Tag Archives: Wolseley

Queens Abbott – Ford Zephyr 6 Abbott Estate

Former Wolseley designer Edward Dixon Abbott turned his attention to coach building after taking over Page and Hunt based in Farnham in 1929. His company Abbott’s of Farnham building bespoke for a range of manufacturers chassis including Bentley, Bristol, Frazer Nash, Healey, Lagonda, Rolls Royce, Sunbeam Talbot and even a one off Ferrari 212 Export, but it is Abbott’s bodies on Ford estate cars, after the ’39-’45 war, which were probably the most accessible.

In 1956 Ford launched the Mk II Consul, Zephyr and Zodiac models which became known as the 3 Graces.

Ford Zephyr 6 Abbott Estate, Goodwood Festival of Speed,

The same year Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II took delivery of today’s featured one off Zephyr 6 wagon, which I believe was converted by Abbott’s.

The vehicle with an extra tall roof unusually seats nine and was primarily used for ferrying guests and their luggage around the Queens holiday residence the Sandringham Estate not far from The Royal Stud.

Notice how the wiper blades are set up to give the passenger the best view of the road ahead in inclement weather, I wondered if that was because HRH preferred to let Prince Philip drive, however it seems this odd feature was carried over from the Mk I Ford Consul, Zephyr and Zodiac models to all of the Mk II Consul, Zephyr and Zodiac variants.

Thanks for joining me on this “Queen’s Abbott” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Classics @ Autumn Classic – Castle Combe

Today’s post looks at some of the non combatants seen at Castle Combe’s Autumn Classic meeting a couple of weeks ago.

Wolseley Hornet, Crayford, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe,

The story behind the 57 1966 Wolseley Hornet Crayford convertibles has all the makings of a great movie seeing as it involves a global baked bean brand, an exclusive deal with a company operating out of two private garages in London and a nudist colony, the rest of the details will have to wait for a future blog.

FIAT 850 Coupé, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

At my very first race meeting out in Zambia one of the more unlikely competitors drove a FIAT 850 Coupé like the 1969 example above on the Bristol Pegasus Motor Club stand.

Aston Martin DB Mk III FHC, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

The 1959 Aston Martin Fixed Head Coupé with a Tickford notch body is an extremely rare vehicle, only five were ever built.

Daimler Dart SP 250, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

If I had any spare cash I’d be seriously tempted to buy this 1963 Daimler SP250 which has just 38,000 miles on the clock, if you would like to become it’s fifth owner I have the contact details of the vendor.

Humber Sceptre Estate, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

Slightly out of period was this 1976 Humber Sceptre based on a design first seen in 1967. The Sceptre Estate first seen in 1974 was one of the earliest UK station wagons to feature a light in the loading area and a rear screen wiper, the Humber name disappeared under Chrysler UK’s post 1976 branding strategy.

Bristol 450, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

One car I have been waiting see first hand for some time is the sole remaining Bristol 450 belonging to Simon Draper, I believe this car finished 7th over all and first in the 2 litre class at the 1955 Le Mans 24 Hours. The prize money from the teams success was donated to victims of the 1955 Le Mans disaster after the team withdrew from the sport having scored two consecutive Le Mans class victories.

Triumph Dolomite, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

A nice quiz question what is the connection between all of the vehicles in this photograph ? Answer Donald Healey who was responsible for the Austin Healey’s in the back ground and the Hudson Terraplane inspired 1937 Triumph Dolomite Saloon in the foreground.

Lotus IX, Mike Marsden, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

Former Concorde wind tunnel engineer and Historic Lotus Register Lotus Mk IX registrar Mike Marsden is seen above in his 1955 Lotus Mk IX which he has owned since 1967.

Morris Mini Cooper S, Dave Foster, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

Dave Foster is seen coming into the pits above in his immaculate 1965 Morris Mini Cooper S which he has driven in competition for the last decade clocking up 10,000 competition miles.

Horstman 4 Seater, Trevor Turpin, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

Until the Autumn Classic I’d never heard of a Horstman, it turns out they made nearly 3,000 vehicles just down the road in Bath between 1915 and 1929. These days Horstman, which patented a torsion bar suspension system for tracked military vehicles in 1922, continues to specialise in suspensions for military vehicles. The 1923 Horstman above is believed to have belonged to the companies founder Sidney Horstmann OBE.

FIAT Isotta Fraschini, Mike Vardy, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

In 1905 FIAT drew up plans for a world land speed record car which was to have two in line four cylinder motors producing upto 200 hp. The car never got built but nearly 20 years ago Graham Rankin undertook to build the car anyway. 13 years later he sold the unfinished project complete with a WW1 surplus 250hp Isotta Fraschini 16.5 litre / 1014 cui 6 cylinder aero motor to Mike Vardy who spent another seven years completing the FIAT Isotta Fraschini. Mike appeared to have great fun hanging the tail out on some parts of the circuit during his demonstration.

