Bertie is going to his 50th Austin 7 rally

Bertie Fowler bought his Austin 7, ‘Nippy’, in 1966 at the age of 19 – and is set to attend his 50th annual rally at Beaulieu next month.

The 1936 model is a relatively rare sports model, bought by Fowler for £90. He did the deal in the dark at Epsom racecourse, describing it as ‘the best buy I ever made’.

Despite the car suffering from ‘the usual Nippyisms’, such as the doors flying open during fast cornering, Bertie has had the car expertly restored. It will be proudly on display at the show alongside many other Austin 7 Sports and Racers – the theme for this year’s special display.

The show, which has been running for 54 years, is expected to be one of the largest seen in recent years – and is open to all Austin 7 owners. The organisers say pre-1975 vehicles of all makes and models are welcome to attend and will have a designated parking area in the rally field.

A number of rare and iconic Austin 7s will be attending, including Graham Beckett’s ‘Simplicity’, the Tony Hutchings built OK7095 works racer replica, and several of the Bert Hadley Championship cars being brought along by the Pre-War Austin 7 Club.

It takes place at Beaulieu on Sunday 3rd July – and marks one of the longest unbroken runs for a one-marque club using the same venue for its annual event.