1931 AUSTIN SEVEN ULSTER TWO SEATER SPORTS
Registration No. PL 5432
Car No. B3/532
Chassis No. 127457
Engine No. 127955
Grey with black wings and black interior
Engine: four cylinder side valve, 747cc; Gearbox: three speed manual, with remote lever extension; Suspension: front semi-elliptic leaf spring, rear, quarter elliptic leaf spring
Brakes: four wheel drum; Right hand drive
Undoubtedly the best looking 'Seven was the Ulster Sports. Conceived in 1929, it quickly developed an excellent reputation, recording many racing successes. A combination of both has meant that it is a style and specification that is often copied, but few opportunities arise to acquire an original example, more rare one with a clear provenance that includes active competition.
The Ulster on offer is one such Seven, and was delivered new and first registered on the last day of February 1931. It can be presumed that it was intended for sporting use, although from the outset it was not supercharged. It is known to have competed at the Lewes Speed Trials later that year, driven by R.M. de Belleroche to second in class.
In 1932, the Seven was campaigned by Mr Gorringe in the J.C.C. (Junior Car Club) Fourth Members' Day at Brooklands in the High Speed Reliability Trial. Wearing number 6, it received a Special Award, alongside five other Austins, which was achieved for exceeding the targetted lap speed of 37 mph by 20 In July that year it was campaigned as part of P.W. Marriage's team of three Austin Sevens, in the Light Car Club relay. It can be assumed that these known outings for the car are a few of many and further research may bring even more information to light.
The continuation log book for the car, confirms ownership in 1938 with Eric Turner of Sale, then later George Arber of Grapenhall, both in Cheshire. By 1970 the car had passed to Clive Haspell, who took it to the Isle of Man in the late 1980s. Tax discs and old MoTs confirm regular road use during the 1970s/80s, and it resided on the island until purchased by the previous owner in 1996.
The car has been sympathetically restored in recent times, receiving a re-paint to the present livery and new upholstery including, hood and tonneau cover. On close inspection of the bodywork this is clearly original throughout, and the possible conundrum of a larger than standard spare wheel compartment cover simply suggests that one of its enthusiast owners wished to have greater storage space access. It is otherwise to correct specification, complete with Smiths MA instrumentation to the dash, a tool roll and jack.
It is not surprising that this jewel-like Ulster has been coveted whenever used. This has included participation at the V.S.C.C. Hill Climb at Prescott, as well as being invited to the 1997 Louis Vuitton Classic at the Hurlingham Club in London - subsequently featuring in an article on the event.
A detailed history file with the car includes copy of handbook, reproduction Spare Parts list, copies of the 1932 JCC Event programme and Autocar report for the event. Naturally, a V.S.C.C. Blue form is also on file, as well as the Continuation log book, V5 and a British Motor Industry Heritage Trust Certificate.
A beautifully presented, matching numbers Ulster, with an interesting competitive pedigree.