Factory preparation of 65 and Speedy engines

Jim Blacklock, well-known in Austin 7 circles, recounted this exchange after reading the Motor article of the road test of an Arrow-bodied 65. It deserves space in the archive:

“The comments about the top speed of 55 mph was a bit odd and disappointing, but it reminded me of a chat I had back in 1986, when I took my Nippy to the Worsted Festival, in Norfolk. There was an entry section for old cars and it was about the first such event that I took the car to after her restoration. An old chap came over and looked around the car. Then he told me that in his youth he had been an apprentice at the Austin factory during the time when they turned out the 65, Nippy, 75 and Speedy, and that as these sports versions rolled off the end of the production line an apprentice had to jump in the car and then thrash it around the roads until the speedo reached the appropriate speed of 65 or 75. So that was Herbert Austin’s method of tuning or easing up the engines before delivery.

As the car featured in the Motor article was an Arrow, I imagine that it was delivered as a 65/Nippy running chassis and had not been subjected to the Herbert Tuning Regime – so perhaps was not properly “run in”.

Click on the image for a larger view of the article.

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