1903 Wolseley 10HP Twin-Cylinder Four-Seat Rear-Entrance Tonneau  Chassis no. 510

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Lot 218
1903 Wolseley 10HP Twin-Cylinder Four-Seat Rear-Entrance Tonneau
Registration no. DO 54 Chassis no. 510

Sold for £ 161,000 (US$ 197,300) inc. premium
1903 Wolseley 10HP Twin-Cylinder Four-Seat Rear-Entrance Tonneau
Registration no. DO 54
Chassis no. 510
• Re-imported from New Zealand in the 1960s/1970s
• Present ownership since 2000
• Successfully completed 17 London-to-Brighton Runs with the vendor
• Entered in the 2021 London to Brighton Veteran Car Run, no.161



Footnotes

  • The cars made by the Wolseley Tool & Motor-Car Company, Limited, are typical throughout of English rather than of Continental engineering practice. They have earned golden opinions for their power, simplicity, and freedom from breakdown..." – A B Filson Young, The Complete Motorist, 1904.

    Although long since departed, Wolseley was one of Britain's foremost makes throughout the Edwardian period and into the 1920s. The company had been founded by Irish-born Frederick York Wolseley in Sydney, Australia in 1887 to manufacture sheep-shearing equipment. Two years later a subsidiary was set up in Birmingham, England where works manager Herbert Austin would be responsible for the first Wolseley motor car, a three-wheeler built on Léon Bollée lines, in around 1895/1896. The three-wheeled models were made in strictly limited numbers and in 1899 were replaced with Wolseley's first four-wheeled design: a 5hp model featuring a front-mounted, horizontal, single-cylinder engine; chain final drive; and steering by tiller. Wolseley's motor manufacturing business having been acquired by armaments manufacturer Vickers Son & Maxim, production of the 5hp single and a 10hp twin commenced at a new factory in Adderley Park, Birmingham in 1901.

    The horizontal-engined Wolseleys sold well for the next couple of years, but the company's management was convinced that the future lay with vertical engines. Unwilling to abandon his favoured horizontal type, Herbert Austin left to found his own company, which, somewhat ironically, commenced production with a range of vertical-engined models.

    Purchased privately in 1999 from a John Smith, the car offered here is an example of Wolseley's Austin-designed 2.6-litre, twin-cylinder 10hp, a model produced between 1901 and 1905. The history file indicates that the car had been imported (around the 1960s/1970s) from New Zealand where it had been in use, having had some major restoration, with a non-original and very basic body.
    Used for the vendor's first attempt at the London-to-Brighton Run in 2000, the Wolseley only managed to get to Crawley having stopped many times, mostly due to fuel starvation. A comprehensive overhaul of the fuel system was then undertaken (new tank, new fuel lines, etc).

    Next to go was the rudimentary New Zealand-built body. Following a year's research, a completely new body was made, copied from the Wolseley in the Gaydon motor museum. The Wolseley's present body is thus completely authentic in appearance and is the same colour as when the car was new in 1903. Photographs of the body undergoing construction are on file.

    It was then discovered some of the gears had teeth missing, preventing them from engaging correctly. A complete new set of gears was made and fitted. (The old gears are available and may be used as patterns or possibly repaired.) The next problem found was that when the car was loaded (i.e. with four people), the handbrake (which is the main brake) was almost ineffective. A new brake design was implemented - almost identical to the original - and is said to work very well. It was now time to research the carburettor, which took almost two years, as many other Wolseleys had to be located and permission sought to copy their carburettors. A Mechanical Engineer then prepared a set of drawings, and Paul of Dula Engineering made a new Wolseley carburettor (at a considerable cost). The vendor advises us that this has greatly improved the car's performance and that it now runs very well. New pistons were installed and a trip to Brighton without a breakdown was almost guaranteed! However, it was discovered that in bad weather the distributor would take in water, necessitating the installation of a new distributor, which looks exactly like the original and works very well, emitting a visible spark to indicate that the tremblers are doing their job.
    On one Pioneer Run in Ireland, a serious front wheel wobble manifested itself, which was sorted out by Nigel Parrott at N P Veteran Engineering where the car was also treated to a major service. The track rods can now be adjusted to prevent any further wobbling. Details of the research carried out; modifications made; and new components fitted may be found within the substantial history file. Offered with an entry into the 2021 London to Brighton Veteran Car Run, the car also comes with a (copy) Wolseley handbook; two spare tyres (815x105); and the original distributor.

