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Lot 3036

3036: 1921 WOLSELEY 10HP '200 MILE' RACER EVOCATION

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Description

By the end of World War 1, Wolseley had progressed from the licensed manufacture to the design of aero engines. Having become a devotee of the overhead camshaft in the process, it sought to apply this cutting edge technology to a production car. Introduced in February 1921, the resultant Wolseley 10hp was based around a ladder-frame chassis equipped with all-round quarter-elliptic leaf-sprung suspension and rear-wheel drum brakes. Powered by a 1261cc SOHC four-cylinder engine allied to a three-speed transaxle, the newcomer delivered respectable rather than class-leading performance (much to the contemporary motoring press's disappointment). Eager to demonstrate the model's potential, Wolseley set about modifying a 10hp for Captain A.G. Miller to campaign at Brooklands. Christened 'The Moth', the resultant machine boasted a tuned engine, taller back axle ratio and polished aluminium bodywork (the latter reputedly being developed in the Vickers' wind tunnel). After an inauspicious debut when it was rammed by a Bugatti Brescia, the streamlined single-seater returned to the Surrey circuit in November 1921 and took eleven new Light Car records including averaging 82.82mph for four hours. Unsurprisingly, Wolseley released a 10hp Brooklands Speed Model shortly afterwards; one of which was bought by future 'Bentley Boy' Woolf Barnato and bodied in a similar fashion to 'The Moth'. Unimaginatively known as 'Moth II', it did more circuit racing than record breaking scoring three firsts, four seconds and three thirds between 1923 and 1925. No doubt impressed by the 'Moth' cars' antics, Captain George Newman chose a Wolseley 10hp as the basis of his entry for the October 1923 Junior Car Club 200 Miles race. Built to JCC regulations, his racer featured a prominent radiator cowl, wind-cheating front axle cover and staggered seating. Pitted against larger-engined Alvis, Aston Martin and Bugatti opposition (amongst others), Newman nevertheless managed to take tenth place overall. Though, his '200 Mile' Wolseley also enjoyed a fair degree of success at various Short Handicap meetings. Constructed on an original 1921 Wolseley 10hp rolling chassis, this recreation of George Newman's '200 Mile Race' car is said to have been crafted in exquisite detail" with "non-standard parts being faithfully manufactured from existing drawings". The work of highly respected artisan Phil Kneller, its polished aluminium bodywork has been beautifully wrought. Reportedly "well received by the Vintage Sports Car Club", 'CJ 4328' is further understood to have "appeared in the Club's Bulletin on several occasions". Riding on wire wheels, it is anticipated that this magnificent Wolseley will possess a fresh MOT certificate and current historic class (free) road tax disc by the time of sale."

Estimate £24,000 – £26,000
Starting Bid £12,000
live auction started on
Uk Auction
5:00 AM - Apr 16, 2008
Ended
Auctioneer
H&H Sales Limited

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