Amelia Island | Lot 288
1931 Austin Seven Roadster by H. Taylor
$25,200 USD | Sold
| Amelia Island, Florida
7 March 2020
- Custom coachwork by H. Taylor & Co. of London
- Believed to be one of just three Austin Sevens bodied by the firm
- Formerly of the renowned Alfredo Brener Collection
- Recipient of a nut-and-bolt restoration approximately 10 years ago
The diminutive Austin Seven was Great Britain’s equivalent to the American Model T Ford, the German Volkswagen Beetle, and the French Citroën 2CV. It put the British motoring public on wheels like no other car that came before it. Production lasted for 16 years, with about a quarter million of all types sold.
Investigation into the early history of this car started when the UK-based Bryan Norfolk posted photos of the roadster with its PL7846 British number plates on the Austin Seven Friends Forum, asking if anyone knew of its fate. His father had come across this car many years earlier, when it had been shipped to the US in 1965. An earlier owner, Denis Hopkin, weighed in; the car had been in his possession from 1958 to 1963. He’d sold it to Miss May O’Boyle, who’d exported it to Texas in 1965, where it reportedly ended up in a museum. Days later the current owner soon joined the discussion, revealing that this special Austin still lived in Texas, as he had purchased it in 2006 from Alfredo Brener of Houston. While in Brener’s collection, this car was in prodigious company amongst rare coachbuilt and significant competition Maseratis, as well as other European marques.
Sent as a bare chassis to H. Taylor & Co. of London for custom coachwork, this sporting roadster body was fitted. With its unique V windshield, Kamm tail, and suicide doors, it is believed to be one of three examples of this type bodied by the firm. The beneficiary of a full nut-and-bolt restoration commissioned by the consignor about ten years ago, this unique Austin comes with the original owner’s handbook, a comprehensive shop manual, tuning and maintenance book, and a “list of parts” booklet. The owner describes it as “a fun little car” that is a crowd favorite everywhere it goes.