At least the inside panels provided a good pattern
Another shot inside the car
The chassis before
The chassis after
Body painted back to original and upholstery done
on show Palmerston North 1992
On show again
.......THE END.......
More photos can be seen here


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Gumpy is a special car. He was born in February 1937, but not registered for the road until December 1939. Why you may ask?

Gumpy was sent out from the Austin factory in England to be shown at the Great Wellington Exhibition of 1940.

This exhibition ran from about August 1939 until about April 1940 and in reallity was a "promo" job by the NZ Government to try and keep the spirits up because of the war effort. Many people collect items from this Exhibition, one such item is a sheet of paper handed out as you went into the Exhibition depicting Hitler but you only find him after folding the paper. It says "find the fifth" or you can download it HERE & fold it yourself.


Gumpy was still new because he was the Austin factory show car and had been shown as the latest model in many English Showrooms.

By late 1939 the Austin 7 production had ceased but poor old Gumpy was part of a hoax. He knew that he was the last of a line but poor old Citizen Joe was being feed a load of rubbish " This is our latest Model"

Gumpy was sold off the Exhibition floor to a man in Timaru in the South Island, I am unsure when he was taken to Timaru but he was Registered in December 1939. What I do know is that the new owner had a Rural Delivery paper and postal run so poor old Gumpy was driven into the ground

The following photos give some idea of the work that went into restoring Gumpy to her former glory.

Amazingly, for all the miles that she had to endure, everything is still original right down to the 3 bearing crank which is stamped to match the engine number, thanks Sir Herbert, I am glad that you were just crazy about marking everything!

This photo, taken in 1964 was in our VAR magazine in the 1980s. The caption was .."where is it now?"

Chassis no AAL 264711

Eng No 263921

The finished product

Well, Gumpy was in a barn and was to lay there for over 20 years until a chance meeting with the then owner who told me about him and the fact that he was being auctioned.

I decided that he was mine!

I built a trailer in 2 days , rang Bob Simms and asked if he wanted a ride to see a car.

We set off on a 2 day trip to get to Timaru.

When we got there Bob was able to establish that the car was genuine and we even found the original tools!

It was a different story when the auction started. I decided that after going all that way I was not going home empty handed. There were bids from all over the world!. Bob went outside and came back in later to see what had happened.

He and I are the only ones who know what the price was and he has sworn to keep it to himself

The trip home was full of anticipation.

The car on the trailer caused a lot of interest, especially to a group of Japanese tourists on the ferry crossing. I am sure they thought we were mad. They may have been right, but they all wanted their photo taken with these mad people

The body was lifted off A shot of the inside Arriving home on the unpainted traler

But then the work began










 You buy a car, but you invest in an AUSTIN...You buy a car but you invest in an AUSTIN... You buy a car but you invest in an AUSTIN