Lot 224

Hershey 2017

1930 Austin Seven Saloon by Swallow


$16,500 USD | Sold

United States | Hershey, Pennsylvania



Chassis No.
  • Iconic example of the car that put Great Britain on wheels
  • Classic and affordable coachbuilt automobile
  • Largely original condition

The little Austin Seven was Britain’s equivalent of the American Model T Ford, Germany’s Volkswagen Beetle, and the French Citroën 2CV. It put the British motoring public on wheels like no other car before it. Production lasted for 16 years with about a quarter million of all types sold. It was announced in the autumn of 1922, weighing less than 800 lbs., just 6 ft. 3 in. long and 40 in. wide, and with power supplied by a 10.5-hp 747-cc inline four-cylinder engine. It was simple, rugged, versatile, tiny, light, easy to drive, and most importantly, affordable.

In addition, it inspired many aftermarket parts suppliers, including tuners (before the term was invented), coachbuilders, and racers. BMW moved from motorcycle manufacturer to automaker building the Seven (called Dixi) under license. Bruce McLaren of McLaren Cars and Sir Colin Chapman of Lotus both got their starts tinkering with Austin Sevens.

Swallow Sidecar Company, founded by William Walmsley and his business partner William Lyons, chose to offer coachbuilt bodies alongside their motorcycle sidecars. Though they bodied other automobiles, it was the jaunty little Austin Seven that kindled their success. The duo had a knack for making the tiny car appear both elegant and upmarket at a reasonable price.

This lovely Austin Seven wears handsome coachwork by Swallow and is presented in remarkably original condition. Finished in signature two-tone black and Old English White, the car is complete down to the proper Swallow radiator ornament. The paint is described as fair, showing a bit of age since being repainted some time ago. The black upholstery is complete and intact and appears to be original. The engine and chassis appear to be in good order, but in need of proper attention to be brought up to a more presentable state. This high-style design can be enjoyed as-is or restored to perfection. Regardless, it will no doubt be a delight wherever it goes.