Austin Seven Mechanical Starter - 1923

Sourced from the the Association "Grey Magazine" 1977B - Thanks to John Heuzenroeder

Minutia for the Cognoscenti

by Les Gammon

According to Wyatt the first Austin Sevens were fitted with mechanical starters, to be followed at the 1923 Motor Show by a choice of mechanical or electric starting. The Chummy with electric starting cost �174, �9 more than the same car with mechanical starting. The electric starter was standardised in December 1924. It is strange therefore that no early cars running today are fitted with this device. Indeed many people doubted the existence of such a device. We therefore publish the following photographs of an original Austin Seven Mechanical starter. The photographs were supplied by Ian Dunford, who "found" the starter, and he says that he has passed it on to Donald Doughty who owns a very early Seven on which it could be fitted. It consists of an aluminium casting generally similar to the later design, with a wire rope and pulley tensioned via a large spring. When the wire rope is pulled the gear on the end of the pulley engages the starter ring and the engine starts - failing that you smash your knuckles on the inside of the dashboard and blow the horn with your chin.

All above photographs by Ian Dunford

Article by Les Gammon

The Austin Seven Motoring Pages