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Sir Herbert Austin invited the press to see the new vehicles in the Austin Seven range – the Opal, Ruby and Pearl. The Opal was the basic two seater version, and early cars carried over the flat fronted radiator. These sold for £100. The charming Opel Open Road Two-seat Tourer wore the new enclosed grille and cost £8 more. Further improvements came in 1936 with the launch of the £112 New Opal. Innovations included a 4-speed gearbox with synchromesh on 2nd, 3rd and top, and a 3-bearing crankshaft which enabled a higher compression head to be used increasing power to 16½bhp. A conventional Borg and Beck clutch replaced the Austin design which was famous for its switch-like operation, while the brakes were also upgraded to a semi-Girling system with cast iron shoes which made a significant improvement.
Austin Seven Opal blueprints