1938 Austin Seven "Ruby" Saloon
From the very beginning in January of 1923, the Austin Seven was a huge success and remained in production until 1939. Very simple in design, economical and maintained easily by the home mechanic, the Seven brought the personal automobile to the common man in Europe, similar to what Henry Ford did with his Model T. By the mid-1920s it was the most popular in the light car market in Britain. In essence the Seven changed little in the course of its 17 years in production, retaining the 'A'-frame chassis, transverse front spring, rear quarter elliptics and four-cylinder sidevalve engine to the end. There were, of course, numerous cosmetic improvements along the way. The introduction of the Ruby in 1934 brought seven to another level of style and comfort with new body styles featuring flowing lines, valanced wings and taller, cowled-in radiators. The wheel size was reduced from 19" to 17" diameter, self-cancelling trafficators were fitted and the transmission was now synchromesh for 2nd as well as 3rd and top gears. The final development of the long-running Seven arrived in 1936 when the car was upgraded with a more powerful, three-bearing engine and semi-Girling brakes, the latter changed to full Girling specification in June 1938.