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The Wolseley Hornet Special was launched in 1930 and soon after various coachbuilders were fitting lightweight bodies to the comparatively small rolling chassis. The Wolseley Hornet was equipped with an advanced 1271 cc, six cylinder OHC engine and at launch was the smallest capacity six cylinder car on the British market. We are informed factory models sold very well but the motoring public wanted to see a Hornet sports car. The coachbuilders were keen to meet demands and by February 1931 at least ten coachbuilding companies were producing Hornet Specials in various body styles. During the early 1930's the Wolseley Hornet was often seen on the competition scene in circuit racing events including Brooklands. There were also a high number taking part successfully in distance trials.
This beautifully presented car has the Eustace Watkins Sportsman Coupe body and had been with the same owner for eight years prior to 2013. The Wolseley was purchased by this owner in 2005 in partly restored condition. Early restoration work was carried out by a Vintage and Sports car Specialist in Chard and the second stage of restoration work carried out by a Wolseley Hornet specialist. In total over £30,000 has been spent on the car and major work included a new ash frame and aluminium body, the doors, wings and bonnet being original metal work. The car has had extensive mechanical work to include an engine rebuild and all running gear to include the gearbox stripped down and checked. Throughout the long term restoration; the Wolseley has been fully re-commissioned and as a result the engine, gearbox, steering, suspension and braking system are all in excellent order. BPB 826 has had a new wiring loom and the interior has been treated to a new headlining, re-furbished wood trim, re-furbished dashboard, re-furbished instruments, new carpets and leather trim. Chrome work has been renewed, wheels re-furbished and new windows and rubber trims and seals fitted.
After restoration the first event the car was taken too was the Wolseley Hornet Special Club Annual rally in 2006. In subsequent years the car has won concourse prizes at the Wolseley Hornet Special Club and Wolseley Register events, including Overall concourse winner. The Wolseley had covered over 2000 miles since rebuild and came to us in August 2013 in exceptional mechanical condition. We sold the car quickly to a regular customer in Scotland and several hundred faultless miles have been covered since. The Wolseley has now come back to us in part exchange against an older pre-war Saloon.
The Wolseley is first class to drive with a fantastic rebuilt engine holding very good oil pressure. The gearbox is excellent with remarkably smooth gear changes and the overall performance is impressive. Our Hornet Special has a fabulous, sporty feel and is absolutely perfect for classic rallies, trials and long distance touring.
BPB 826 comes with a comprehensive history file that details the full history of the car. Pages of notes accompany a photographic record of the restoration, invoices, previous MOT's, Club correspondence, Hornet articles and even photographs of the car attending events in the 1960's. This is a fabulous find and is an incredibly rare car that has had a no expense spared restoration.