One of only ten known survivors 1922 Wolseley Seven Tourer Registration no. FK 1835 Chassis no. 50218 Engine no. 216A/2673
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 would be responsible for the first Wolseley motor car, a three-wheeler built on Léon Bollée lines, in 1896. 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. During WWI, Wolseley manufactured Hispano-Suiza aero engines under licence, the overhead-camshaft valve gear of which inspired its earliest post-war introductions, the four-cylinder 10hp and 15hp models, added to the range for 1920. At the bottom of the range was the Seven, a high quality light car powered by a 986cc, twin-cylinder, horizontally opposed, sidevalve engine rated at 8.5hp. Introduced in 1922 and priced initially at £295, the Wolseley Seven stood no chance when pitted against the considerably cheaper, four-cylinder Austin Seven and was produced for only two years. It is estimated that only 1,000 or so were made. This rare Wolseley light car was acquired for the museum in March 2009, the previous owner being recorded as Mr Eamon Luke of Bognor Regis, West Sussex. Restored at date unknown, 'FK 1835' is offered with old-style continuation logbook, (issued 1953), copies of the original factory Car Record, order details and instruction manual, previous owner correspondence, a quantity of expired MoT certificates, VSCC Eligibility Document, SORN letter, BMIHT Certificate, Swansea V5C document and MoT to April 2013.