1932 Wolseley Hornet Special Sports  Chassis no. 217/78 Engine no. 257A/78

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Lot 207
1932 Wolseley Hornet Special Sports
Registration no. MG 7690 Chassis no. 217/78 Engine no. 257A/78

Sold for £ 12,305 (US$ 16,626) inc. premium
1932 Wolseley Hornet Special Sports
Coachwork by Whittingham & Mitchell

Registration no. MG 7690
Chassis no. 217/78
Engine no. 257A/78

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.
    Increased performance was offered by the Hornet Special chassis, which came with 12" 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 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 Hornet Special was first registered in 1933 and is a good example of the improved model, introduced at the October 1932 Motor Show, which incorporated cast-iron cylinder liners, a stronger rear axle, larger kingpins and Magna wheels. Car number '120741', it carries a Eustace Watkins Daytona body by Whittingham & Mitchell and was in daily use until laid up for refurbishment in 1961 by the current owner. Regrettably, the task was never undertaken and the years have taken their toll, despite the fact that the car has been kept inside.
    Described by a Wolseley Hornet Special Club official as being 'remarkably original in most respects', 'MG 7690' is complete and retains its original radiator mascot and badge. There are no documents with this Lot, which is offered for restoration and sold strictly as viewed. A potentially most rewarding project.

Saleroom notices

  • The documents for this vehicle have been located and include a Swansea V5 registration document, old style buff log book , an MOT dating from 1961 and an amount of Wolseley Technical Drawings.
Contacts
1932 Wolseley Hornet Special Sports  Chassis no. 217/78 Engine no. 257A/78
1932 Wolseley Hornet Special Sports  Chassis no. 217/78 Engine no. 257A/78
1932 Wolseley Hornet Special Sports  Chassis no. 217/78 Engine no. 257A/78
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