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Homepage. This page: What did the future hold for this Wolseley - restoration, or to be broken for parts?.

Case No.2
Make: Wolseley
Model: 15/50
Year: 1957

Sold on: eBay
Category: Classic Cars
Wolseley 15/50 project car
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Project description.

Here's a perfect example of the type of car that suits this section of the site - ie it's essentially complete, it's interesting, and could still be restored - but only if caught soon, before the rot gets any worse and renders it fit for parts only. The Wolseley 4/44 and 15/50, and their similar-looking stablemates the ZA and ZB Magnettes, have long been favourites of mine, and I very nearly bought a ZA maybe ten or so years back.
With an indicated mileage of only 60k miles or so, there's a good chance that this 15/50 is in reasonable mechanical condition, and with parts being fairly straightforward to find for these 1489cc B-Series powered cars (the previous 4/44 had the XPAW unit), then sorting the oily bits should (!) be the least of a potential restorer's headaches.Unfortunately the current owner isn't able to open the bonnet or the bootlid, so the presence of all the underbonnet components cannot be confirmed, but with diligence it shouldn't be impossible to locate any parts that may have vanished over the years.
Of more concern is the coachwork, a monocoque (chassis-less) design. Looking at the photographs, while it's un-deniably scruffy, I've definitely seen (and owned) cars in much worse fettle, and fortunately it hasn't suffered the all-too-typical disaster of someone start a "restoration", only for them to give up half-way, leaving a dismantled car and a mountain of loose, space-consuming, parts. Equally it doesn't appeared to have suffered at the hands of the amateur welder, tacking on repair panels on top of rusted sills, door bottoms and the rest. That isn't to say that the floors aren't a frilly patchwork of MOT-plated badness, but at least any repairs - of good or bad quality - have been undertaken during the car's working life, rather than during a bodged or un-finished restoration attempt in recent times. This means that any corrosion should be quick and easy to spot, rather than hidden behind recently-applied "repairs".
The seller is up front about the welding work that he thinks will be required, and it's no surprise to read that the floors and sills, plus the lower edges of the (bolt-on) wings and doors will all need surgery. It'd be worth researching the availability of repair panels, and the possible option of interchangeability with other BMC models - while not everything can be swapped, there are some panels on the ZA and ZB Magnettes that can be used if necessary. The front valance behind the bumper looks a touch dog-eared, so might be a problem to replace - fabricating a new one - or at the very least doing a good job of repairing the existing panel - will be something that'll need looking into.
The rust-speckled paintwork probably makes the car look worse than it actually is. Look beyond the frilly lower edges, and in fact the Wolseley's panelwork doesn't look that bad, even allowing for the fact that photos tend to make project cars look better than they are. The advantage of restoring say a 1950's saloon over one from the 1960's or 1970's, is that thicker steel tended to be used, so where rot has taken hold, its progress throughout the structure of the car is much slower, and makes for easier welded repairs in general. The chrome work is looking shabby, but could probably be re-chromed at a cost, or else replaced with better parts perhaps sourced through a relevant owners' club, at autojumbles, or online. Saying that, the radiator surround might just need a good scrub up. Overall though seeing it parked on level ground, it sits quite nicely and as a project, would be well worth pursuing if someone out there has the time to take it on.
As with the Armstrong Siddeley also featured in this section, the condition of the interior is as important - if not more so - than the plight of the panelwork. Again, all the important parts seem to be present and correct. The woodwork I'm sure could be spruced-up at home, and while it has dried out and split in places, the interior could also be salvageable - it'd never be a concours contender without an expensive re-trim, but with care it could look just right in a car of this age.
With the car in the low 400s as I type, it looks like an eminently viable project, even allowing for how much work is required. Hopefully it won't be banger raced. It's a shame that a number-plate robber has stripped it of its identity at some point in the past, a fate of so many old cars, but it is at least on a current V5C which is something. If the price rises considerably then viewing it before having a bid would be the best bet, but at the current bid level, it's a pretty low-risk purchase. I'd love one of these, but sadly taking on a project car isn't something I could entertain, hopefully it'll find a caring new home where the necessary restoration work will be undertaken, before its condition is allowed to slip any further. If anyone reading this saves it, please let me know how the rebuild goes!
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