1933 Wolseley Hornet Special

Last updated on September 14, 2023

Today’s car is a 1933 Wolseley Hornet Special 2 door 4 seater, owned by Robb Stewart. I photographed this car at Queen’s English Annual Car Show located at Woodley Park in Van Nuys, CA. It is finished in British Racing Green with a black leather interior, black convertible top, and tan boot. The Wolseley chassis were fitted with bodywork of various designs using outside coachbuilders. This example is a Eustace Watkins “Daytona” design, which they contracted with coach builders Whittingham & Mitchel to do the work. The visual trademark that differentiates this “Special” chassis from the standard models is the readily distinguishable radiator cap, it is in the form of a streamlined “H” with a superimposed “S”. The Hornet Special had many advanced features for its time, hydraulic brakes. 12 volt electrical system, 10 inch headlights, and an engine oil cooler. 

It is powered by a 47 hp, 1.271 liter, inline OHC 6 cylinder engine, with twin SU carburetors. It is mated to a 4-speed manual transmission with a 4.89:1 rear end axle ratio. Slowing this beauty down are Lockheed hydraulic 12″ drum brakes. The front and rear suspension is by half elliptical springs, controlled by Luvax hydraulic dampers.

The total 0f 2307 sanctions, or built, were produced with 150 built in 1933 and of them 27 are known to exist today. The MSRP was £275.00 in 1933 depending on the coach builder, that equivalent today is £25,180.00 or in US $ 31,505.00. It has a estimated top speed of 63 mph with a 0-60 mph time of 24 seconds. This is a beautiful example of an original restored car. What a great car to take to British car shows, Cars & Coffee events, or just cruising around town in style. Thank you for riding along. Frank

Photo courtesy Robb Stewart during restoration. Light wood new wood dark wood old wood.