Towing, an idea

- by Steve Barker

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Having bought a trailer last year I was faced with the usual Austin 7 problem of how best to tow the car onto it. The trailer has a good winch but I tried various configurations of rope to attach the car to the winch hook without success. The rope either fouled the number-plate or, if attached to one side of the axle beam, pulled the car to one side which made loading the car on my own very tricky. With the car at the bottom of the ramps the rope also fouled the front wings (low frame vehicle). Tying off ropes is also a good way to get very dirty so having given that attempt up as a bad job I designed and made the following which works very well:

The front plate (A) with the towing eye in the centre (photo 1) is made from 1/8th plate and the side arms (B & D) are 1” square tube. The side arms each have a 2” length of square tube welded on to the forward ends at 90 degrees.

image 1

To fit to the car I remove one side arm (D), turn the front plate (A) so it is vertical and feed side arm (B) between the offside front axle and spring, just inboard of the shackle. The 2” end (C) then hangs vertically behind the axle once the front plate (A) is back to horizontal. Side arm (D) can then be fed behind the axle on the nearside and bolted onto the front plate (A).

image 2

The tow bar works very well as it self-levels. With the car at the bottom of the ramps and the winch attached the tow bar swings upwards and swings downwards as the car nears the trailer bed. I leave the tow bar attached to the winch when the car is on the trailer as added security as the side arms cannot jump out from behind the axle until one side is unbolted. The other major benefit is that it pulls the car in a straight line.

image 3

I intend to improve the design by replacing the two bolts on one side with pins and sprung eye-clips which will make fitting even easier.


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