1934 Wolseley Hornet International Sports  Chassis no. 155333 Engine no. 434/A/114

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Lot 316
1934 Wolseley Hornet International Sports
Registration no. VE 9956 Chassis no. 155333 Engine no. 434/A/114

Sold for £ 20,125 (US$ 27,586) inc. premium
1934 Wolseley Hornet International Sports
Coachwork by Abbey Coachworks for Eustace Watkins

Registration no. VE 9956
Chassis no. 155333
Engine no. 434/A/114

Footnotes

  • Although its image in later years became ever more difficult to distinguish from that of other makes within the British Motor Corporation, during the early 1930s Wolseley occupied the front rank of British sports cars alongside MG, Riley and Frazer Nash. The single model responsible was the Wolseley Hornet.
    Introduced in 1930, the Hornet deployed Wolseley's bevel-driven, overhead-camshaft, six-cylinder engine in a lengthened Morris Minor chassis equipped with hydraulic brakes. Its power-to-weight ratio was exemplary among contemporary 1.3-litre cars, the smooth and flexible six pulling from walking pace to more than 60mph. The model was revised for 1932 with a shortened, chain-driven overhead-cam engine (repositioned to improve cabin space) and four-speed 'silent third' gearbox. Increased performance was offered by the twin-carburettor Hornet Special and the latter chassis rapidly became that of choice for the multitude of independent coachbuilders already using the Hornet as the basis for a sporting two-seater.
    The Hornet Special was soon making its mark in competitions, one noteworthy achievement being the victory achieved by a team of three Eustace Watkins-bodied Hornets (two Daytonas on the Special chassis, one International on the standard chassis) in the 1932 relay race at Brooklands at an average speed of 77.57mph.
    For 1934 the Hornet Special chassis was strengthened and changed to an under-slung arrangement at the rear. The engine was given a new block and cross-flow cylinder head while the gearbox was updated with synchromesh on 3rd/4th gears.
    First registered on 11th April 1934, this Hornet wears 'International' sports bodywork by Abbey Coachworks, commissioned by the London Wolseley agent, Eustace Watkins. 'VE 9956' was totally restored, engine included, by Octagon Cars of Chart Sutton, Kent prior to its acquisition by the current owner in 1991, since when it has been driven only 200 miles, the last occasion being in 2008. Offered from a private collection, the car is described by the private vendor as in generally very good/excellent condition and comes with Swansea V5 and recently expired MoT (November 2009). The only notified deviation from factory specification is the distributor, which is mounted on the rear of the block.

Saleroom notices

  • The estimate for this lot is £15,000 - 20,000
1934 Wolseley Hornet International Sports  Chassis no. 155333 Engine no. 434/A/114
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