At our planning meeting in January 2003, while we were setting the programme of events for the year, someone had the bright idea that the Lincolnshire Group should build a car for the Club. We knew that it was possible. What we did not know, or if anyone did they kept it to themselves, was the size of the project we had taken on.
The remains of a chassis and Cambridge sport body, with log book were donated so we decided on this for the basis of the project. As luck would have it, one of our members, Peter Davis, a renowned cabinetmaker, offered to rebuild the wooden frame, this was specialised work that we ‘handymen’ could not have attempted. Then Colin Davis Peter’s son, volunteered to clad the body in aluminium. Once again a specialist job that we would have been very difficult for us amateurs.
Work then commenced, firstly in Ian Bancroft’s workshop, then in Alan Cady’s workshop garage. Individual members took on ‘homework’ to prepare items to be fitted at the next session. As with most projects we hit a low point and the work stalled. New impetus arrived with the offer of Graham Beckett’s workshop facilities, as you may know at the time, Graham was our National Club Chairman. With guidance from Ian Bancroft we soon had the engine rebuilt and installed to complete the rolling chassis. With the body fitted the job looked almost done, not so, now started the time consuming fitting out. This meant moving, lock, stock and barrel to Colin’s workshop in the Wolds, to take advantage of his tools and expertise. We all learned a lot about metal bashing that day. The hardest part, physically, was forming the hockey section round the 6-inch radius at the rear of the body tub. With two of us holding and pulling, and Colin wielding his magic hammer the impossible was achieved.
We had now reached a point when more parts were needed to complete the job and a list of needs was given to our local members for spare parts surplus to their requirements to get in touch with donations. By 2012, the car was complete and entered its first event, a Trial and has subsequently been used on road events and even speed trials.
I have been asked what the initial “Mission Statement” was. Opinions differ; I do not recall us thinking that far ahead! We did have an idea that we could enter the car in trials with several drivers from the group. We also thought the car could be loaned to new club members, who did not have a car, to experience the Austin Seven style of driving. Hence the car needed to be road legal, not just be trailed from event to event. I personally think the biggest gain for the group has been planning and working together, we have all learned so much!