1932 Wolseley Hornet Tourer, Chassis no. 88960 Engine no. 846A

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Lot 541
1932 Wolseley Hornet Tourer,
Registration no. 539 UXE Chassis no. 88960 Engine no. 846A

£ 10,000 - 15,000
US$ 13,000 - 20,000
1932 Wolseley Hornet Tourer

Registration no. 539 UXE
Chassis no. 88960
Engine no. 846A

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.

    The heart of any great sports car is its engine and that of the Hornet had been inspired by the Hispano Suiza aero engines that Wolseley Motors had manufactured under licence during WWI. The Hornet engine's immediate ancestor was an 847cc four-cylinder unit with shaft-driven overhead camshaft. This 847cc 'four' never featured in a Wolseley however, being reserved by parent company Morris for the Minor and used by Cecil Kimber in the first of his Minor-derived MG Midgets. Small-capacity 'sixes' were much in vogue at this time, so Wolseley added two cylinders to create a 1,271cc overhead-cam 'six'.

    Introduced in 1930, the Hornet saloon deployed Wolseley's OHC 'six' 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 engine 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 but the Hornet was dropped at the end of the year when Morris rationalised its car production.

    Last on the road in 1981, this Hornet started life as a saloon and was converted into a four-seat tourer during the course of its ongoing restoration (see photographic record on file). Works undertaken include stripping the chassis back to bare metal and repainting; fabricating a new ash-framed aluminium alloy body and floor pan; and fitting a complete new interior (seats, side panels, etc) and tonneau (there is no hood). The engine and gearbox were found to be in order and were not rebuilt while the Autovac has been retained but is non-functioning (fuel is supplied by an auxiliary pump). Described by the vendor as '96% finished' (the lights have yet to be wired up), the car is offered with sundry restoration invoices and old-style logbook.
Contacts
1932 Wolseley Hornet Tourer, Chassis no. 88960 Engine no. 846A
1932 Wolseley Hornet Tourer, Chassis no. 88960 Engine no. 846A
1932 Wolseley Hornet Tourer, Chassis no. 88960 Engine no. 846A
1932 Wolseley Hornet Tourer, Chassis no. 88960 Engine no. 846A
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