(This article was first published in the Magazine of the Pre-War Austin 7 Club, to whom go our thanks and to the Author, Derek Spence)

To produce a new hood and sidescreens which resemble, as close as possible, the original (with no original hood or manufacturing diagrams to assist)you will need:-
    9 metres of Everflex fabric
    1 sheet of Cobex 52" x 25"
    30 thou thick heavy-duty thread
    A piece of Vybac (for the rear window)
    Chinagraph pencil, staple gun, tacks
    3m PVC Hidem banding & end plates
    "Lift the Dots" & "Durable Dot" fasteners
    A good old sewing machine (not the wife's best!)

First remove and save (for the moment) all existing coverings. Repair the sidescreen and hood frames so that they fit on the car without twist or distortion. The side members should be straight and the locating dowel peg tight to the side iron. Check the front timber rail and the rear insert for loose fixing holes.
The side screens need to be tackled first since the hood will be positively fitted to these. The material for each sidescreen is ONE piece. Cut out the material 3" wider than the frame and twice the height plus 2". Fold material to half the height and push frame up to the fold, locating it equidistant from the ends. With the frame now trapped between the layers sew the frame in round the inside 4 and outside 3 edges. Mark the external flap sizes onto the externally seen face of the fabric with the chinagraph pencil. Carefully turn the excess fabric of this 'seen face' back onto itself.
Ignoring the rear, unmarked section, stitch the two halves of the flap together, stitching round close to the turned edge of the "seen face". Cut off the surplus from the rear section of fabric flush with the turned edge of the front. The only ones that are different are the 2 front screens which need to be trimmed at the point between the 1" vertical flap behind the windscreen changing the 1/2" horizontal bottom flap which goes outside the seal of the door capping.
Make up the remaining sidescreens to this stage. Mark the positions of the holes along the top edges of the frames for the pegs, hinges and studs with a pencil point. Now be brave and heat a piece of 3/16 rod cherry red and carefully burn these holes through (NOTE: I have only done this with Everflex - not duck!).
Now assemble the sidescreens and try them on the car. The rear ones lift out of the foremost socket, fold back inside the car and then locate into a hole in the bracket which is fixed to the back of the hood rest support, for which a sliding hinge arrangement fitted to the inside is pro­vided to enable this. The rear half of the front sidescreen folds out and forward on 2 external hinges. The channel section of the hinge is to the front of the car. A short webbing strap (with a "lift the dot fastener") holds the screen either open or closed.
If all is well, now draw a line on the "seen face" of the fabric 3/4" inside the metal frame and another 5/8" inside that. The first is the fold line, the second the cut line. Cut out the fabric on the exterior face of the screen to this latter line and fold the excess carefully under, leaving the inside to this latter line and fold the excess carefully under, leaving the inside face of the screen fabric intact at this stage. Cut the sheet of 52" x 26" COBEX (this is just sufficient for all 8 side screens) into two pieces longways e.g. 13" high. Now cut a piece to fit the screen you are doing, making it just smaller than the row of stitching inside the metal frame. Insert this piece of COBEX through the cut hole and, with the front turned out as described, stitch round 1/8" back from the turned edge. Keep the protective paper, cut undersize, in place to avoid scratching. Turn it over and, with a Stanley knife and straight edge, cut away the fabric just inside the stitching you have sewn to fix the window. You should now have on perfect sidescreen!! Repeat 7 more times. Fit the sidescreens to the car and tighten the raised head bolts in the large cup type wash­ers to secure them.

The hood is constructed from Everflex, or whatever you are using, and is made up of six sections as follows:-
    1.        The rear panel, which fits under the aluminium body moulding at its lower edge, and is tacked to the timber insert in the rear hood frame.
    2.        The centre section, tacked to the front edge of the front rail above the windscreen and, like the rear panel, also to the timber insert in the rear hood frame.
    3&4. The side valances. These are press-studded to the sidescreens and sewn to the hood tapes.
    5&6. The roof side sections, sewn to the centre section and draped over the side of the frame.

There are no darts in the side sections so to obtain the necessary stretch they must be cut diagonally from the full width of the material which has a bias on the width but not the length.  Some other smaller pieces will also be required to cover the exposed hood frame so that from inside the car you cannot see it.

