1932 Wolseley Hornet Special 12

Today’s car is a 1932 Wolseley Hornet Special 12, 2-4 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.

Wolseley Hornets were built between 1930 and 1932, with a total 0f 31,686  Hornets produced, of which only 2,307 were Hornet Specials. It had a published top speed of 80 mph. The MSRP was £225 British Pounds which converts to $825.00 in a 1932 US currency equivalent. This is a great example of a prewar car that has been properly restored. What a great car to take to a British car show, Cars & Coffee events, or just fun driving it on the weekends and getting plenty of attention. Thanks for riding along. Frank

Frank Nesta Written by: