Herbert Austin (later 1st Baron Austin) was an English automobile designer and builder who founded the Austin Motor Company in 1905. Born in Buckinghamshire, the son of a farmer, he worked initially with different engineering companies in England but, in 1884, at the age of 18, he emigrated to Melbourne, Australia to work in an engineering firm, moving in 1887 to the Sydney works of the Wolseley Sheep Shearing Machine Company.
Austin was not a naturally inventive or innovative engineer but he was exceedingly good at improving the workings and efficiency of machines and made many improvements to Wolseley's shearing equipment which is still used to this day.
In 1893 Austin and Frederick Wolseley moved back to England and by 1900 the company had begun building motor cars. The cars which they built were large and heavy and, although some models saw service during World War I, they were too big and expensive to appeal to the needs of most people. In 1905 Austin left the company and set up his own Austin Motor Company.
Austin's company was struggling in the years that followed the end of the First War in 1918 but he realised that there might well be a gap in the market which he could exploit. At this time there were a number of people building small "cyclecars" which were small and light but they were dreadfully uncomfortable, unreliable and downright dangerous: most of them had puny single-cylinder engines, poor brakes, were driven by chains or rubber belts and had primitive steering which involved a cable running around a bobbin at the far end of the steering column to move the front wheels. Austin's idea was to build a very small car but to build it simply as a much smaller version of a large one - still with a reliable muti-cylinder engine, a proper gearbox and drive train and reliable brakes which worked on all four wheels.
And so, in 1920, Austin hired the expertise of one of his company's draughtsmen, the 18 year old Stanley Edge, and the two of them spent many weeks working in the billiard room of Austin's Lickey Grange home to design such a car. The result was the "Austin Seven" or "Baby Austin", a tiny four-seater open car with a seven-horsepower engine of just 696cc (later increased to 747cc) which produced 10.5 b.h.p. It went into production in 1922 and continued in various forms and modifications until 1939, selling well and securing the success of the Austin Motor Company.
Here we have two Austin Sevens, both from the early 1930s. The rather jaunty bright yellow one is an Austin Seven "Sports Model" and the one behind it a more soberly painted Seven "Box Saloon". The picture was taken in Biggar, just before the annual "Run" before the Biggar Vintage and Veteran Rally last August. And I went on the "run" in my own Austin too - that's a slightly larger "Ten" which owes much of its design to the earlier "Seven".
Critiques | Translate
COSTANTINO (68848) 2014-02-10 10:04
impressive capture of those cars Herbert Austin
your notes are very useful
the chosen point of view shows this treasure
of old cars perfectly executed with the
greatest lightness and sharpness
have a nice new day
rbassin (24279) 2014-02-10 11:58
C'est une très belle présentation de ces vieux modèles Austin.C'est bien fait couleur et détails sont bien mis en valeur.
williewhistler (16412) 2014-02-10 12:42
you have managed to fill the frame with a pair of immaculately prepared Austin sevens,I don`t remember the one that my Uncle drove ever being as clean as that or as well shod as that!
The colours and details are a real delight.
Best regards Les.
Corry (4508) 2014-02-10 20:06
Belle prise de vue de ces beaux vieux modèles Austin. Très belles couleurs. Bien fait.
Nicou (149698) 2014-02-11 1:15
quelle vue sur ces anciennes voiture sueprbe compo et iamge et en deux tons quel c'est nostalgique ces anciennes voitures restaurée toute belle et polishée sueprbe.
Bravo et amitié
timecapturer (49288) 2014-02-11 3:06
ahh! cars with character, unlike today's bland and uninspired creations. A superbly sharp and perfectly composed shot of these little beauties. These are so immaculate, obviously well cared for and loved. Magic!
Regards - B.
jhm (158854) 2014-02-11 3:45
The farmer's son was a brilliant man of simple worker to engineer and car constructor, great man.
Your interest to old cars is here absolutely clear to see with these wonderful cars.
Very pleasant to look at.
Excellent composition, nice presentation.
Very well done, TFS.
Enjoy the day ahead,
mjw364 (1466) 2014-02-11 12:50
I think your car is in better nick than the one I posted! The tyres look similar though!
As always a crisp, clean and beautifully sharp image. Can't tell the difference between this image quality and that taken with a Hassellblad! Not that I have one of course! Well chosen POV which shows off the cars best side and the line of tyres that take you from left to right is right out of a graphic design book. The circular pattern of the wheels as they repeat along that lines leads the eye through and they contrast well as a pattern with the herringbone of the block paviors. Lots of little visual things to linger on with the eye here John.
P.S. Places of interest around Buxton - Mam Tor (Shivering Mountain), Winnats Pass, Blue John Mines, Speedwell Caverns, Castelton, Edale etc - I used to work at the cement factory in Castleton some years ago so I can remember those places (just about). Food for thought anyway...
macjake (71721) 2014-02-11 16:38
wow, i'm in heaven here!
the sports model in yellow looks a bit 'beefier', with a stronger stance...or perhaps its just in my head?
ever think of painting your Austin yellow? haha
what a beautiful automobile!
the spokes, the fenders, the chrome, the round mirrors...so much to admire here.
I hope other te members appreciate the history and technology in these cars.
beautiful post, my favorite of the day :)
emka (105446) 2014-02-11 23:58
something for craig and I like the view of these old cars very much too. I am sure that the iowners love their old ladies, like you love yours. They are so brilliant and shining, like new. Woow, I would be happy to go by this yellow one for a short ride, with the wind in my hair. A dream.
WArm regrads MAlgo
Royaldevon (42459) 2014-02-12 2:15
What a crisp, clear shot!
The cars are certainly on parade!
I like how your angle makes a natural movement across the frame, from left to right, with the circular wheels creating their own repeating pattern.
There is a fine sense of perspective.
I do like how your car is parked next to a 'passing place' sign. Is the suggestion that it doesn't run very fast! Ha! Ha!
Have a lovely day,
We had heavy snow last night but it has all gone, now. Just grey and windy!
Have a great day,
jcpix (13930) 2014-02-12 15:15
I couldn't tell you much about cars, but I sure did enjoy reading your extensive note which accompanies this fine image. Even without a true "car guy" knowledge, I still appreciate and admire the beauty and classic nature of these vintage automobiles...and you've done a great job of putting them on such fine display yourself!
Amazing to think of how far we've come with the advances in the auto world, but it's always important to remember their genesis. These old timers sure appear well preserved, I only hope to be the same when it rolls around for me. :)
True to your form there's much clarity, sharp focus and detail from corner to corner. I also like that you've filled the frame to really emphasis the form and shape. Beautifully done! Enjoy the new day. Take good care.
delpeoples (59684) 2014-02-14 4:22
A photo right up your alley - excuse the poor pun. I like the low POV and how you shot these beautiful old cars on the diagonal. The colours are so vivid, I particularly like how the yellow tones contrast against the black ones. The wide angle has been used to create a slight distortion and accentuate the perspective, things I like in a photo as they take it out of the realm of being just a happy snap and into something artistic.
Great shot, have a wonderful weekend
Silvio1953 (151545) 2014-02-14 6:26
Ciao John, lovely composition with fascinating old cars, fine details, excellent clarity, splendid light and wonderful colors, very well done my friend, ciao Silvio
- Copyright: John Cannon (tyro) (26142)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2013-08-11
- Categories: Transportation, Event
- Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L USM, Hoya 77mm Pro1D UV(0)
- Exposure: f/9.0, 1/125 seconds
- More Photo Info: view
- Map: view
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Theme(s): Transports of Delight [view contributor(s)]
- Date Submitted: 2014-02-10 5:49