Hoods, Sidescreens and mountings

Some period images of cars when near new:

Chris Gould notes: To quote from the book “The Austin Seven”:

The Nippy was in fact a new name for the 1933 “65” sports model and the only difference in the outwards appearance in the 1934 Nippy was a different hood and cover.

John Moon stated that side screens were not fitted until 1936. The 1937 brochure states that wind deflectors and side screens were fitted but are not mentioned in the earlier ones, so John Moon seems to have been correct. I surmised that the difference in the hood was in the shape of the opening; as there seem to be two different shapes of side screen. NG8643 shows similar arrangements to the period photos above, with a horizontal top to the door aperture:

This matched the opening shown on the work’s body drawing of the “65″. My own is shown below and I thought that this was the 1936 and later version. I am now having second thoughts. 


This 1950s picture shows a design somewhere between the two, with a less pronounced curve but not two straights with a radiused join.

hood RN 4151

As does this one below, which is more similar to the Gould car:

Com hood 2 detail

So what determines ‘original fit’? Are some frames car-specific?

The hood profile is affected by:

  1. the hood frame, the main support of which is hollow and distorts with age.
  2. the position of the mounting plate on the car body
  3. the distance from cockpit back to the dash
  4. the height of the windscreen. 1937 may have taller screens and post 1935 screens may be slightly different to earlier ones.

The handbook line drawing (with a presumed early car from the detail of the rear light) shows a straight frame.


The line drawing for the Nippy (below) also shows the middle bar being the highest part of the car. The relative positioning of the three bars (set by the angle of the main mounting strut) affects the maximum height the rear window can attain, and the level of curvature of the hood. Cars below have every variation from a subtle curve to near flat top with 90 degree change into rear window.

Can you provide any photos or information that inform further?

Main frame support
This is presumed to be straight before any stress-related damage, although Ian Williams’ recent reconstruction of a hood frame found that a slight bend was required to meet the positioning requirements shown in the (early) engineers drawing below – so this suggests that there could be differences in the spigot mounting plate or its attachment between early and later cars – more research needed.

nippydetail linedrawing

Window apertures
smallest rear window aperture seen has been from something made in mid 60s: 13″ x 5″

top of front-most (main) rail to transmission tunnel, vertically: 34″

front of first hoodrail to rear of screen top i.e. the aperture between the two: 16″ (1935 car)




from an early 65

sidescreen frame

from a 1933 car

from a 1935 car

a 1936 car

2007-04-20 04.59.41

other images – the first showing the contrast between sidescreens to fit an ‘original’ hood aperture, and the later design as per the London Trimming Company.

London Trimming Company 

Nippy hoods could be bought from The London Trimming Company for four pounds 10 shillings. The proprietor of the London Trimming Co was a Mr Perrot. This firm closed, but he started a new one at Hailsham with the name Polyfacto. Eventually he retired and the firm closed. I heard that some of his workforce had started their own firm. Mr Perrott, the son of the man who owned Polyfacto, told me that The London Trimming Co made their own side screens, and that they were extra at Seven shillings and six pence a pair. I suspect that these were probably their design. I have them on my own car and visibility is very poor. (Chris Gould, 2016)

These two photos below clearly show that some of the London Trimming Company hood were exactly as the original hoods. This one was bought as new old stock and shows the horizontal above-door line.


for sale: Willie McKenzie at Austin Repro has Nippy side screen frames at £120 each.



One thought on “Hoods, Sidescreens and mountings

  1. Hi – I have a hood made to original pattern on my ‘cusp’ car that is to 65 spec in all other aspects – I can’t show it on the car but I could unroll it and take some pictures for you. One thing I’ll say from memory it has a very small oval rear window you can barely see anything out of, that I’m told was original but people always had made bigger when their hoods were remade to improve visibility.


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