History of the Cambridge Austin Seven and Vintage Car Club

The Cambridge University Austin Seven Club was founded by undergraduate Nick Jackson in May 1957 at a time when the Austin Seven was the favoured transport of the impoverished university student.

Records show that in May 1957 the Officers of the club were W.B. Workman (President), J.G Mann (Secretary) and D. Jager (Treasurer). Cambridge University Austin 7 Club – Early Officers

Ray Walker was the first town person to be invited to join the club by Nick Jackson soon after its inception and became president of the club in 1967, a position he held until his death in 1997. Ray was a well-known figure in Austin Seven circles and ran an Austin Seven garage in Perowne Street, Cambridge for many years. His garage was a haven for Austin Seven and vintage car enthusiasts with a warm welcome and a cup of tea never far away and plenty of helpful advice readily available.  Ray’s wife Mary is the current President of the club and is often still seen at club events driving her Austin Seven Chummy.

At the 1975 AGM it was noted that the club no longer had any real connection with the University and had, in fact, been deregistered by them. It was agreed therefore that Rule 1 should be amended and the name of the club changed to “The Cambridge Austin 7 and Vintage Car Club” to better reflect the club’s current situation.

Over the years the club has forged a rich history which is reflected in the many yearly awards which include:

Broken Crankshaft (plain)

First awarded in 1959 as a Rally Trophy. In those days rallies were all day affairs with a lunch stop at a suitable Hostelry. Most rallies were deep into the Essex countryside following clues on Ordinance Survey maps. This trophy now is now awarded to the winner(s) of the Treasure Hunt.

Shaun de Salis

Long thought to have been donated by Shaun’s Mother but an excellent article by Hugh Barnes in the January 1998 newsletter sheds new light as to the real origin. Shaun was an undergraduate at Magdalene College from 1955-1958 so was a club member for only a short time. In 1962 he was tragically killed flying his Druine Turbulent aircraft. The trophy was presented by the then Patron of the club, Andre Kenny, in memory of Shaun. At the AGM it is awarded to the person who the club members vote to have done most for the club in the past year.

‘ED Trophy

‘ED’ stands for Eric and Dick (Eric Winther & Dick Howlett) – This large piston was originally awarded to the winner of the Autocross which was usually held in an often very muddy field at Manor Farm, Coton or Elms Farm, Ashley, Newmarket. ‘Ed’ was a very ‘beat-up Special owned by Eric and Dick. As very few of the members now wish to take part in this activity the trophy is now awarded to the person the Committee vote as the member who has been most active in attendance at club meetings or rallies.

Ray Walker Cup (Car of the Year)

Donated by Ray Walker in 1978 for the club’s flagship rally known as ‘Car of the Year’.  It is voted on by members present at ‘Car of the Year’ and awarded to the car deemed to be the best non-Austin 7 Vintage car in the show. After Ray’s death in 1997 it was renamed The Ray Walker Cup

Chrome crankshaft

It is unknown now who donated this trophy but it is awarded to the winner of the Driving Tests, usually held at the annual  ‘Car of the Year’ Show.

Vic Harris Cup

Vic Harris was the club’s Vice President from 1978 until his death in 1990. The cup was presented by Vic’s son Simon in his father’s memory. It is awarded at the Car of the Year rally for the best A7 in the show.

Restoration Trophy

This little cherub was donated by Phil Clark who held the position of club President. It is voted on by members and is awarded to a member who has completed a restoration in the current year and attended a club event with the vehicle.

Editors Cup

Donated in 1998 by Hugh Barnes, who was Editor of the club’s quarterly Newsletter at the time. The Newsletter Editor awards it to the member they consider to have contributed an exceptional article, regularly contributed or any other reason they feel justifies the award.

Mike Davis Trophy

This pewter tankard was given to Mike on his 21st birthday by his Uncle. It was donated after his death in 2007 by his widow Gill (who is still the owner of Mike’s uncle’s Special). It is awarded to the person deemed to have done something unusual (or stupid) during the last year in an Austin 7 or Vintage Car.

Silver Photo Frame

This silver frame, 1st awarded in 2008 is given to the member who the Committee has decided has submitted the best photo, of the chosen theme, taken during the current year.

Tony Brown Cup

Donated to the Club by Tony Brown’s family and is awarded to a person who the Committee feels has helped others over the course of the year.