White Whistling Billy, Robert Dyke, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

Finally last year I saw this recreation White Sprint Car at Race Retro, this year I finally got to see Dr Robert R. Dyke driving it at speed, only 60% of the boilers potential pressure was used but it still moved at an impressive speed given that it only has 2 x twelve inch brake drums on the rear axle.

Thanks for joining me on this “Classics @ Autumn Classic” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a limited edition Hemi Challenger. Don’t forget to come back now !


Bristol and South Gloucestershire Stationary Engine Club Rally Details – Coalpit Heath

A couple of weeks ago during the course of one of my Advanced Driving lessons I observed a hand written sign reading “Bristol and South Gloucestershire Stationary Engine Club Rally Coalpit Heath Today” and made a mental note to go and visit it once my lesson was over.

Jowett Javelin, Bristol and South Glos Stationary Engine Club Rally, Coalpit Heath

A the stationary engines in this case were all petrol driven if various sizes and used for powering farm equipment, generators and pumps. There was also a display of vehicles that included the 1.5 litre / 91.5 cui flat four powered 1951 Jowett Javelin above designed by Gerald Palmer who was also responsible for the design of the MG Y Type and ZA Magnatte.

Douglas, Bristol and South Glos Stationary Engine Club Rally, Coalpit Heath

Built just down the road in Kingswood Bristol was this 1924 Douglas motorcycle.

Fordson Major, Bristol and South Glos Stationary Engine Club Rally, Coalpit Heath

Regular readers may remember that pairs of Fordson Major tractors were used to build the amazing Doe Double Drive.

Hillman Aero Minx, Bristol and South Glos Stationary Engine Club Rally, Coalpit Heath

The cockpit above is that of a 1933 Hillman Aero Minx.

Ford Escort , Bristol and South Glos Stationary Engine Club Rally, Coalpit Heath

It’s a dawg’s life sitting in the boot / trunk of a 1972 Ford Escort.

Wolseley 16/60, Bristol and South Glos Stationary Engine Club Rally, Coalpit Heath

The Wolseley 15/60 was the first of a range of badge engineered mid sized British Motor Corporation models designed by Pinin Farina launched in December 1958. The 16/60 was the last of the Pinin Farina designed midsize models to go out of production in 1971, three years after the Austin, MG, Morris, and Riley variants had disappeared during rationalisation enforced by the newly merged British Leyland Motor Corporation.

Thanks for joining me on this “Bristol and South Gloucestershire Stationary Engine Club Rally Details” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again for Maserati Monday tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Autumn Classic – Castle Combe

Castle Combe Circuits second Autumn Classic closed the racing season at the Wiltshire circuit for the second year running a couple of weeks ago and it proved again proved a big hit with the spectators more of whom used the event to dress up 30’s to 50’s costume than I remember last year.

Ecurie Ecosse, Commer, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

After arriving I made my way to the paddock for a Big Boys Breakfast while the practice sessions were getting underway. Above the 1959 Ecurie Ecosse 2 stroke diesel powered Commer Transporter and many ex Ecurie Ecosse team cars, including the 1960 Cooper T49 Monaco, 1961 Sebring Austin Healey Sprite and the rear engined 1962 Tojeiro-Buick Coupé will all be coming up for auction at Bonhams in December.

Triumph Special, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

There were many interesting vehicles in the car park including this sports car about which I know nothing apart from the fact it said “Triumph” on the tax disc, if you know more please do not hesitate to chime on below.

Mods, Rockers & Cops, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

After practice and before racing commenced there were several demonstrations including the one seen above featuring a selection of “mods” on their scooters and “rockers” on their motorcycles with “rozers” in hot pursuit aboard a Wolseley and Triumph Herald squad cars.

Maserati 250F, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

Nick Mason’s Maserati 250F arrived a later than intended and sadly sans Nick, but it made a welcome appearance on the track, unfortunately the PA was a little weak at Old Paddock when I took this photo so I’m not sure who was at the wheel, if you know chime in below.

Aston Martin DB3, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

The Historic Aston Martins got the afternoons racing underway, Martin Hunt driving a Fraser Nash Le Mans Replica did well to lead from second on the grid for the opening lap but it was Chris Woodgate, seen above qualifying his Aston Martin DB3 #DB3/6 on pole in the early morning mist, who led from lap 2 until the finish, while Hunt fell back to finish an eventual fifth.

Norman Dewis Trophy, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

Grahame Bull and Anthony Reid locked out the front row for the Norman Dewis Trophy for Jaguars with the #12 E Type and #33 XK120 respectively. Reid made a great race of it taking the lead on lap 2 and then again from lap six to 18 until he was slowed by a puncture which left Bull with an unassailable lead.

