Although long since departed, Wolseley was one of Britain's foremost makes throughout the Edwardian period and into the 1920s. The company had been founded by Irish-born Frederick York Wolseley in Sydney, Australia in 1887 to manufacture sheep-shearing equipment. Two years later a subsidiary was set up in Birmingham, England where works manager Herbert Austin added machine tools and bicycle components to the catalogue. Austin would be responsible for the first Wolseley motor car, a three-wheeler built on Léon Bollée lines in 1896. In 1901 the firm was taken over by the armaments manufacturer, Vickers Son & Maxim, and production moved to a new factory at Adderley Park, Birmingham. Early Wolseleys featured horizontal engines, but it was with the arrival of vertical-engined multi-cylinder cars in the Edwardian era that Wolseley earned its reputation for finely engineered, smooth and powerful transport. By this time Herbert Austin had left, his place being taken by John D Siddeley whose company - taken over by Wolseley in 1904 - had been making vertical-engined cars based on the French Peugeot. Siddeley forged ahead with an ever-expanding range of vertical-engined models, which for the next few years were marketed under the 'Wolseley-Siddeley' name, reverting to plain 'Wolseley' after Siddeley's departure in 1909. Wolseley's output had more then doubled under Siddeley's stewardship and the firm adopted a policy of diversification, manufacturing commercial vehicles, aero and marine engines, and the motorised sledges used by Captain Scott's Antarctic expeditions. By the outbreak of The Great War, Wolseley had become one of the UK's largest motor manufacturers with an annual output of some 2,000 cars, the bulk of which was made up of the popular medium-size 12/16 and 16/20hp four-cylinder models. Shells, aero engines and the SE5 fighter aircraft were manufactured during WWI and when hostilities ceased Wolseley returned to motor manufacturing with the pre-war 16/20, 24/30 and 30/40 pending the arrival of a new range of overhead-camshaft models. Dating from Wolseley's Edwardian heyday, this restored 16/60hp open tourer is powered by a 3.0-litre four-cylinder engine driving via a four-speed gearbox. This model is notable as one of the first to be fitted with the SU carburettor, which was made in the Wolseley factory. Its is believed that the car was exported new to Australia where it was bodied by Cox's Motor Bodies of Buderim, Queensland, whose plaque is still affixed to it. Various Australian VCC stickers testify to enthusiastic use in that country as recently as the late 1990s. Purchased in Liverpool by the current vendor circa five years ago, the Wolseley has seen little use since and was last taxed for the road in 2006. The car is finished in green with yellow wire wheels and buttoned black leather upholstery, and is equipped with CAV lighting and a Watford speedometer. An electric starter and flashing indicators, both highly practical modifications, are the only notified deviations from factory specification. Described as in '1st class' condition, this beautiful Edwardian motor car would grace any collection.
This car is a 16/20hp model and not as catalogued a 16/60hp.