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|Wolseley Hornet MK II|
Noble House B.V.
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|Wolseley Hornet, pocket-sized exclusivity|
The Wolseley Hornet is one of the most charming cars ever built. Based on the brilliant, classic Mini, Wolseley created the Hornet in 1961 as a stylish and luxurious miniature limousine.
Wolseley is one of the oldest car brands in the world. It developed towards the end of the nineteenth century from what was the Wolseley Sheep Shearing Company. The firm was managed by Herbert Austin, who decided to produce cars with the Wolseley trademark in addition to shearing equipment. When this venture proved unsuccessful, he left the company in 1905 and established his own brand, named Austin. Wolseley was taken over by William Morris in 1927, who added it to his Nuffield empire as a luxury marque.
Herbert Austin and William Morris crossed paths again in 1952, when they decided to merge their companies to create the British Motor Corporation (BMC). Because MG and Riley also belonged to BMC, the company had the ability to market the same cars under different names – each aimed at its own target group.
This process of badge engineering was applied to the then brand new Mini in 1959. This car was initially sold as the identical Austin Seven and Morris Mini Minor. The next step was to release the same car as an ultra-luxurious model, and this took place in 1961. BMC launched the Wolseley Hornet and the Riley Elf especially for demanding clients who didn’t want an Austin or a Morris, but still preferred a ‘small’ ride.
Both these cars were mechanically identical to the esteemed Mini, but had their own unique look thanks to their chic front end and extended boot area with finned rear wings on both sides into which the rear lights were incorporated. The Hornet and the Elf remained in production until 1969.
Wolseley Hornet MK II – 1965 in detail
The Wolseley on offer from Noble House was delivered new by Amsterdam Wolseley dealer, Dirk van der Mark, to a well-heeled city resident in 1965. After taking possession of the car, the new owner, then 65 years of age, drove it to his holiday home is Spain, where it remained in use for a long time.
By 1978, the Wolseley was still in the possession of its first owner who that year decided to return the car to the Netherlands. He also undertook this journey himself, after which he sold the car to an acquaintance that same year. This second owner cherished the small luxury car. He had the car almost entirely dismantled and had light sheet metal work done where necessary. Eventually, the Hornet, with its base sheet metal exposed, was re-sprayed and re-assembled. As a result, the Wolseley is in excellent condition. Because the car wasn’t driven for years, some minor work will be necessary. Noble House is delighted to do this work and will gladly welcome the small Wolseley into the workshop.
Sold on the 02.10.2012
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