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Awards and Loans

The Trust offers financial assistance to individuals or groups to carry through restoration or improvement projects to completion. The Trust also invites enquiries about sponsoring one or more Awards.

Henry Dukes

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Just after his ninth birthday, Henry, the third generation of Austin Seven enthusiasts in his family, found a completely derelict 1937 Ruby engine in a pile of scrap.  It was seized and had not run for over sixty years.  He was very keen to find out how it worked and just eight months later, after a great deal of hard work, he had it running on the bench.


Meanwhile, he'd been scavenging the family's dump of accumulated A7 parts, unearthing a chassis, a stripped body-shell and various other parts.  An ambitious plan was now taking shape; with minimal resources, Henry was going to rescue and rebuild a long-dead car.  Lack of funds was clearly going to be a major factor and so the decision was taken that the restoration would not involve costly body work, painting, or upholstery.  The Seven would be mechanically sound, but would otherwise look as many did in the late 1950s.


Soon, through regular reports and videos on his own Facebook page entitled "Henry's Ruby", word was spreading through the Austin Seven community and offers of parts, services and sponsorship started to come in.  Henry now has nearly 800 followers and is extremely grateful to the numerous companies, groups and individuals from all over the world who have helped to make his dream a reality.  With tuition and supervision from family members, Henry has carried out almost all of the restoration work himself, learning how cars work, as well as basic mechanical, electrical, woodworking and upholstery skills, not to mention some rather cheeky haggling abilities at auto-jumbles!  His continuing interest, enthusiasm, dedication and pride in his project has been a joy to watch.

Henry Dukes Collage

Ethelbert is a late 1937 Ruby deluxe saloon, with little to show that it is in fact a composite car, built up of parts - many of which required a great deal of work - from more than sixty different sources.  Henry showed the car at last year's A7 Centenary event and soon afterwards had advanced the project to the point that he was able to drive it on private land.   Later in the year he was invited to exhibit his Ruby at the NEC Classic Car Show, where it attracted much interest, particularly among other young enthusiasts.   Classic Car Weekly magazine chose Ethelbert as the Most Significant Classic of the Year.  Henry and Ethelbert have been invited back to this year's show.


A major milestone came in late 2022 when DVLA registered the car as SXS 665.  By Spring 2023, work was sufficiently advanced for Ethelbert to legally take to the road and in July Henry was awarded 'Best Restoration in Progress' at the National Austin Seven Rally at Beaulieu.


Work continues, but Henry's enthusiasm remains unabated.  Another lost classic has been saved.  A worthy, and very young, Young Preservationist of the Year.



Hamish McNaught


 At the age of 16 Hamish McNaught inherited his grandfather's 1930 Rolls Royce 20/25, a very handsome car with torpedo tourer coachwork by Rock, Thorpe and Watson Limited.  Once he was able, he began to enjoy the car but a long-term overheating problem, with which the car had suffered for much of its 26 years with the family, became impossible to ignore, and an engine rebuild was the only answer.


Hamish' award was received on his behalf by his father Kenneth.

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Several specialists were very willing to take on the job, but they also wanted to take on about £25,000, which exceeded funds available by about £25,000!  The car was un-driveable; selling it was unthinkable.  Could he take on the job himself?


Although he was studying electrical and electronic engineering at Northumbria University at the time, Hamish had little experience of hands-on motor-engineering, though his father certainly did, and he was fortunate in having knowledgeable friends in the Rolls Royce community, and very importantly, a friendly local garage.


The cause of the problem was found to be a build up of deposits in the cooling system over the cars 90 year life.  Repairing the cylinder block involved processes that were many and complex, and the opportunity was taken to overhaul not only major components and ancillaries plus transmission components such as the clutch.

Hamish McNaught Collage

Once reassembled and installed, the engine was very carefully run in and is now performing beautifully, just as Sir Henry Royce intended.


Hamish readily acknowledges the help and advice he has received from many individuals and organisations during the 600 man hour an 14 month project.  An older man now, this 20 year old has acquired many new skills over this period, and is a very worthy Young Preservationist of the Year.  He can't be with us today because he has just joined the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst, and thinks that asking for leave after only two weeks might not be a good idea.  His parents are here to receive the award in his place and we hope to see the car itself on another occasion.




The National Transport Trust makes loans to groups, associations and individuals at advantageous rates for the restoration of artefacts - whether mobile or part of the infrastructure.  Applications must be supported by a simple business plan which demonstrates the financial viability of the project. A sample business plan is available on request from the Treasurer.


The Trust does occasionaly make Awards for schemes which further the preservation movement. Again if you wish further information please contact the Treasurer.


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National Transport Trust, Old Bank House, 26 Station Approach, Hinchley Wood, Esher, Surrey KT10 0SR