Big Healey Challenge, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

The Big Healey’s provided the second biggest grid of the day and by far the fiercest competition which saw five competitors trying to go unsuccessfully line abreast into the Bobbies chicane at one point ! Above the #73 Chris Clarkson / Ted Williams, #16 Eric Wolley / Dan Cox and #98 Nils-Fredrick Nyblaeus / Jeremy Welch cars fight over blagging rights for the best entry line into Tower Corner. David Grace and Anders Schildt were declared the winners after Dan Cox driving the fastest car in the race went backwards into the barriers, without injury, at Tower.

VSCC Pre War Sports Cars, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

The rather more leisurely VSCC Pre War Sports Cars race was won by Frederic Wakeman from pole abourd his Fraser Nash Super Sports but only after past a fast starting HRG driven by Andrew Mitchel who led the opening three laps. The brothers Blakeney-Edwards provided the scrap of the race Simon in the #4 Fraser Nash Shelsey got the better of Patrick in the #3 Fraser Nash Owlet Saloon to home 3rd. The brothers are seen congratulating each other on their return to the pits.

FISCAR, 50's Inter Marque, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

Andrew Sharp, seen leading in his #45 Aston Martin DB2 a above, from third on the grid managed to lead every lap of The FISCAR 50’s Inter Marque, but only after he had managed to build up a big enough to make his compulsory pit stop 5 mins before the end of the race. Nike Thorn and Johnny Todd driving the #44 Austin Healey 100S did well to finish just 0.07 seconds behind Sharp, from second on the grid, on a thrilling closing lap.

Miller Oils Formula Junior, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

The biggest grid of the day was provided by the Miller Oils Formula Junior Championship competitors. Jack Woodhouse qualified on pole in his #84 Lotus 20/22 and won the close fought race by half a second from Peter Morton who started alongside him in the rare #75 Lightning Envoyette seen above on the opening lap.

50's Lightweight Sports Racing Cars, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

The final race of the day was for 50’s Lightweight Sports Racing Cars had eight entries of which just seven took the start. But it only takes two cars to make a race and Alex Quattlebaum proved it by taking the win from 4th on the grid in his #10 Leco MG after a race long battle with 2nd place starter Brian Arculus in his #17 Lotus IX. Brian might have won the race had he not switched his lights on which appeared to have an adverse effect on the smooth running of his motor. Alex is seen making his final pass on Brian 2 laps from home above.

And so the 2013 season of Motorsport that began with the sad loss of circuit saviour Howard Strawford, drew to a close at Castle Combe in Wiltshire, roll on 2014 !

Thanks for joining me on this Autumn Classic edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow for a look at a 1990 Thunderbird. Don’t forget to come back now !


VSCC University – VSCC Prescott Speed Hillclimb

Apologies to all for the absence of any blogs over the last week, unfortunately this was unavoidable after a moment of absent mindedness. Over the weekend I popped over to Prescott with regular GALPOT contributer Tim for the VSCC Speed Hillclimb.

Ceirano S, VSCC Prescott

As ever the days education started in the car park where among several manufacturers, brands and models I’d not heard of before was this 1925 Ceirano built in Turin by SCAT (Societa Ceirano Automobili Torino) some years after founder Giovanni Ceirano, a prime mover behind the formation of FIAT in 1903, had died. Ceirano cars are best known for winning back to back victories in the Mille Miglia in 1911 and 1912.

Vauxhall Prince Henry, VSCC Prescott

The paddock was of course equally full of unusual delights above the nose of a Roland Duce’s 1913 Vauxhall Prince Henry.

Lees, Vauxhall Viper Special, VSCC Prescott

Another 1913 Vauxhall was Tony Lees Vauxhall Viper Special powered by a 200hp, 12 litre/732 cui Wolseley Viper aircraft motor of the type more usually found in late versions of the Royal Aircraft Factory SE5a and Avro 522.

Scaldwell, GN/JAP Grand Prix, VSCC Prescott

Among the fastest ladies present was Anne Scaldwell driving the GN JAP Grand Prix which was featured on this blog a couple of years ago.

Collings, Mercedes Simplex 60 HP, VSCC Prescott

Another familiar car was Ben Collings 1903 Mercedes Simplex 60hp.

Martin, Morgan Special, VSCC Prescott

Displaying maximum attack skills on the hill, what ever the conditions, was Charlie Martin in the fabric bodied Morgan Special entered by CJ Maeers.

Cobden, Riley Falcon Special, VSCC Prescott

Robert Cobden seen above driving the Riley Falcon Special did well to keep his car on the road after executing an unintentional 180° spin coming out of the Pardon hairpin.

