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Homepage. This page: Buying a pre-war Wolseley Fourteen for the princely sum of 12 in the 1950s.

A 12 Wolseley motor-car.

Thanks again to Robert for putting finger to keyboard and sending over this latest batch of motoring memories. In this instalment, he recalls a pre-war Wolseley that he purchased for 12, and its replacement, an 8hp Ford. Over to Robert ...
Pre-war Wolseley car photos
The Wolseley Fourteen photos page features cars similar to Robert's.

1930s Wolseley saloon.

One day circa 1959, following on after the three-wheeled Morgan, I noticed the gentleman across the road from us, and whose car we had done some minor repairs to previously, had a "For Sale" notice on it. It was a Wolseley from 1936, 6 cylinder and painted black, possibly a 14-56, so after informing my father we went across and spoke to him about it. "It's running a bit rough so I am getting rid of it" he said. I noticed that it still had some tax on it, so after parting with 12 we became the new shared owners. After putting it in our drive [part of a field] I took a look at why the engine sounded a bit sick. The first thing was remembering something my dad had told me about S.U. carbs, so I checked the oil in the dashpots. One was empty! This was quickly re-filled and the engine re-started sweet as a nut!
After insuring it I stuck some "L" plates on it and that weekend we went out for a spin with myself driving. We didn't go far and all seemed well, I must admit it felt like a Rolls after my Morgan, and as we both worked on my uncle's farm at that time we used it for work, but soon noticed that it drank petrol at a fair rate. One day both front wheels started to shake from side to side, "steering shimmy " said dad and he added "stop the car and start again". Sure enough this cured it for now, I found out later it was caused by a worn steering box. After taxing it for 6mths we carried on using it, but every now and again this fault would show up so we started to look for another car.

Along comes a Ford Model Y.

After several weeks another uncle told us of a neighbour's old car. We went and had a look, it was only about 3mls from our house so we didn't have to go far for another car! This was a 1936 Ford Y model saloon, again in black - cor! The battery was flat but the owner agreed to charge it up so we could hear the engine. The next evening we went down and after a few swings on the handle it started and sounded ok, so dad said drive the Wolseley home and I will follow. After about 1/2 mile the Wolseley ran out of petrol so dad drove up to the farm and purchased a gallon [the farm had its own pump] and we soon had it running and got home ok.
After a check-over of the Ford we put the Wolseley up for sale, so I cleaned it and thought I had better do something about the driver's door as it would not shut properly. The hinges had worn so I disconnected the leather check strap from the door, and folded it so when shutting the door the strap was trapped between the door and the centre post, this forced the door up and it shut perfectly. We soon sold it for 25, the insurance was told about the new car and as those days as long as they knew what car you had, it was not necessary to keep changing the cover note. This car I quite liked, it was more easy on the petrol as well and never gave any trouble. When the M.O.T. came into force in 1960, apart from having to change the clevis pins on the brake rods, it sailed through the Test. My dad carried on using it when I went into the Army on April 21st 1960, which is the next episode in this story.
Visit the motoring memories pages at oldclassiccar for more automobile-related stories like this, including more from Robert describing other old cars he's owned.

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