The firm’s new van: a 1938 Austin ‘Big Seven’

Imagine my surprise when I brought the open top PD2 back from it’s afternoon tour to find this little beauty parked outside the office:


It’s a 1938 Austin ‘Big Seven’, although I’m not sure how it acquired that name because there’s nothing ‘big’ about it at all. When there are two people aboard the experience is what you might call ‘intimate’! By the way, I don’t know who the bloke in the photo is, he just happened to be walking by.


The owner of the sightseeing tours bus also runs a tourism-related publishing business and this delightful little van has been purchased as a means of visiting the clients of the various publications, all of which are reasonably local. In due time it will lose the Dominion Motor Spirit advertising, appropriate though it is, in favour of a livery which promotes the other side of the business. I will post another photo when this has been done.

I had the honour of driving the van on only its second outing since being delivered the same day. Apart from the ridiculously tiny space in the cab, it felt similar in some ways to my Morris Minor. There’s synchromesh on 2nd, 3rd and 4th gears and it’s relatively underpowered with only 25hp available from the 900cc engine.

Minor-Austin-LeylandBefore I left for the day I couldn’t resist posing my Minor next to the Austin and the Leyland PD2 for a photograph of a little part of Torquay which has gone all vintage!

In other news, I’m looking forward to attending the Westpoint Rally this coming weekend, organised by the Westcountry Historic Omnibus & Transport Trust (WHOTT). And finally, you have been reading my 200th post on this blog!

One comment on “The firm’s new van: a 1938 Austin ‘Big Seven’

  1. Ray Bounsall says:

    Congrats on passing the 200 post mark John, loved the images of the Big Seven and Minor 1000.
    I know the focus is on buses, but stories associated as per this story are always welcome.

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