MOTOR : 4 cylinder in line ("B" engine)
BORE : 76.2 x 88.9 mm
COMPRESSION : 8,3 : 1
61 HP at 4600 tp/m
TOP SPEED: 130 km/h
BRAKES : Drumbrakes front and rear
CARBURATION : single SU carboratour
And the virus persists……
At the end of 2003, an unusual car caught my eye at Upper Classics, a Wolseley 16/60, from April 1967. This car was brought in from New Zealand , where Maarten (the owner of Upper Classics) owns a company which performs restorations (refer to “Upper Classics” at the links page). There the car had been bought from, presumably, the first owner, Mr. Peter GRIGSBY, 97 Middleton Road , Christchurch 8001. The car was in splendid and absolute original condition and never had there been restoration performed on it. It wasn't a roadster, but an exceptional car nevertheless which can hardly be found in this condition…My wife immediately fell in love with it…
Somebody had already token an option on the car, so I had to be patient and hope for the best. Lady luck was on my side though, the potential buyer didn't react before the end of an agreed ultimatum which was set by both parties involved…We made it a quick deal…The (original) paint is fine, apart from some very minor spots, but hey, I don't mind. The carpeting and (leather) chair seats are truly mint and unspoiled. So is the dashboard, the radio and it's even got an original drivers manual with it, as well as a bill on the little electrical clock (Smiths). The car has only run 29.000 miles. The engine is similar to that of an MGB and it's still even got the stickers on it at the right spots! Difference is, that the engine of the Wolseley only has an SU carburetor. The engine runs perfectly and the car steers (some understear) and brakes absolutely splendid. The gearbox transmission is perfectly smooth (which is rarely seen with an MGB) and it's even got a pulling hook!!!
|the original NZ license
engine nr 17245
Philips carradio (works fine)
Need I say more? Truly wonderful isn't it?
As the Wolseley drove wonderfully, I drove it to Martien. He had already advised me to buy it might I be given the opportunity, taking into account the state it was in…After another thorough inspection because of the following import- and plate check at the RDW, it appeared not much had to be done about it…Only new reflectors, headlights and side mirrors were attached (we used Jaguar models), as they weren't obligatory in New Zealand. Furthermore we replaced the flexible brake hosts and a oil seal at the rear axle at one of the rear wheels. This appeared to leak oil from the rear axle onto the brake shoes. Everything else was in tiptop shape. The RDW had everything checked on the 18 th of September 2003 , and of course it passed the tests without a problem, a few RDW employees were even called by their colleagues to come check out the splendid shape of this remarkable vehicle!!! Their admiration and compliments made me grow a few feet taller! The license plate's number was immediately set at AL-55-81.
Meanwhile I gathered the necessary info at the Wolseley Club. Through information provided by Mr. van Essen, I was told that the Wolseley had almost certainly been built in Australia , as British Leyland also has a factory down there. There is a slight possibility that it was built in South Africa, from where deliveries were made to Australia and New Zealand, but that only has concerned a few hundred cars…This possibly explains why BL Heritage in Gaydon couldn't figure it's originating. In Australia also 6 cylinder versions of the Wolseley were built, named the Wolseley 24/80. It's got the well known MGB motor block, but then in a 6 cylinder version. The Austin Cambridge was called Austin Freeway in the 6 cylinder version. The Wolseley 16/60 experiences heavy understear, which is enlarged by the heavier 6 cylinder. The front axle was moved forward 1 inch, and the rear axle was moved backward 1 inch. In Europe there never has been a 6 cylinder A60. There has been a Wolseley 6/110-Austin Westminster -Vandenplas.
When talking about the pioneers in British motor industry, one probably doesn't immediately come up with Wolseley. Though Wolseley has made their first car in 1896. In 1927 the independent Wolseley company was taken over by Morris and therefore became part of the British Motor Company (BMC) in 1952. In 1958 BMC adopted a design made by the Italian designer Farina. This design was used as a model for a whole line of successful middle-class saloons, made in the original Farina traditions. This car was, as usual back then, issued by BMC in an Austin , Morris, MG, Riley and Wolseley type. With this BMC acted with a policy that to this day is still in use worldwide: the best example therefore is the German V.A.G. company (Volkswagen, Audi, Seat, Skoda, Bugatti and some other more ‘obscure' British brands) and they aren't the only ones.
A couple, friends of my daughter, named Ed and Elke, got married, and I was delighted when they asked me if I wanted to drive the newly weds in the Wolseley. It didn't take me a long time to reply to their request. Another sign of approval on the state of the Wolseley……..