1932 Wolseley Hornet Special Tourer  Chassis no. 120829 Engine no. 3050/01A

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Lot 563
1932 Wolseley Hornet Special Tourer
Registration no. PFF 423 Chassis no. 120829 Engine no. 3050/01A

Sold for £ 18,975 (US$ 23,858) inc. premium
1932 Wolseley Hornet Special Tourer
Coachwork by Swallow

Registration no. PFF 423
Chassis no. 120829
Engine no. 3050/01A

Footnotes

  • Although its image in later years became ever more difficult to distinguish from that of other makes within the British Motor Corporation, in 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 saloon deployed Wolseley's 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 further forward to improve cabin space) and a four-speed 'silent third' gearbox. Engine capacity increased to 1,378cc in 1935.
    Increased performance was offered by the Hornet Special chassis, which came with 12" hydraulic brakes and remote-control gearshift. The Special used the shortened engine equipped with twin-carburettors and an oil cooler, in which form it produced 45bhp, good enough for a top speed, depending on coachwork, of around 75mph. The Special 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 E W Daytonas on the Special chassis, one E W International on the standard chassis) in the 1932 relay race at Brooklands at an average speed of 77.57mph.
    This rare, unrestored Hornet Special carries tourer coachwork by the Swallow Sidecar & Coachbuilding Company - styled by Jaguar founder, William Lyons - and is described as 'ex-works' so presumably was a Swallow demonstrator. The accompanying original logbook lists five owners before export to Holland in early 1970s while the engine (3050/91A) is believed to have been fitted before it returned to the UK.
    'PFF 433' has had three owners since 1988. The current owner (since 1995) has overseen two engine overhauls by Wolseley/Vintage specialists and in addition the car benefits from a new fuel line and spark plugs. We are advised that the Hornet, which has participated in several rallies, has been unused for the last four years and that the engine needs some attention to return it to good running order. Described as in generally good condition, the car is offered with VCC buff form, JDHT certificate, original technical information, framed lubrication chart, current MoT, Swansea V5, a quantity of Wolseley Hornet Special Club booklets and assorted spare parts (including a fuel tank).
1932 Wolseley Hornet Special Tourer  Chassis no. 120829 Engine no. 3050/01A
1932 Wolseley Hornet Special Tourer  Chassis no. 120829 Engine no. 3050/01A
1932 Wolseley Hornet Special Tourer  Chassis no. 120829 Engine no. 3050/01A
1932 Wolseley Hornet Special Tourer  Chassis no. 120829 Engine no. 3050/01A
1932 Wolseley Hornet Special Tourer  Chassis no. 120829 Engine no. 3050/01A
1932 Wolseley Hornet Special Tourer  Chassis no. 120829 Engine no. 3050/01A
1932 Wolseley Hornet Special Tourer  Chassis no. 120829 Engine no. 3050/01A
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