1935 Wolseley Hornet 14hp Spl (Available)
Chassis Number 526/163
Engine Number 522A-163
BLW680 was purchased by the vendor in ‘barn-weary’ condition, from Bonham’s 2007 Harrogate sale. The car was past it first flush of use. Looking at the abundance of hard copy photographs in the file it seemingly hadn’t been regularly used for quite sometime. The buff continuation logbook state that the previous owner took delivery in October 1961 so some 46 years continuing ownership.
The 14hp 1604cc model is the most sort after of all Wolseley Hornet’s the 1604cc six providing an unequaled crisp aural sound, along with appropriate performance. The more plentiful Hornet 12hp (1271cc) specials have noticeably less toque can rather disappoint when driven with gusto. The 14hp car like BLW680 has the required go along with the show, which most owners are looking for….
Once the vendor arrived home from Harrogate, with his new toy the hard work really started. It was evident at time of purchase that the original body was beyond useful life, and the ability to start with a clean sheet of paper was too good to miss. The wants list, was as follows: an attractive two seater sport with an attractive tail design not another boat tail, with covered storage for a couple of soft weekend bags. Well looking at the results I’d say job well done and all boxes ticked. The vendor being from the old school of Vintage motoring was able to make the ash body frame himself, I was then dispatched for skinning in aluminum by B Martin of Reading the original wings were retained and repaired where needed.
Whilst the body and chassis were in Reading the engine was fully stripped cleaned, re-board and white metaled. A new Phoenix crank and rods installed along with new sports profile cam-shaft obtained from Bayton-Jones engineering. A new set of 62.5mm Fletcher Jones pistons commissioned. The engine was then was then reassembled ready to be installed into the restored chassis. The Radiator was also restored with new core and re-plated, the rest of the bright work has also been re-plated along with the bespoke made windscreen. The 18 inch road wheels were also re-built with new spokes and powder coated. Both the axle where also restored with new kingpins and bushes, the rear axle also saw a new CWP fitted with associated bearings.
Since completion the car has been used sparingly in local vintage road events along with trips to VSCC Prescott, so is still relatively fresh from rebuild. I have had the pleasure of covering a road few miles along with completing a few “un-timed” runs up the Chateau Impney Hill Climb course. I can confirm that the oil pressure reads very strong as you would expect form a fresh engine, the Stainless steel exhaust pipe provides a delightful but not tedious sound track both on road and track.
All in all a very well executed Hornet Special with plenty of useful luggage ideal for a weekend away or a weeks tour of the northern France if you pack light, or why not try the Three Castles tour or the new Blue train rally.
To arrange to private viewing at our Chateau Impney facility please do get in touch. Viewing strictly by prior appointment.