Baby can you drive my cars

Special to the QCS

In several weeks vintage auto enthusiasts may want to take a look in the parking lot at the Blue Swallow motel. Five Austins 7s from England are scheduled to make a stop on Sept. 10 as they make the journey on the Route 66.

This tour is being undertaken by a small group of enthusiasts driving five pre-war, 750 cc, 75-inch wheel base, Austin Seven “baby cars.”

The crews are all members of the, UK, 750 Motor Club – founded in 1939, mainly for such cars.

There is a modern car in support. The driver and her daughter, who is co-driving one of the Austins, are doing the journey in memory of their late husband and father who had hoped to travel Route 66.

All the cars have traveled extensively in Europe in their Sevens and three of them completed a 3,500 mile journey from Buenos Aires, via the Andes, to Santiago, Chile and back in February 2005.

The cars date from 1929 to 1938 and are the type of car on which the ‘American Austin’ and ‘Bantam’ cars were based. Jack Rittenhouse did the journey in a 1939 Bantam in 1946 and wrote about it in his book, “A Guide Book to Highway 66.”

The cars arrived in New York by sea and the crews by air last week. They are ti drive to Chicago, stopping off at Butler, where the American Austin and Bantams were made.
They are scheduled to start their 2,450-mile journey on Sunday and plan to arrive in Los Angeles on Sept. 21, returning to England on Sept. 28.

The participants are:
l Richard and Marlies Bishop from Exeter, Devon, in a 1938 sports.
l Ken and Eileen Cooke from Stevenage, Hertfordshire, in a 1930 4 seater tourer.
l Vince Leek from Warminster, Wilts, and Diana Garside from Nth Carolina in a 1929 tourer.
l George and Joy Mooney from Bournemouth, Hants. in a 1934 Cambridge special.
l Stan Price from Carlisle and Chris Parkhurst from Aylesbury in a 1932 ‘box’ saloon.
Veronica Garside, Wendy Hider from Swindon Wilts, and River Dukes from North Carolina in a support car.

If you’d like to follow their journey visit their blog at http://www.a7route66.typepad.com

This information was provided by the New Mexico Bureau of Tourism.