    'DO 54' has been used almost every year since 2000 and has successfully completed 17 London-to-Brighton Runs as well as numerous 'Creepy Crawly' events and Pioneer Runs in Ireland. In the vendor's own words: "I have carried out several improvements to make this car a reliable Brighton runner. Providing you get to know it and drive with care and attention, you will be assured of getting to the finish line, hopefully by 12pm!
Contacts
1903 Wolseley 10HP Twin-Cylinder Four-Seat Rear-Entrance Tonneau  Chassis no. 510
1903 Wolseley 10HP Twin-Cylinder Four-Seat Rear-Entrance Tonneau  Chassis no. 510
1903 Wolseley 10HP Twin-Cylinder Four-Seat Rear-Entrance Tonneau  Chassis no. 510
1903 Wolseley 10HP Twin-Cylinder Four-Seat Rear-Entrance Tonneau  Chassis no. 510
1903 Wolseley 10HP Twin-Cylinder Four-Seat Rear-Entrance Tonneau  Chassis no. 510
1903 Wolseley 10HP Twin-Cylinder Four-Seat Rear-Entrance Tonneau  Chassis no. 510
1903 Wolseley 10HP Twin-Cylinder Four-Seat Rear-Entrance Tonneau  Chassis no. 510
1903 Wolseley 10HP Twin-Cylinder Four-Seat Rear-Entrance Tonneau  Chassis no. 510
1903 Wolseley 10HP Twin-Cylinder Four-Seat Rear-Entrance Tonneau  Chassis no. 510
1903 Wolseley 10HP Twin-Cylinder Four-Seat Rear-Entrance Tonneau  Chassis no. 510
1903 Wolseley 10HP Twin-Cylinder Four-Seat Rear-Entrance Tonneau  Chassis no. 510
1903 Wolseley 10HP Twin-Cylinder Four-Seat Rear-Entrance Tonneau  Chassis no. 510
1903 Wolseley 10HP Twin-Cylinder Four-Seat Rear-Entrance Tonneau  Chassis no. 510
1903 Wolseley 10HP Twin-Cylinder Four-Seat Rear-Entrance Tonneau  Chassis no. 510
1903 Wolseley 10HP Twin-Cylinder Four-Seat Rear-Entrance Tonneau  Chassis no. 510
1903 Wolseley 10HP Twin-Cylinder Four-Seat Rear-Entrance Tonneau  Chassis no. 510
1903 Wolseley 10HP Twin-Cylinder Four-Seat Rear-Entrance Tonneau  Chassis no. 510
1903 Wolseley 10HP Twin-Cylinder Four-Seat Rear-Entrance Tonneau  Chassis no. 510
1903 Wolseley 10HP Twin-Cylinder Four-Seat Rear-Entrance Tonneau  Chassis no. 510
1903 Wolseley 10HP Twin-Cylinder Four-Seat Rear-Entrance Tonneau  Chassis no. 510
1903 Wolseley 10HP Twin-Cylinder Four-Seat Rear-Entrance Tonneau  Chassis no. 510
1903 Wolseley 10HP Twin-Cylinder Four-Seat Rear-Entrance Tonneau  Chassis no. 510
1903 Wolseley 10HP Twin-Cylinder Four-Seat Rear-Entrance Tonneau  Chassis no. 510
1903 Wolseley 10HP Twin-Cylinder Four-Seat Rear-Entrance Tonneau  Chassis no. 510
1903 Wolseley 10HP Twin-Cylinder Four-Seat Rear-Entrance Tonneau  Chassis no. 510
1903 Wolseley 10HP Twin-Cylinder Four-Seat Rear-Entrance Tonneau  Chassis no. 510
1903 Wolseley 10HP Twin-Cylinder Four-Seat Rear-Entrance Tonneau  Chassis no. 510
1903 Wolseley 10HP Twin-Cylinder Four-Seat Rear-Entrance Tonneau  Chassis no. 510
1903 Wolseley 10HP Twin-Cylinder Four-Seat Rear-Entrance Tonneau  Chassis no. 510
1903 Wolseley 10HP Twin-Cylinder Four-Seat Rear-Entrance Tonneau  Chassis no. 510
1903 Wolseley 10HP Twin-Cylinder Four-Seat Rear-Entrance Tonneau  Chassis no. 510
1903 Wolseley 10HP Twin-Cylinder Four-Seat Rear-Entrance Tonneau  Chassis no. 510
1903 Wolseley 10HP Twin-Cylinder Four-Seat Rear-Entrance Tonneau  Chassis no. 510
1903 Wolseley 10HP Twin-Cylinder Four-Seat Rear-Entrance Tonneau  Chassis no. 510
1903 Wolseley 10HP Twin-Cylinder Four-Seat Rear-Entrance Tonneau  Chassis no. 510
1903 Wolseley 10HP Twin-Cylinder Four-Seat Rear-Entrance Tonneau  Chassis no. 510
1903 Wolseley 10HP Twin-Cylinder Four-Seat Rear-Entrance Tonneau  Chassis no. 510
1903 Wolseley 10HP Twin-Cylinder Four-Seat Rear-Entrance Tonneau  Chassis no. 510
1903 Wolseley 10HP Twin-Cylinder Four-Seat Rear-Entrance Tonneau  Chassis no. 510
1903 Wolseley 10HP Twin-Cylinder Four-Seat Rear-Entrance Tonneau  Chassis no. 510
1903 Wolseley 10HP Twin-Cylinder Four-Seat Rear-Entrance Tonneau  Chassis no. 510
1903 Wolseley 10HP Twin-Cylinder Four-Seat Rear-Entrance Tonneau  Chassis no. 510
1903 Wolseley 10HP Twin-Cylinder Four-Seat Rear-Entrance Tonneau  Chassis no. 510
1903 Wolseley 10HP Twin-Cylinder Four-Seat Rear-Entrance Tonneau  Chassis no. 510
1903 Wolseley 10HP Twin-Cylinder Four-Seat Rear-Entrance Tonneau  Chassis no. 510
1903 Wolseley 10HP Twin-Cylinder Four-Seat Rear-Entrance Tonneau  Chassis no. 510
1903 Wolseley 10HP Twin-Cylinder Four-Seat Rear-Entrance Tonneau  Chassis no. 510
1903 Wolseley 10HP Twin-Cylinder Four-Seat Rear-Entrance Tonneau  Chassis no. 510
1903 Wolseley 10HP Twin-Cylinder Four-Seat Rear-Entrance Tonneau  Chassis no. 510
1903 Wolseley 10HP Twin-Cylinder Four-Seat Rear-Entrance Tonneau  Chassis no. 510
1903 Wolseley 10HP Twin-Cylinder Four-Seat Rear-Entrance Tonneau  Chassis no. 510
1903 Wolseley 10HP Twin-Cylinder Four-Seat Rear-Entrance Tonneau  Chassis no. 510
1903 Wolseley 10HP Twin-Cylinder Four-Seat Rear-Entrance Tonneau  Chassis no. 510
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