Austin Seven Rear Blind

NB:  Measurements are quoted in inches as they were the units used when 'Sevens' were manufactured.

Probably the last item that a 'Seven' owner is concerned with is the rear window blind, simply because we do not use it as so few of us drive our 'Sevens' at night.  The blind was originally fitted so that the driver could close it to prevent  glare in the interior rear view mirror from the headlights of a vehicle following behind; long before the days of tilting interior mirrors to achieve the same effect.  Of course it then blocked the rear view from the mirror and how many drivers of that era had fitted external mirrors? 

It is now there to complete the originality of the car so when renewing the headlining it is worth replacing the blind as the fabric is the same.  Most of the 'Seven' models have similar sized rear windows and so the blind can easily be made to fit any model.

A7 Blind 1

When in use the blind covers the whole of the rear window. 

The blind is held in place by vertical string runners on each side which are taut between curtain eyes at the top and bottom on each side screwed into the wood frame around the window.

The blind is lowered and raised by a long length of string, from the mid-point of the dowel and behind the fabric, which then passes around the car to near the driver's head.

Using my Big Seven as a guide the finished blind is 20" wide and 10½" deep.  Allow another 4" or so for binding the dowel and metal rod as well as the top fold.

The bottom is stitched so that a 1/4" dia. wood dowel, the width of the fabric, can be inserted.  A curtain eye is fitted at each end to travel down the string so that the blind is held in place.  An 1/8 “ dia. metal rod, the width of the fabric, is stitched into the fabric approximately 4” above the dowel to act as a weight to aid the drop of the blind into place.

To fix it in place the whole blind is held squarely above the window and about ½" of fabric is stapled to the wood frame which surrounds the window.   When the blind is dropped into position the staples cannot be seen.  The draw string passes through a hole at the centre point and behind the fabric to the dowel.  The strings to form the side runners are then put in place.

A7 Blind 2

The only problem with the design is that the blind finds its own position when raised and a fold of fabric may drop down on the inside of the dowel and hang over the window (photo right).

If leaving it in position with no intention of using it then adjust the folds so that the rear window is not partly obscured (photo below).

A7 Blind 3

A7 Blind 4

The curtain is lowered and raised by the driver by means of a long length of string positioned above the side windows threaded through several curtain eyes approx 10" - 11” apart except where extra ones are placed close together to bring the string around the rear corner . . . . .

A7 Blind 5

A7 Blind 6

. . . . . . finishing with a knob positioned just forward of the driver’s head to fit into a hook approx 8” or 9” back from the windscreen side pillar.  When the knob is released to drop the blind it should come to rest on the next eye back.  The Big Seven has 11 curtain eyes and 1 hook.

When cleaning the inside and applying Hide Food to the upholstery be sure to clean the blind as it collects a lot of dirt folded out of the way and forgotten at the back of the car.

This article was written by Doug Castle for the CA7C website, August 2015.