A special exhibition called Small car. Big history: 100 years of the Austin Seven explores the impact of the iconic car over the last century. 

Austin Seven exhibition at the British Motor Museum

Source: Nigel Gibson

The special display celebrates 100 years of the small car with a big history.

The British Motor Museum is based at Gaydon in Warwickshire and this exhibition will run until July 2023. It promises to take a group visit on a journey from the Austin Seven’s conception in a pre-war Britain through seven specially selected cars. 

The little Austin’s influence across the world is illustrated using the museum’s collections of archive materials and objects, as well as the cars.

Groups can discover how the Austin Seven transformed travel and leisure as the motor for the millions and you will be able to see the way Austin’s marketing material showcased its wide appeal at the time. Visitors can also explore the racing heritage of the Austin Seven with one of only two surviving Austin Seven twin-cam racers on display in the exhibition with the opportunity to race their own. 

Cat Boxall, curator at The British Motor Museum, said: “Over the course of the exhibition, we are hoping to collect and share even more stories, pictures, and memorabilia to reveal just how personal and important the car continues to be ten decades on. Alongside the physical exhibition we will also launch an online oral history collection of these anecdotes and memories.”

Austin Seven exhibition at the British Motor Museum

Visitors to the exhibition will learn about the legacy of the Austin Seven which far exceeded its 16-year production run. 

The display will look at the global reach of this little car and its ties to countries like Germany and Japan, as well as other UK manufacturers such as Lotus and Jaguar. Other cars featured in the exhibition include a very early 1923 Austin Seven Chummy tourer, as well as a later model 1938 Austin Seven Ruby – showcasing the car over its production run.

It also explores the legacy of the Austin Seven, and how its reputation extended far beyond its 16-year production run. Visitors will hear stories of how it’s still alive 100 years on through the oral history contributions of owners past and present, how ownership evolved over time and the spectacular things they achieved, for example with the Coleman’s drive adventure which saw John Coleman drive from Argentina to New York in the late 1950s in a vintage Austin Seven. 

Other highlights to look out for 

  • A new Triumph Motorcycles exhibition will open at the museum in October, running until January 2023 with more details to be announced in due course. 
  • Keep your eyes peeled for a number of milestone moments from MG history at the museum including the 1925 ‘Old Number One’ which was the inspiration for the MG sports car which is celebrating its 60th anniversary. 
  • Head to the Jaguar Zone to find out more about the history of the car which is marking its 100th birthday this year. 

There is a range of packages for pre-booked group visits to the British Motor Museum of 12 or more people.

For more information about taking a group and the exhibitions available, go to www.britishmotormuseum.co.uk