Hulbert, ERA 4D, VSCC Prescott

Fastest time of the day was keenly contested with Mac Hulbert taking the honours and The Mays-Berthon Trophy 0.36 seconds from James Baxter, both driving ERA’s. Mac is seen in the 1938 ERA R4D which appropriately enough way not only conceived by Raymond Mays and Peter Peter Berthon but also driven to many post war hill climb victories by Mays.

Grafton, VSCC Prescott

On the way back through the car park we stumbled across the JAP powered Grafton cycle car, the vehicle was built by Tim Gunn, seen on the left, of the Gunn Cyclecar Co in 2001 using a timber frame and an assortment of vintage parts.

Thanks for joining me on this “VSCC University” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow for Americana Thursday. Don’t forget to come back now !


Prick Up Your Ears – Wolseley 6/110 Mk II (ADO53)

The Wolseley 6/110 replaced the similarly Farina bodied 6/99 in 1961 externally the two models are identical except the 6/110 has a two inch longer wheel base while internally the gear selection mechanism, for the 3 speed gearbox, moved from the steering column to the floor.

Wolseley 6/110 Mk II, Bristol Classic Car Show, Shepton Mallet

The 2.9 litre / 177 cui C series straight six shared with the similarly bodied BMC Austin A110 Westminster and Van den Plas Princess 3-litre Mk II, Austin Healey 3000 and MG C was tuned to give 120hp.

Wolseley 6/110 Mk II, Bristol Classic Car Show, Shepton Mallet

In 1964 a MK II version of the 6/110 was introduced similar to the 1966 model seen here at last years, Bristol Classic Car Show at Shepton Mallet. The only external difference being the smaller 13″ wheels that carried wider tyres than it’s predecessor the Pinin Farina styled body work was left alone completely as it had been in 1961.

Wolseley 6/110 Mk II, Bristol Classic Car Show, Shepton Mallet

Internally the 6/110 Mk II featured telescopic dampers which replaced the previous lever arm units, thicker disc brakes, a new exhaust system and a 4 speed gearbox which could be fitted with an optional overdrive for more economical motoring at speed on Britain’s emerging motorway network.

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Like the Wolseley 6/80 I looked at a couple of weeks ago the 6/110 in Mk I and Mk II form was a popular choice of police car with both film makers and television producers the 6/110 Mk II’s film credits include The Mind of Mr. Soames (1970), Prick Up Your Ears (1987) and The Bank Job (2008).

Wolseley 6/110 Mk II, Bristol Classic Car Show, Shepton Mallet

13,301 Woseley 6/110 Mk II’s were manufactured between 1964 and 1968 when it was replaced in the British Leyland range by the Austin 3 litre (Land Lobster) whose sales were so far off target that Wolseley and Van den Plas variants never got beyond the prototype stage.

Thanks for joining me on this “Prick Up Your Ears” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me tomorrow for a trip to Marin Sanoma California. Don’t forget to come back now !

Ralph Colmar on Formula One – Homeboy Rosberg Runs the Tables at the Grand Prix of Monaco today at Motorsports Unplugged.


Palmers Parts Bin – Wolseley 4/44

After designing the MG Y Type the 1939 – 1945 hostilities saw Gerald Palmer engaged in war work that included designing medical equipment for the front line the development of a two stroke motor and the production of de Havilland Tiger Moth flying training aircraft.

Wolseley 4/44, Bristol Classic Car Show, Shepton Mallet,

After the war Palmer was employed by Jowett to design what became the Jowett Javelin and in 1949 Palmer rejoined the Nuffield Organisation to design the Wolseley 4/44, MG ZA, the replacement for the MG Y type, and the Riley Pathfinder all three of which shared unique combinations of parts from the Nuffield Organisations parts bins.

Wolseley 4/44, Bristol Classic Car Show, Shepton Mallet,

Of the three new models launched in 1953, now under the merged with Austin British Motor Corporation (BMC) banner the Wolseley 4/44 was the least powerful being fitted with a detuned 46 hp single carburettor 4 cylinder XPAG motor first seen seen on the MG TB Type Midget dating back to 1939 and on the TC, TD, and least powerful of the TF models.

Wolseley 4/44, Bristol Classic Car Show, Shepton Mallet,

Fitted with modern rack and pinion steering, snuggle friendly 4 speed column change gearboxes the up market pretensions of the car were reaffirmed by leather seats and walnut veneer trim.

Wolseley 4/44, Bristol Classic Car Show, Shepton Mallet,

With the absence of a motorway network the 4/44’s top speed of 73 mph was matched by a rest to 60 mph time of 29.9 seconds which might be described as adequate.

Wolseley 4/44, Bristol Classic Car Show, Shepton Mallet,

Note that indicators were by door post mounted semaphore with only left hand drive models having indicators built into the rear light clusters.

29,845 Wolseley 4/44’s were built between 1953 and 1956 when the model was replaced by the similar 15/50.

Thanks for joining me on this “Palmers Parts Bin” edition of “Gettin a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !