Another Baby Austin

In my unending quest to make connections with my past, I came across this magnificent machine at Mike Barry’s Motorcycle Museum, Scaleby, near Carlisle, Cumbria.  Any time I take a ride out for a chat with Mike is never wasted:

1931 Austin 7

The attraction of this vehicle is that it was probably manufactured around the same time as the one proudly displayed by my paternal grandparents and featured in an earlier post:

Mummy Daddy and Baby

My dad will have sat in a passenger seat very similar to this although, judging by his lack of interest in all things mechanical (an industrial chemist by profession), I doubt he spent much time looking under the bonnet:

Austin 7 – the interior

Austin 7 – the engine

Mike has attached the following to the windscreen:  This car has been donated to the museum by Dougie Hargreaves from Carlisle and I will restore it when time allows.  The engine has been rebuilt and running.  I have fitted a new windscreen and the lights and brakes are now working.  I have a new clutch to fit and then it will be roadworthy!  The car is an Austin 7 – 1931 – 750cc – three speed.

Among the documentation for the car is a 1940 Ration Book for the months of August, September and October 1940.  The coupons in this book authorise the furnishing and acquisition of the number of units of motor spirit specified on the coupons subject to the conditions appearing thereon.  The issue of the Ration Book does not guarantee the holder any minimum quantity of motor spirit and the book may be cancelled at any time without notice.  Any person furnishing or acquiring motor spirit otherwise than in accordance with the conditions on which these coupons are issued will be liable to prosecution … Private Walker, take note.

And for those wondering what else can be found in this ultimate man cave, an image of just part of Mike’s private collection:

Motorcycle Museum – part of the collection


  1. Pit · October 23, 2019

    I LOVE vintage cars!

    • northumbrianlight · October 25, 2019

      Me too – I almost prefer them in their unrestored state; so many connections with the past.

  2. cyclemasterron · October 23, 2019

    Lovely reminiscences. My father’s drive was a Morris 8 that I remember fondly.

    • northumbrianlight · October 25, 2019

      Many thanks for the kind comment. My dad was a Ford man – a string of Consuls. I am intrigued by your site – we seem to be on a similar ‘mature life’ journey – motorcycles and cars,

  3. Aviationtrails · October 24, 2019

    What a fabulous collection!

    • northumbrianlight · October 25, 2019

      It is – wonderfully ramshackle – no pristine bright lights and designer backdrops and so much the better for it.

  4. J.D. Riso · October 25, 2019

    What a vehicle, and what a man cave. I imagine yours looks similar.🙂

  5. Thom Hickey · October 28, 2019

    That’s a real treasure trove.

    So much history to get lost in,!

    Regards Thom

    • northumbrianlight · October 28, 2019

      Indeed,Thom – an Aladdin’s cave which I need to spend more time investigating

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