The Military Seven

This is about the little mentioned military versions of the Austin Seven, although rarely seen there are several survivors of this rare breed most of which seem to be in very fine order.


Military Seven 1

A friend of a Club member has a Mulliner bodied Scout Car, registration number MT 6101, some of you may recognise the number as being that in a period photo published in the ‘Austin Seven Source Book’ by Bryan Purves.  








Military Seven 2With some photos of the car at a rally ‘up country’ and I decided to see what other military information I could gather.  

The rear of the car is nothing more than a box. This was repeated on all the military Sevens to some extent with the exception of some very lightweight, stripped down versions which were produced by the army.




Military Seven  3



These were so basic that they removed anything which was unnecessary including the doors and most of the bodywork leaving a bare chassis with seats from the scuttle back.  This enabled the cars to be picked up by four men using chassis extensions which protruded alongside the wheels.  However, back to MT 6101.  





Military Seven 4
It is believed that only two of this model scout car have survived, having said that others are likely to appear, that is the way with Austin Sevens.  The car has some very novel features, the fuel tank, which is under the bonnet has a 4” filler cap, no doubt enabling it to be filled from a ‘Jerry Can’ in a hurry without loosing too much fuel.

The scuttle and screen are held on by 4 wing nuts which enables quick access in behind the dashboard.  The running gear is fairly standard with the Ulster large diameter differential housing and a tow hook is attached to the front of the chassis.  Military wheels are very similar to standard A7 wheels but have an attachment protruding from the centre boss of the wheel which enables a sling to be attached to each wheel facilitating lifting the car by crane.  





Military Seven 5


The lid of the boot carried two rifles which were attached by a special quick release mechanism in case they were needed. Although the car did have ‘wet weather gear’ it was fairly spartan although better than many foot soldiers had in the trenches.  










Military Seven 6

There were other uses for military Sevens which included wireless cars and Home Guard duties. The Home Guard modified their cars to suit their needs creating pickup trucks and  machine gun carriers.  







Military Seven 7




The early wireless sets were so large that the scuttle had to be widened by almost a foot to get the equipment in behind the dashboard.  The fuel tanks in the wireless cars would have to have been at the back as the wireless equipment took up all the space under the scuttle.  Most, if not all of the wireless cars were based on the 1932 style A7 rather than the earlier cars.  










Military Seven 8


There is no evidence of Austin Sevens actually going to war, the thought of the Dixi version of the A7 being used as Tank decoys and the Austin Seven scout cars hunting them out has some appeal, if anything about war can be appealing.      







 


This article, by Malcolm Watts, originally appeared in Seven Focus, May 2005 pp21-23.


See also:

Military APD


Further information:

For technical information see:
The Austin Seven Source Book by Bryan Purves,   pub. by Haynes Publishing, Re-issued 2004. 
1932 Military Wireless Car at pp348-349.
1933 Military 2-seat Type PD at p389.
1934 Military Tourer Type APD at pp413-414.
1937 Military Tourer Type PD at pp469-470.

There is an article in Classic Military Vehicle, Issue 74, July 2007 pp30-32 of Military Sevens owned, and restored, by David Morgan.



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