Classic Car Catalogue

Wolseley 1933

Hornet Special  
Sixteen - new model
21/60 - new model
Nine - new model in October

Great Britain

Motor Sport October 1932
Sports cars for 1933.

Wolseley Motor Co., Ward End Works, Birmingham.
Special : 6 cyl., 57 mm. x 83 mm., 1,271 c.c., 12 h.p.
This extremely successful small car is continued for 1933 with few alterations. The six-cylinder engine employs an over head camshaft driven by chain, two S.U. carburettors and coil ignition. Hardened cylinder liners and a new type of piston are standard for 1933. A flexible centre single plate clutch transmits the drive to a four speed and reverse gear box, thence through an open propellor shaft to a bevel driven back axle. The transmission has been strengthened throughout to deal with the extra power developed.
Semi-elliptic springs are fitted all round, with Luvax shock absorbers, and the hydraulic brakes operate on 12 inch drums. The track of the rear axle is now the same as that of the front, that is, 3ft. 9ins., allowing more room for the rear passengers or luggage without overhang.
The Hornet Special is only produced as a chassis, and will not appear on the Wolseley stand, but examples of the finished car will be exhibited by various coachbuilders.
Chassis Price, £175.
Wolseley offers Hornet 12 HP, Sixteen and 21/60 models. This is the first year for Wolseleys to have illuminated radiator badge.
Hornet, like all other models, has a six-cylinder engine with overhead camshaft. It has a cubic capacity of 1271 cc (57x83 mm). With Saloon bodywork it costs £198 10s. Wolseley Hornet Special is a twin-carburettor variant of the standard Hornet and is available only in chassis form, for £175. Its engine develops 40 bhp at 5000 rpm, compared with 35 at 4500 for the standard model. Both has 7 ft 6 ½ in wheelbase.
Wolseley 21/60 is available with two wheelbase sizes, 9 ft 9 in and 10 ft 7 in. Both has a 2677-cc six-cylinder OHC engine, rated at 20.93 HP. The four-speed gearbox has a lockable freewheel. Short chassis has hydraulic brakes and 5.50-18 tyres. The long-wheelbase chassis has vacuum-servo brakes and 6.00-20 tyres.


wb: 7 ft 6½ in 1271 cc
40 bhp
1271 cc
35 bhp
  Special Standard    


Hornet Special Saloon. Car shown features Trinity body by Meredith of Birmingham.
Motor Sport December 1932
In closed guise the Trinity Special is a good looking coupe.

OLYMPIA 1932 shows that the popularity of the closed car has suffered a distinct set-back in favour of the open car and the convertible coupe. One of the most ingenious designs we have seen is the Trinity Special, which as the name implies has three different body styles in one.
As a coupe, the Trinity follows normal lines and has a fabric head agreeably curved by means of coachwork panels in the rear, and a single wide door on either side, with winding windows.
To open up the car two catches are released and the rear panel swings back from the bottom, revealing a large boot. The top is released from the windscreen in the usual way, and the whole structure including the hood-sticks swings back into the boot. The rear panel is then lowered back into position. The whole operation takes less time than folding down and securing the hood of an open car, and the appearance of the car is enhanced by the absence of hood-sticks and other visible fittings.
The third stage, that of converting the four seater into a two seater, is equally simple, the back squab of the rear seat lifting into a horizontal position and fitting flush with the top line of the body. The back of the squab is a panel painted to match the rest of the body, and forms a flat deck behind the front seat.
The metamorphosis. The Trinity Special as an open four-seater is almost
unrecognisable as the same car.
The car is upholstered in furniture hide, with pneumatic seats, and the interior is well appointed. The glass windows can be raised when the top is lowered, so that one can enjoy the fresh air of a fine winter's day without the necessity of wearing enormous overcoats and scarves.
The body is at present available on the B.S.A. 9 h.p. costing £215, on the Hornet Special at £289 and will shortly be seen on the M.G. Midget and Magna chassis.
Trinity bodies can also be fitted to all the Riley range.
The makers' address is Meredith Coachcraft Ltd., 264, Broad Street, Birmingham.
Motor Sport February 1933
Motor SportNovember 1933

Hornet Special two-seater by Jensen.
Motor Sport April 1933
Motor Sport June 1933

