5-6 October 2017

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Lot 224

1930 Austin Seven Saloon by Swallow

  • Chassis no. M99312

Sold for $16,500

  • Iconic example of the car that put Great Britain on wheels
  • Classic and affordable coachbuilt automobile
  • Largely original condition

The little Austin Seven was Britain’s equivalent of the American Model T Ford, Germany’s Volkswagen Beetle, and the French Citroën 2CV. It put the British motoring public on wheels like no other car before it. Production lasted for 16 years with about a quarter million of all types sold. It was announced in the autumn of 1922, weighing less than 800 lbs., just 6 ft. 3 in. long and 40 in. wide, and with power supplied by a 10.5-hp 747-cc inline four-cylinder engine. It was simple, rugged, versatile, tiny, light, easy to drive, and most importantly, affordable.

In addition, it inspired many aftermarket parts suppliers, including tuners (before the term was invented), coachbuilders, and racers. BMW moved from motorcycle manufacturer to automaker building the Seven (called Dixi) under license. Bruce McLaren of McLaren Cars and Sir Colin Chapman of Lotus both got their starts tinkering with Austin Sevens.

Swallow Sidecar Company, founded by William Walmsley and his business partner William Lyons, chose to offer coachbuilt bodies alongside their motorcycle sidecars. Though they bodied other automobiles, it was the jaunty little Austin Seven that kindled their success. The duo had a knack for making the tiny car appear both elegant and upmarket at a reasonable price.

This lovely Austin Seven wears handsome coachwork by Swallow and is presented in remarkably original condition. Finished in signature two-tone black and Old English White, the car is complete down to the proper Swallow radiator ornament. The paint is described as fair, showing a bit of age since being repainted some time ago. The black upholstery is complete and intact and appears to be original. The engine and chassis appear to be in good order, but in need of proper attention to be brought up to a more presentable state. This high-style design can be enjoyed as-is or restored to perfection. Regardless, it will no doubt be a delight wherever it goes.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver


+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat


+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht


+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig


+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose


+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould


+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff


+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach


+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry


+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut


+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire


+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn


+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin


+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill


+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher


+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers


+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden


+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more