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Celebrate 90 years of the People's Car at the Cotswold Motoring Museum on Fathers Day


Celebrate 90 years of the People's Car at the Cotswold Motoring Museum on Fathers Day

Father’s Day is approaching and what better way to celebrate than with a visit to the Cotswold Motoring Museum – with something for everyone, Dads will be sure to enjoy this nostalgic trip down memory lane showcasing the evolution of motoring through the 19th century.

Plus, this year marks the 90th anniversary of the Austin Seven, a little car with a big history – significant because it played such a major role in spreading car ownership to the masses.  Before the production of the Austin 7 in 1922, car ownership was largely the domain of the landed gentry.  The Austin 7, produced at relatively low cost, provided the working man with a practical vehicle in which he and his family could ride in comfort and safety.

The Cotswold Motoring Museum in the pretty Cotswold village of Bourton on the Water has one of the largest Austin Seven collections in the country – and one of the most varied, including a Chummy, a Swallow, Bantum, Nippy and an Ulster.  The museum is home to a quirky and fascinating collection of vintage and classic vehicles, motoring curiosities, toys and memorabilia and makes an excellent day out for visitors to the Cotswolds. 

Visitors to the museum will learn how production of this small, affordable car was pushed through by Herbert Austin, against the recommendation of his board of directors, who didn’t believe there was a market for this kind of vehicle.  Herbert chose to fund the project himself and hired an 18 year old draughtsman, Stanley Edge, as his assistant. Famously, most of the design was carried out in the billiard room of Austin’s home.

The Austin 7 was produced between 1922 and 1939 and by the end of production around 290,000 cars and vans had been made. It was licensed and copied by other car companies throughout the world. The first BMW was an Austin Seven, known as the Dixi. They were made in the USA as American Austins. In France they were sold as Rosengarts and they were copied by fledgling Nissan in Japan. The Austin Swallow was made by Swallow Sidecars who were later to become SS Jaguar. The brand was so respected that the A30 and the Mini were both launched under the name Austin Seven.

A visit to the Cotswold Motoring Museum will cost £4.50 for adults, £3.20 for children.  


Explore Gloucestershire
14 May 2012


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