How ‘endearing’ Austin Sevens deliver heaven to vintage Vin

Vin Heron with one of his restored cars EMN-140616-131133001
Vin Heron with one of his restored cars EMN-140616-131133001

Just as they never finish painting the Forth Bridge, so rebuilds of Austin 7s are never truly complete.

So says West Torrington former RAF engineer Vin Heron, who has lovingly restored three of them.

Vin has driven classic cars all his life and believes today’s vehicles lack their “class, style and taste” and they all look the same.

An Austin 7, by contrasts, is “endearing” and will always attract admiring glances when he drives one into town.

“I take mine shopping into Market Rasen. It’s there to be run.”

Vin, who is also a self-confessed ‘bikie,’ will often receive comments from other shoppers or drivers that his cars are ‘cute’ or they tell him elderly relatives had one.

“It’s delightful to know you are generating that pleasure,” he told the Rasen Mail.

One of Vin’s cars is an Austin 7 open tourer, which he describes as a ‘rolling restoration project’.

“I have rebuilt the engine, gearbox, the springs; all sorts of little jobs. It’s about bringing them up to a standard. You can still run the car and enjoy it.”

Vin’s handiwork can also be seen at events like the Sevens to the Sea run in April, which saw Austin 7s drive from Lincoln to Skegness. On Sunday June 22, the Pre-war Austin 7 club will meet in the Co-op car Park in Nettleham at 12.45pm for a Treasure Hunt. An Austin 7 themed auto-jumble also takes place at Hemswell on Saturday July 26.

Vin is a member of the Lincolnshire group of the Pre-war Austin 7 club. He is a regular at their events and he often writes of his restorations on its website, also giving advice.

His latest stories refer to his current project, which follows Vin been offered a chassis, then he bought an engine, then he bought a body and pieced them all together.

Austin 7s in particular, he says, are very easy and straightforward to rebuild or repair yourself.

“It’s very satisfying to be able to replace a spring, a shock absorber or whatever.

“You never finish a project. There’s always something else to do. That’s the beauty of them.

“You are trying to improve them all the time.”