Attach a centre line from the front rail, over the hood frame and onto the rear body panel.
The first job is to fit the webbing tapes. Seat belt webbing is ideal, being both strong and straight without sagging. I cut mine from a Sherpa Van in the scrapyard and they cost a couple of pounds. Position them 18" each side of your centre line (36" apart) and tack them to the front rail. Ensuring that the frame is taught, tack the webbing to the rear timber insert. Pulling it straight down also secure it to the inside of the rear body. This will hold the frame tight. These rear pieces, down from the rear timber insert to the rear body panel, will be trimmed off later. Lay out the fabric and cut the main roof section 40" wide x 72" long. Fold the long edges under by 1" to make this section 38" wide. Next cut a piece of material for the rear vertical window section 55" wide x 24" deep. Remove the aluminium rear body moulding and refit with the material folded under it so that you have a small flap inside the car. Leave this long enough to get hold of and pull the material round the sides as you screw the moulding down. Go to the back of the car and pull the material up, round and over the timber insert and tack in the middle of the car. Use a staple gun for this so you do not make large holes since you have to take it off again. Gradually work each way, pulling the material up and out until you get to the sides. Here, fold the ends round so you have a 1" turno­ver on the inside and it meets the rear flap on the rear sidescreen but does not overlap.
Whilst at this stage mark out the 17" x 7" rear window 6" up from the bottom of the hood. Draw another line 3/4" inside the first - this will turn under. Cut out a piece of material for the inside of the window 1" wider all round, overall 19" x 9". Put somewhere safe. Do NOT fit the Vybac window yet.
Next you make the valances. Take a piece of fabric, minimum 13" wide by 78" long, and fold over one edge about 1¼ ". Stitch this with two rows of thread a quarter inch from the fold and a quarter inch from the top. The bottom straight edge must be along the line of the glazing at the top of the windows.
Shape the material up so that it curves over the finishes under the roof tapes to which you will have to hand sew it. You will also have to cut two slots so that the hood sticks can pass through it at their top edges. At the windscreen end you need to cut around the timber allowing about 2" to fold around behind the windscreen to prevent draughts. The rear end also needs cutting so that it hangs vertically to the side screen but has a tab left on it which will tack to the rear insert. Before sewing the valances to the tapes mark the position of the press studs/poppers and fit studs to the sidescreens.
Fit the poppers to the valance and button to the inside of the screens, this will hold the bottom edge for you whilst you fiddle about with the top - it sounds difficult - it was! By now I should have had the sack since the time I had used was more than Herbert sold the car for.
Now retrieve the main centre section and lay it over the car. Pull it straight and staple it to the front and rear rails, not to close to the edge. Take the side section which is approximately 16" wide (diagonally cut from width of material) and lay on the roof.  You need to stretch this into shape and staple front and rear. Tuck the top edge under the centre section and keep an eye on it so that you do not lose your over-flap. Turn the bottom edge under it until it hangs nice and straight so that when you open the doors the sidescreen just brushes it to take the drips off. As you do this you will have to cut away some of the surplus material, aim for a turn under of about one and a quarter inches at the bottom edge.
When you are happy with it take it off and stitch an 1/8" nylon cord into this edge to stiffen it. Then sew again 3/4" up so that you have a double row of stitching along the sides. Put it back on and check it. Now pull it up under the centre section and mark a cross line every 3" with chalk or a chinagraph pencil, also marking along the length. At the rear it must be long enough to reach past the wood insert. Where the looser edge meets the rear panel, go past 1" then turn the end into the height of the insert vertically - approximately 2". Leave the front end approximately 4" longer than the rail.  This will later be V-cut at the end and folded round the front edge of the rail. Take off all three sections and stitch together - note that the side pieces are not curved and the main section is straight.  They must be stitched together like this and you must keep the material on the lines the whole length.
Having stitched these pieces together the hard bit is done. Take off the rear panel and sew the window into its pocket. Stitch the 19" x 9" x 1" strip to the inside of the rear panel three quarters of an inch from the edges. Cut the hole 15.5 x 5.5" and cut to the corners so that you can fold the rear panel over to make the 17" x 7" hole. Fit the window into the resulting pocket and stitch into position 1/4" from the inner edge. Take care to keep the material flat otherwise a "pucker" will result.
At each end of the rear panel sew a double thickness strip two inches wide, one inch protruding behind the rear sidescreen. This strip starts at the top of the body moulding and is about 15" long.
Before fitting the hood, cover the rear rail with the fabric. This is pulled over the inside face edges, and tacked or stapled to the timber insert. Butt the material on this timber face so as not to make a ridge. The ends of the rail are cut away in a concave shape and, to fit the material, it is necessary to cut a series of V cuts in the back to be able to pull it into shape. A little adhesive will help here. Don't forget that it is "best side to the inside". For a nice-looking job, cover the two other rails with a scrap of hooding. Stick these on to the rails with contact adhesive and cut to butt-join on top of the rail. Make the length just longer than vertical over the sidescreens.

Fix the hood tapes secure with cut tacks and terminate the rear end at the timber insert.
Start with the rear panel, refit under the body moulding and up in the middle, staple, and work out to the sides pulling up and out as you go. At the corners it should be slightly hollow when viewed from the side, just staple at this stage.
Now popper the valances to the sidescreens and fit to the underside of the tapes. Now hand sew to the tapes using a 1½ " running stitch in both directions. Tack the rear end to the insert over the rear panel.
Centre the main panel on the car and staple to the front of the front rail, pull back tight and check fit at rear, cut surplus off top of rear panel and fix with cut tacks. Pull top back into position and tack at rear, carefully cut off surplus. MAKE QUITE SURE THAT YOU TACK IN A STRAIGHT LINE TO THE CENTRE OF INSERT OTHERWISE THE TACKS WILL SHOW WHEN YOU FIT THE HIDEM BINDING.
Hand-sew the small end flap of the side panel vertically to the rear panel. Fit the Hidem banding over the join, terminating in a nickel end cap.
V-cut the front end and fold the material along the front edge. Tack all along the front edge and cut off any excess fabric. Cover the front edge with Hidem as described.
Mark the centre of the windscreen top rail on the underside of the timber rail. Cover a piece of rubber tubing with fabric in the fashion of wing piping and tack this to form a seal when the hood is up. Cover the tacks with a further length of Hidem banding - and that’s all there is to it!!

All the measurements are for 1933 4-seater Tourer but you should check the measurements on your own car before you cut any material. Go on have a go, I'd never even used a sewing ma­chine before.
Derek Spence, with many thanks