A CLASSIC car-mad Herefordshire boy has seen his Austin Seven named “best restoration” at a major car show by a classic car magazine after embarking on an ambitious project.
Henry Dukes, from Bromyard, saw his project car take pride of place on a club stand at the particular NEC Classic Motor Show in November, after two years of work.
The 11-year-old Sutton Primary Academy pupil started their project just after his ninth birthday in 2020, when he found a completely derelict and seized 1937 Austin Ruby engine that had not run for over 60 years.
Henry was very keen to find out how it worked and, under the supervision of granddad Martin Prior, a coachbuilder and lifelong Austin Seven enthusiast, he began the long job associated with rebuilding it.
Eight months later, he reached a milestone moment when the engine ran for the first time in decades on the bench.
And it was not long before this became clear that the particular project has been growing, grandpa Martin said, as Henry had also been busy scavenging the family’s accumulation of Austin texas Seven parts, unearthing the chassis, a stripped bodyshell, and various other parts, all in need of total restoration.
But along with a minimal budget, plenty of components still needed, and work fitted around school, the particular car had been still a long way from complete.
In 2021, assisted by his own Facebook page, Henry’s Dark red , word of Henry’s project began to spread through the Austin 7 community, and offers of parts and services started to pour within.
And in July this year, another milestone was hit, as Holly drove his car close to his grandparents’ garden below its own steam for the first time.
Work is now underway on the car’s interior, with wood framing made by Henry’s granddad and his uncle, David Prior, and seats restored by their grandma, Jo Prior.
On Nov 9, the car was granted the new registration by the particular DVLA, putting it a step closer to returning in order to the roads.
“He’s very serious about it, and has done most of the work himself, ” Mr Prior stated.
“He has put two years of function into the vehicle and it has shown no sign of losing interest! We are very proud of the effort he has put in. “
Henry has also been given sponsorship by RH Specialist Vehicle Insurance and has been produced an honorary member of the Square Wheels Club, upon whose remain his Dark red, Ethelbert, took pride associated with place at the NEC Classic Engine Show.
The keen youngster plus his car were a hit among visitors to the display, featuring on two of his favourite motoring YouTube channels, HubNut and Furious Driving.
His car was furthermore featured in Classic Car Weekly, with the publication labelling it the “best restoration” on the show.
Henry mentioned he was “very excited” to have been able to exhibit his car at the particular Birmingham show, where he also met DriveTribe’s Mike Fernie and has been given the chance to sit in Richard Hammond’s Opel Kadett, Oliver.
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