Friday 27 January 2023
Classic car enthusiast Matt Fowles from Dursley, Gloucestershire was the lucky winner of the Dame Hannahs Car Draw before Christmas. He won the 1936/28 Austin 7 which was very generously donated to Dame Hannahs by loyal supporters Guy Butcher and Eunice Kratky.
Having driven their beloved car 18,000 miles across the Americas the couple decided it was time to part with it while supporting a charity close to their hearts. They raffled off the car and donated all proceeds from the sale of their book about their American adventures and to date have raised an amazing £26,391 for the charity.
Mechanical engineer Matt already owns an Austin 12 and he helps look after a 1920's steamroller. He enjoys driving classic cars and has done a few long distance drives including John O'Groats to Land’s End four times.
Matt said “I have been a classic car enthusiast ever since I can remember. My Dad had an old tractor when I was young that my brother and I used as a climbing frame! And I used to get picked up from school in my parents’ Morris Traveller which they still own. Old Land Rovers were my first classic car "love", but I have admired pre-war cars like the Austin for a long time. However I had always thought they would be too difficult to drive and look after. I am learning that this isn't true though, especially the Austins which have a huge amount of club support. I was given the chance to sit in the "Classic Car Loan Project" Austin 7 at the big NEC classic car show a few years ago and was immediately hooked! I am hoping that once my wife Laura has got used to driving the Austin 7 we can take both cars to shows and events together”.
On winning the car, Matt said “I was completely stunned when I heard that I had won the car. It’s just brilliant! I have had an itch for a pre-war car for a while and saved up to buy an Austin 12 last year, but I have always loved the Austin 7. I am a member of the Bristol Austin 7 Club and saw the advert in their magazine for Guy’s book and the raffle of the car. I’m not normally one to enter competitions but with the car having such a fascinating story and being something I’ve always wanted but not been able to afford, and it being for such a good cause, I decided to buy a couple of tickets. I am absolutely over the moon to have won! It was so lovely to meet Guy and Eunice at Christmas time, and the car of course! I’m looking forward to driving the car from Saltash back home to Gloucestershire and am busy planning a cross country route for the first of hopefully many more adventures with the car.”
Guy Butcher said “It was always our dream that a youngster would be the winner of the car raffle. Both Matt and Laura seem very excited about their win. They appeared to really enjoy their first drive in the car around the local estate. Indeed the idea of them driving it back to their home in Gloucestershire is a wonderful way to start their custodianship of the car and its ongoing story. Both Eunice and I are overwhelmed with the amazing end to our part in our Austin”.