Wolseley Corsica Hornet Special
Clean, racy lines distinguish the Corsica 2-seater Hornet Special.
BUILDING racing-car bodies is definitely an art on its own. The successful production must combine lightness with strength, a structure which is either strong everywhere or else flexes in the right places, according to the chassis on which it is mounted. Apart from this, owing to the unexpected troubles which occur in races, it is essential to be able to get at the transmission and other components which are discreetly hidden on the touring vehicle by immovable floorboard or seat casings.
The Corsica Company, of Grimaldi Street, London, N.1, have been engaged in this specialised craft for the past twelve years, some of their earliest products being the bodies on the 40-50 Delages which appeared at Brooklands in 1925. The Maseratis introduced into this country have all had Corsica bodies, as also many of those on Mercedes chassis. In addition all kinds of special bodies, light concealed head coupes and the like have been evolved in their workshops.
The Company has now come out with a range of bodies on Hornet Special chassis which reflect lessons in weight and accessibility learnt from racing practise. In actual fact a chassis was marked with chalk at parts requiring attention and designers continued their efforts until all points could be reached from above. By mounting the side members of the body outside and actually below the chassis side members, the centre of gravity has been brought extremely low. The most striking body is the two seater, finished in grey with red upholstery. The bonnet and front end of the body follow the lean lines imposed by the usual Hornet Special radiator and bonnet. The scuttle forms at the rear two wind-deflecting cowls, and the single piece windscreen has a rubber strip in its rear edge so arranged that the greater the wind pressure the more firmly it seals the gap, so that there is no chance of rain getting through. An electric windscreen wiper is mounted in the middle and operates two wiper arms. It picks up its current through a spring contact pressing on an insulated bush on the scuttle, and so the screen may be removed for racing without disturbing the wiring.
Accessibility is one of the outstanding features of the Corsica 2-seater Hornet Special.
Two doors are fitted, and the sides of the body are cut away to allow full elbow room for possibly heavily clothed occupants. The sloping tail rounded behind the seats and tapering to the rear, with flat slopes on either side of the raised portion gives the rear of the car at once a sporting and a solid appearance and is a pleasant change from the more usual rear view of vertical petrol tank and wheel. The spare wheel is of course carried in the tail, and a large quick-opening petrol filler is situated on the near side.
Looking under the bonnet, the first interesting point is the way in which the wiring at the back of the dashboard can be reached by swinging forward hinged flaps. The space under the scuttle is reserved for tools, and there is room for fitting a spare petrol and oil tanks if required. The usual gap at the bottom of the driving compartment is sealed by flaps which can be removed in summer to allow a cooling draft from the bonnet louvres.
The carpet is in several pieces, secured with spring fasteners and the floorboards, which are secured by carriage locks, lift up to give access to the battery, gear-box filler and other parts requiring attention. One can also observe the manner in which the body frame carried outside and below the chassis, with a thick layer of felt to seal the gap between them. A fire extinguisher is carried in a frame under the scuttle.
The most interesting part of the whole car is the tail, which hinges on a cross member at the rear of the frame and swings back past the vertical allowing the tank and back axle to be inspected with the greatest of ease. The hood is carried on a detachable frame which fits into special sockets in the tail when not in use, and is strapped in place to prevent rattle.
The back and front wings are easily removed by slackening three nuts on each, and the rear end of the body comes off in sections to facilitate attention to the back axle.
By reason of its low slung and solid construction, the Corsica two-seater has almost the stiffness of a racing car, and can be taken round sharp corners with the tyres screaming without any feeling of whip or roll.
Corsica 4-seater coupe Wolseley Hornet Special
The Corsica 4-seater coupe Hornet Special can be quickly converted into an open car.
The driving position is comfortable, with ample leg room with the seats right back, and the sides of the body are cut away to allow freedom at the wheel. The instruments are mounted so as to be readily seen, and the starter button is mounted alongside them.
The car complete weighs under 15½ cwt., and with its clean lines and the proven liveliness of the Hornet chassis, should give an excellent account of itself in trials and competition. It costs £275.
The short four-seater follows more conventional lines, but embodies the features of low hung body frame and accessibility of all parts. The seats are comfortable, fitted with pneumatic upholstery and the front ones slide on Leverall fittings to facilitate getting in and out of the car. The hood drops on to a ledge around the back of the car and the hood sticks are held steady by springs. It is easily folded and a hood-bag stiffened by light metal plates completes the trim appearance of the back of the car.
For all-weather use, especially for a professional man, one could hardly imagine a better body than the four-seater coupe. The head is spring-loaded so that it can be raised or lowered with one hand, and the fabric portion drops neatly into a recess behind the back seat without any elaborate packing. With the hood cover in position, the folded head occupies no more bulk than an equivalent hood on an open car, in spite of its lining and padding. As on the other models, the leather and upholstery generally is of a high order and makes the Corsica models small cars de luxe.
The four-seater and the drop-head coupe weigh respectively 16 and 16½ cwts., comfortably under the chassis limit, and cost £275 and £297 10s.


    6 cyl. ohc
2677 cc
  9 ft 9 in        
  10 ft 7in        


21/60 Drophead Coupé on the short chassis.




After the tremendous success of the Hornet this new “Nine” is bound to be one of the cars that “one must see” at Olympia. Each year the Motor Show has one or two outstanding models which win special comment. Last year it was the Hornet; this year the special features, delightful line and wonderful performance will make the new Wolseley “Nine” also one of the “Show cars” of Olympia.



  Event: Entered: Raced: Finished: Best results:
21-25.01.1933 Rallye Monte Carlo 2   0 80 Hutchens / Blackwell   acc.
Motor SportApril 1933

The team of Wolseley Hornet Specials which recently won the 100 Miles Relay Race organised by the N.S.W. Light Car Club in Australia, on the Maronbra Speedway. The lap speed of each car was 71 m.p.h.