Magnificent Seven bought for fiver

My introduction to OY8520 came when I was asked to advise on the reason why the Austin Seven's offside rear wheel had taken to leaning outwards by about 20 degrees.

My diagnosis of a broken shaft – they broke at the tapered portion by the outer bearing – proved correct.

And so OY8520, being a non-runner, became mine for the princely sum of �5.

I was stationed at the time at RAF Locking near Weston-super-Mare.

With colleagues, I visited the local scrapyard where, for 15 shillings (75p), a back axle and numerous spares were obtained.

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Over the fine summer of 1961, she gave sterling service, and on one occasion took us to the top of Porlock Hill in Devon, where water could be obtained alongside the RAC box. The main picture was taken by the RAC man on duty.

After cooling sufficiently, we travelled on to Linmouth. We descended the hill at some speed, arriving in the car park in a cloud of dust – the brakes on this 1937 model were not good.

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We returned to Weston-super-Mare via Tiverton which was slightly less hilly. More than 100 miles were covered that day, three-up – not bad.

In the photo taken by the RAC man, I am in the centre.

John Dulieu, Alpington, near Norwich.

We want to share your memories of your first car. Send memories and pictures of your first car to or Andy Russell, EDP Features, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 1RE. Please include your address and telephone number so photographs can be returned.

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