the blower oil tank, had an additional 1-gallon scuttle tank from which extra engine oil could be fed to the sump, while the radiator incorporated a stone guard. Fixed cycle-type wings figured on the racing cars, whereas the “Ulster,” as it left Longbridge, had touring wings united by short running boards. Apart, therefore, from the orange paintwork and obvious racing equipment, which may subsequently have been removed, the team cars are fairly easy to identify. They also had bronze heads and there were minor differences about the chassis frame, clutch, brakes and rear axle over the production cars, while hydraulic shock-absorbers were used. Lush still preserves one of the orange cars, alas, now with standard engine. We believe that the ex-Bretell car still exists, with modified tail, and Birkett’s car, now dismantled, is a border-line case and may have been a T.T. Replica.
Amongst the successes gained by the “works” 2-seaters can be numbered first place in the 750-c.c. class in the 1929 B.A.R.C. Six-Hour Sports Car Race, first in this class in the Irish G.P., 3rd and 4th places, at 59.6 and 59.49 m.p.h., respectively, in the 1929 T.T., and 1,141.9 miles covered in the “Double Twelve.” In 1930 one of these cars, driven by Waite and March, won its class in the “Double Twelve” at 65 m.p.h., Frazer-Nash drove one into 3rd place at Phoenix Park, at 65.94 m.p.h., and Poppe was 5th in the T.T. Then, in the B.R.D.C. 500-Mile Race, Davis and March won at 83.41 m.p.h., lapping at over 87. Afterwards this same Austin covered the equivalent of two more 500-mile races, when Davis and Goodacre took International Class H records up to 12 hours, at Brooklands, thirteen records falling in all, the 12 hours at 81.71 m.p.h. Then, in the 1931 1,000-Mile Race in Italy, Goodacre finished 2nd in the 1,100-c.c. class at 46.8 m.p.h.