eBay Up for auction is a very special and unique 1939 Austin Big Seven Rat Rod
If you’re of a nervous disposition or are the shy retiring type, then this car is most definately not for you. However if you have a big ego and are a propper petrol head that wants something like no other, then read on. Video of Rat Rod - YouTube
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[isdntekvideo] Needless to say it doesn’t look much like it did from the factory anymore. Wyliez Speed Shop of Berkshire here in the UK began this project back in November of 2010, the body shell has had four inches removed from the lower edge, it was then channelled over a hand fabricated custom boxed steel frame, a new floor was then installed, and the suicide doors were then welded up to provide rigidity to the body shell.
The car was soon rolling on front and rear axles taken from a 1957 GMC pickup, the track of which gives the narrow-bodied car its wide like stance. Power was sourced from Buick/Oldsmobile F85 GM motor. GM sold the design to Rover years ago, the big attraction of this engine is with its aluminium block its very light and although of small capacity, its plenty quick enough in a light weight rod such as this, plus they can be very highly tuned for not a lot of money.
Transmission comes in the form of a Borg Warner 35, the usual auto box fitted to and auto Rover V8. This was the vehicles basic incarnation done by the Wyliez Speed shop as seen in the pictures.
The next part of the story is where this car really began to come alive, the next owner purchased the car around 2011 and immediately set about practically rebuilding the car, the engine was stripped and rebuilt, the SU carbs were binned in favour of a four-barrel Webber carb and an Edelbrock manifold. The front suspension was rebuilt and now has a Panhard rod system with coilover springs, cooling wise the original tiny radiator was scrapped in favour of a huge brass tractor radiator. It’s a monster.
The old Austin seven grille was way to small and was replaced by what is believed to be an item from a 1934 Ford of some description, the roof rack used to be a fire grate, what always grabs people’s attention is the real German WW2 helmet air cleaner along with the radiator catch can which is a Crystal Head Vodka bottle, and the oil catch can is a genuine Viet Cong water canteen.
Its original black paintwork was taken back to bare metal then left in the rain elements for a few days till the paintwork resembled a runny ginger appearance, which was then lacquered and sealed. The old exhaust system was discarded, and a new set of pipes were made up, the five-inch baffles you see are off a Harley Davidson just to give it a distinctive sound that any petrol head will love. Lee raised the suspension by adding a three-inch block under the rear axle as the bell housing was dragging over speed humps.
The car needs to be auto as the transmission tunnel is tight, so there is no room for a clutch whatsoever, and the steering wheel must come off when you get out (the best anti-theft device in the business) LOL. It ran last year at the Shakespeare County Raceway over here and ran 16s over the quarter which is a decent show for a car such as this.
Lee then sold the car onto me, I drove up to Derby and bought the car without even driving it, (never the thing to do when buying a car) but there was too much snow on the ground at the time, but Lee went through everything on the car with me and just the sound of the engine was enough for me. My only concern was the seats that were in there they were from a Morris Minor and I knew that would be my first project when Lee dropped the car off to me a few weeks later.
The seats came out and it was only then I realised just what little space there was to play with, plus the battery sits under the passenger seat and the brake master cylinder sits under the drivers so both had to be accessible, then the biggest issue was what kind of seats to put in. I suffer from Multiple Sclerosis, so I need to sit in a car seat that is both supportive and comfortable, sounds any easy project but just putting in a modern set of Recaros in would have killed the look of the car completely so I spent hours on the internet trying to hunt down what I was looking for.
In the mean time I had to figure out how to raise the seating area and give some clearance underneath. Step forward my best mate Michael who is a plastic fabricator, he spent hours trying to figure it all out. Meantime I found a pair of 1960s recaro style seats which I thought were perfect for the job and they had runners fitted to (brilliant). Michael effectively fabricated a second floor for the seats to sit on and it all worked out perfectly, I cut the very high gear selector down to a normal height and then fitted it with a black cue ball which I think matches very well with the new seats.
I then sent the car to Bayton Vehicle Services here in Coventry who I’ve known for twenty plus years, I got them to service the engine, fit a new v valley gasket, fit electronic ignition, and check the vehicle over. As you can see the car was featured in a UK car magazine called ‘’ Street Machine’’ last October, the only visual difference now is the seating. Its no trailer queen, it was never built with that in mind, it’s very noisy and comfort features are zero, the ride is very stiff, it pops and bangs on the over run like you wouldnt believe, quite simply its from another era.
However it’s probably the only Austin Big 7 Rat car on the planet and where ever it goes people absolutely love it, it draws crowds just parked up, people give you the thumbs up or wave when you’re driving, everybody thinks you’re a hero for driving such a cool car.
I am only selling this amazing car due to health reasons and I would very much like it to go to a fellow enthusiast who will get as much enjoyment out of it as I have. The car is in the United Kingdom and the sale price does not include any export costings, however I’m happy to speak to shipping lines etc, obviously the costs are down to the buyer. A 10% deposit must be made within 24 hours of the sale ending and is non-refundable and please don’t insult me with silly offers as they WILL be ignored and the auction to be fair to everybody on ebay will run its full 7 days.
TO SUMMARISE: Handmade chassis, 3.5 litre Rover V8, Weber/Edelbrock carb & intake, custom headers, unknown tractor radiator, Borg-Warner three speed auto, front and rear axles from a 1957 GMC truck, front brakes from a Nissan Cabster, rear brakes 1957 GMC drums, Austin 10 steering, GMC 17' steel wheels & hub caps, 1940s Chevrolet headlamps with halogen conversion, 1937 Ford repro tail lamps.
|VIN (Vehicle Identification Number):||19092||Mileage:||0|
|Body Type:||Cab & Chassis||Model:||Big Seven|
|Warranty:||Vehicle does NOT have an existing warranty||Engine:||3495|
|Vehicle Title:||Rebuilt, Rebuildable & Reconstructed||Drive Type:||RWD|
|Sub Model:||Big 7||For Sale By:||Private Seller|
|Exterior Color:||Brown||Disability Equipped:||No|
|Interior Color:||Black||Drive Side:||Right-hand drive|
|Number of Cylinders:||8|