1910 Wolseley-Siddeley A3 12/16hp Rotonde Phaeton  Chassis no. 10458/460 Engine no. 24/538

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Lot 214
1910 Wolseley-Siddeley A3 12/16hp Rotonde Phaeton
Registration no. O 5043 Chassis no. 10458/460 Engine no. 24/538

Sold for £ 19,550 (US$ 25,434) inc. premium
1910 Wolseley-Siddeley A3 12/16hp Rotonde Phaeton
Registration no. O 5043
Chassis no. 10458/460
Engine no. 24/538
The complex family tree of Wolseley, Siddeley, Wolseley-Siddeley and Siddeley-Deasy has been chronicled many times and becomes no less confusing for the telling. Herbert Austin, who had been with Wolseley from the beginning of their motor car manufacture, favoured horizontal engines but met certain resistance from the Wolseley board and this was the reason that he left Wolseley to set up his own company. Following Austin’s departure Wolseley developed a range of vertical-engined cars of both four and six-cylinder configurations which were hugely successful.
Col. J D Siddeley had joined the Wolseley board at around this time and the cars became known as Wolseley-Siddeleys. In 1910, when the A3 model was produced, the Wolseley-Siddeley marque was part of the giant Vickers, Sons & Maxim empire and Vickers engineering was of course of the highest quality, right up with Napier, Lanchester and indeed Rolls-Royce. Wolseley-Siddeleys were the choice of the middle classes and indeed of royalty, Queen Alexandra favouring the marque.
This 12/16hp, four-cylinder car was delivered to its first owner, a Mr J F Hammersley who is thought to have been a senior member of staff at Wolseley, in July 1910. A ‘special side entrance’ body was specified with side doors which, by 1910, were becoming the norm. The car was registered in Birmingham and later sold in 1911 as a second-hand car to Messrs Clark & Son of Sheffield for £330.
Wolseley Register records show the car as being in the United States at one time, returning to the UK and subsequently being acquired by the present owner some 20 years ago. The car has been extensively rallied during that ownership, taking part in many notable events including the Eurotunnel Inaugural Run in 1994, the Prince Henry Tour in 1986 and the Veteran Car Club John O’Groats to Lands End Rally, following which it drove straight on crossing at Plymouth to take part in the Paris-Rouen event. The car also successfully completed the Laurent Perrier Tour to Antibes covering in excess of 2,500 miles.
The car, which carries most practical, five seater tourer coachwork bearing the coachbuilder’s plate of Crips Bros. of Sidcup, (Wolseley conducted part of their operation from nearby Crayford), is superbly equipped with windscreen, hood and tonneau cover, Lucas oil side lamps and electric headlamps, double twist bulb horn and running board-mounted spare tyre and is presented in green livery with cream coachlining and wheels. The coachwork is upholstered in deep-buttoned black leather. In 1988 the engine was rebuilt including a rebore and the fitting of new pistons, valves, etc. The disc clutch was overhauled in 1996 and the car enjoys the benefit of a dynastart – a most practical modification. In recent times the front wheels have been professionally rebuilt by Crowfords. In short, the car is maintained to a high standard and is offered with a Swansea V5 registration document, current road fund licence, diary record of many of the major events completed, a copy handbook, copies of original factory records and the car is Veteran Car Club dated (Certificate no. 219).
This car is a well proven and capable rally car which during its long present ownership has proved consistently reliable and comfortably able to cover substantial daily mileage.
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