1932 Wolseley Hornet

Special Sports (Project)

Summary

  • Year of manufacture 
    1932
  • Car type 
    Other
  • Engine number 
    104-A/127
  • Lot number 
    40
  • Drive 
    RHD
  • Condition 
    Restoration project
  • Exterior brand colour 
    Unpainted
  • Interior brand colour 
    Tan
  • Number of doors 
    2
  • Number of seats 
    2
  • Location
  • Exterior colour 
    Blue
  • Gearbox 
    Manual
  • Drivetrain 
    2wd
  • Fuel type 
    Petrol

Description

DESCRIPTION
Founded by Vickers Ltd and Herbert Austin in 1901, Wolseley Motors Ltd expanded rapidly between the wars to become the largest motoring manufacturer in Britain but sales began falling rapidly in the 1920s and the Company was ultimately placed in receivership in February 1927. William Morris (later Viscount Nuffield) proved to be Wolseley’s saviour, purchasing the ailing concern primarily for the sophisticated single overhead camshaft six-cylinder engine introduced in 1930 for the Hornet. Based on a revised Morris Minor chassis suitably modified to accommodate the longer six, the earliest Hornets were available with open two-seater or two-door saloon coachwork and the Special was added to the model range in April 1932, featuring various go-faster parts such as twin carburettors, domed higher compression pistons, duplex valve springs and a revised exhaust system. The gear-lever used a longer remote control, while the chassis featured wider track, larger 12-inch drum brakes and optional Rudge-Whitworth wire wheels with knock-on hubs. Further improvements took place in 1933, with the chassis underslung and the wheelbase extended, while a new cross-flow head improved breathing. Various coachbuilders clothed the Hornet Special chassis, including the likes of Jensen, Abbey and Swallow, the latter producing attractive two and four-seaters prior to the introduction of their first car, the SS1. The Hornet proved relatively popular in Australia and a number were bodied by local coachbuilders, the vast majority shipped here in chassis form. The Hornet Special enjoyed a well-earned reputation for reliability and proved popular in various forms of motor sport throughout the 1930s, owners forming the backbone of the Light Car Clubs of NSW and Victoria in the 1950s.

HISTORY
- Fabulous Wolseley Hornet Special with period racing history and Australian coachwork
- Off the road since 1970
- Fantastic restoration project

Originally ordered by John Sherwood, founder the Light Car Club of NSW, this 1932 Sanction 65 Wolseley Hornet Special was clothed with beautifully proportioned bodywork to his own design, commissioned from Sydney coachbuilders Premier Body Co. Period photographs show off the specially monogrammed hubcaps and lovely flowing wings, presaging the classic SS 100. Documented by period photographs, Sherwood raced the Wolseley in hillclimbs and circuits like Maroubra Speedway, including victory in the ‘Brooklands’ relay race held there in January 1933. From Sherwood the Wolseley passed to B Shepherd, who continued its competition career, before changing hands several times in NSW and ultimately ending up with the previous owner in the ACT. Off the road and in dry storage since 1970, the Hornet (and a sister car) were recently sold to a Sydney VSCC member and long-time vintage car enthusiast, who is now selling this car to concentrate on restoring the second example. The Wolseley has survived in remarkably sound order, the body stripped back to primer, the dash is complete with instruments and all the hard-to-find parts (like the folding screen, trim and hood) are present, making restoration relatively straightforward. Early in its life the Hornet was fitted with a 1934 engine (number 104-A/127) featuring a cross-flow head and although it hasn’t been started since being laid up, the motor turns freely by hand. Featured in The Automobile magazine’s “Finds & Discoveries” for September 2018 and documented in the book “Wolseley Hornet Specials in Australia & New Zealand” co-authored Bill Russell, Michael Santin and John Clucas, this wonderful discovery is a genuinely worthwhile restoration project, combining excellent provenance, attractive period Australian coachwork and sporting mechanicals. Supplied with an original Instruction Manual (along with a reproduction Parts Manual) and historical photos, the car will be sold unregistered.

Please Note. A large quantity of spare parts Wolseley Hornet Special are available by separate negotiation with the vendor.

Note: Shannons advise that all potential buyers research all vehicles before purchase to authenticate originality.