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Old 27th July 2014, 14:17   #1
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Default Swami & friends, the story continues - Our 1933 Austin Seven

Hi friends! First, let me apologise for nearly four years of silence. It has been a time of great ferment in my life, all happy of course, involving a change of lifestyle and occupation. The cars were stashed away, for a time when I could work on them. There is a thread that I have to revive, where I was to describe the restoration story of Dev, my MG TC. But more of that elsewhere. Here is a new thread where I will describe the half-restoration of Swamy, our 1933 Austin seven.

The story of Swamy was described in a Travelogue that I posted on this forum a few years back (https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/trave...by-austin.html). It ended on a sad note; I intended to drive him back from Delhi to Bangalore in early 2009, but the petrol tank fell off due to extensive rust on the floor. After boxing him to Bangalore, I drove him not often, till brake problems forced me to stop driving him; it was becoming dangerous.

After three years of being stashed away, I am once again working on Swami; to put him back into good mechanical and cosmetic shape, fettling him to fulfill a long standing ambition; to undertake the mother of all travels in this wonderful little car. But more of that later! Here goes, the pictures of Swami being readied for hitting the road again!

Last edited by karlosdeville : 27th July 2014 at 16:09. Reason: Adding link to travelogue
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Old 27th July 2014, 14:21   #2
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Default re: Swami & friends, the story continues - Our 1933 Austin Seven

Swami in happier times, at Vijay Chowk. There is evidence of the work ahead of us. The headlights had a tendency to work free and point in different directions, because the key that keeps them focused straight ahead had worn through. Unseen to the viewer, the bonnet lacks bonnet catches and so they slap around when one hits a bump. And then, the springs on the left side are sagging, giving Swami a slight limp. But Swami has a robust engine and drove well, then.
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Swami & friends, the story continues - Our 1933 Austin Seven-new_001.jpg  

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Old 27th July 2014, 14:49   #3
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Default re: Swami & friends, the story continues - Our 1933 Austin Seven

We started with removing the right rear wing and cutting away the bubbling metal. It had been generously covered with filler, hiding the extensive rust that had eaten away the metal from underneath. We also discovered another horror story as we cut away the metal. This is always the case with restorations. They become much bigger actions than originally thought.


The metal cut away from the body revealed that over time, sheets of fresh metal had been welded over the rusted body, creating a series of disjointed layers of metal. Water had seeped into the whole irregular sandwich and it had rusted from within, creating something that resembles a Kerala parota; flaky layers of rust peeling apart.
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Swami & friends, the story continues - Our 1933 Austin Seven-dsc04659.jpg  

Swami & friends, the story continues - Our 1933 Austin Seven-dsc04685.jpg  

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Old 27th July 2014, 14:53   #4
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Default re: Swami & friends, the story continues - Our 1933 Austin Seven

New, fresh metal was carefully shaped and gas-welded back. We did this in sections, working first on the outer body tub and then the inner wheel arch. Note the evidence of earlier repairs on the right hand side. Those repairs date back to the sixties, I am sure, because the filler material used is lead. In the early days, before the advent of body filler, lead was melted and applied over the body metal and buffed back, in order to get a smooth finish. It was only later that the harmful effects of lead poisoning was discovered.
Attached Thumbnails
Swami & friends, the story continues - Our 1933 Austin Seven-dsc04660.jpg  

Swami & friends, the story continues - Our 1933 Austin Seven-dsc04661.jpg  

Swami & friends, the story continues - Our 1933 Austin Seven-dsc04666.jpg  

Swami & friends, the story continues - Our 1933 Austin Seven-dsc04671.jpg  

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Old 27th July 2014, 14:56   #5
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Default re: Swami & friends, the story continues - Our 1933 Austin Seven

The inner arch of the wheel, showing the 'Kerala parota' style of welding metal sheet over rusted metal sheet. While cutting this away and replacing it, we had to be very careful to get the position of the nuts welded into the metal, exactly right. These nuts are where the outer wings are bolted on, and any distortion would spoil the lines of the wings completely.
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Swami & friends, the story continues - Our 1933 Austin Seven-dsc04670.jpg  

Swami & friends, the story continues - Our 1933 Austin Seven-dsc04674.jpg  

Swami & friends, the story continues - Our 1933 Austin Seven-dsc04675.jpg  

Swami & friends, the story continues - Our 1933 Austin Seven-dsc04673.jpg  

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Old 27th July 2014, 14:58   #6
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Default re: Swami & friends, the story continues - Our 1933 Austin Seven

On the left side, we tried a different approach, cutting away all the rusted metal and replacing it at one go.
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Swami & friends, the story continues - Our 1933 Austin Seven-dsc04689.jpg  

Swami & friends, the story continues - Our 1933 Austin Seven-dsc04698.jpg  

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Old 27th July 2014, 14:59   #7
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Default re: Swami & friends, the story continues - Our 1933 Austin Seven

The final job. New metal, good, 3M body filler applied and sanded down and covered with primer to face the paint job.
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Swami & friends, the story continues - Our 1933 Austin Seven-dsc04706.jpg  

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Old 28th July 2014, 19:00   #8
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Default Re: Swami & friends, the story continues - Our 1933 Austin Seven

Great move ton rag, hope to see the old beauty alive and kicking again. Please keep updating this thread!
Regards,
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Old 28th July 2014, 22:14   #9
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Default Re: Swami & friends, the story continues - Our 1933 Austin Seven

I would love to see your car in person once its complete! I have a thing for Austin Seven convertibles. My great-grandfather had one, though I've never seen it myself. They are such beautiful and simple cars! It was kind of like Britain's Model T. Also, if I'm not wrong, the first BMW car was a rebadged Austin Seven. Haven't spotted any in Bangalore yet.
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Old 29th July 2014, 00:36   #10
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Default Re: Swami & friends, the story continues - Our 1933 Austin Seven

I feel so envious. We had an Austin 7 - unfortunately sold off by a relative to a scrap dealer. I would have loved to get it back in shape. Good job. Best of luck with it.
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Old 29th July 2014, 09:54   #11
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Default Re: Swami & friends, the story continues - Our 1933 Austin Seven

Wonderful car tonrag. Would love to see Swami after the restoration work is complete. Please keep updating this thread with new pictures from time to time.
The Austin 7 is a true legend, forming the base for the first cars from companies like BMW and Nissan.
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Old 29th July 2014, 22:53   #12
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Default Re: Swami & friends, the story continues - Our 1933 Austin Seven

Quote:
Originally Posted by tonrag View Post
The story of Swamy
My heartfelt appreciation to you Sir! Your travelogue was one of the best I have ever read. The way you have narrated and the simplicity of the post was something that was like "wish I was there to experience it".

I really hope you restore Swami to his glory and give us all a ride someday. Please can you post a picture of all the Golden beauties that you have stacked up in your garage.
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Old 30th July 2014, 07:22   #13
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Default Re: Swami & friends, the story continues - Our 1933 Austin Seven

What a beauty. I would love to see Swamy happily running in the streets of Bangalore soon. Such cars bring out a sense of happiness in me , I know I am probably mad.
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