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Registration No. YC 6669
Car No. A9-566
Chassis No. 87899
Engine No. M,5243,
Yellow with black roof, wings, wheels and interior

Engine: four cylinders in line, side valve, 900cc, 24bhp at 4,000rpm; Gearbox: three speed manual; Brakes: four wheel drums; Suspension: semi-elliptic beam spring to front, quarter-elliptic leaf springs to rear. Right hand drive.

The original "people's favourite" needs no introduction; suffice to say that reliability and affordability combined with character in buckets-loads to win the hearts of the British public. Of all the classics, it is still one of the most warmly remembered; free from cynicism or stereotype, an Austin 7 is welcomed everywhere with a smile. The glowing saloon offered in today's sale has an unusual distinction, however, in that it belonged for a long time to the nephew of the cartoonist Roland Emett, and bears one of the artist's creations below the rear window.

Initially earning recognition through his work in Punch, Emett's whimsical drawings of farcical machines displayed a lightness of humour that appealed to child and adult alike. With contraptions conceived for exhibitions across the globe as well as for the 1968 film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, his drawings were accessible to all ages, types and classes; what more suitable automocanvas, therefore, than this diminutively charming saloon, the ubiquitous Seven?

History does not reveal exactly when the painting was added, but there are copies of photos with artist, nephew and car posing together, as well as correspondence from Emett and his nephew in which both fondly recall the little saloon and its treasure (it is from this correspondence that we learn the contraption's name: the Meppacrin).

The car itself was bought at auction some thirty years ago by the current owner, who has kept it safe and dry since. Having not been used on the road for some eighteen months it was recently recommissioned by a friend and fellow Seven enthusiast. When inspected by a Christie's specialist it started easily and ran well, and we are now informed that the final "niggles" have been smoothed, and that she runs very sweetly indeed.

Upholstery and headlining, though not original, are both in very good condition bar a small repaired tear in the squab of the passenger seat. The deep, warm yellow paintwork is generally in excellent condition and only deteriorating slightly in areas of wear such as along the bonnet hinge. The paint is clearly more recent than the "Meppacrin" (although predating the current ownership), and a border has been added in an attempt to reconcile the differences in shade as well as thickness. As for Emett's legacy, it has withstood the ravages of time well, although not without weathering. The paint is slightly faded and some places would benefit from some tender restoration.

Enjoying distinction and more than a hint of madcap, this is a unique opportunity to acquire a piece of real automotive art from a renowned artist, adorning a delightful and well-loved car that would bring joy to any garage.

Special Notice

No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.

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