Wolseley Hornet Special Club

Encouraging the use and the preservation of these Special cars

In late 1933 ready for 1934 season, Wolseley Motors announced a new Hornet Special chassis. It was an under slung arrangement of the rear axle, with a cross bracing design, which was expected to reduce some of the flexibility that had been experienced in the previous over slung chassis.

There were also more changes to the engine, mainly a new cross flow design cylinder head, still with twin carburettors, and a new block. The gearbox now incorporated synchromesh on 3rd to 4th gear and a free wheel arrangement, (which was only retained for 1934). The radiator design became more rakish and was characterised by a U shaped chrome embellishment, where the earlier cars only had a single strip. The bodies however had now put on a lot of weight, but with only a small increase in performance (45bhp). The Wolseley Hornet specials had become more touring cars than sports cars.

In 1935 Wolseley Motors installed the 14hp engine of 61.5 mm bore and 90mm stroke with a full 12 port cross flow head giving the engine 1604cc. The chassis remained basically the same as the 34 car but the free wheel had disappeared. The engine whilst still retaining the original 1" inch and 1/8th S.U was now up to 50bhp but the engine somewhat restricted them. These 1935 cars had yet another new radiator shell which was deeper to accommodate the taller radiator, and had reverted back to a single vertical chrome embellishment.

Throughout its life the Hornet Special has represented variety, value for money, and fun. By 1935 the car industry was beginning to hit troubled times again, and Sir William Morris decided to rationalise his car production. MG retained sports car production as by now the marque had built up a solid reputation in competition which aided their sales. The Wolseley Hornet Special disappeared, as did the O.H.C. engine Morris replaced the MG with an over head valve pushrod engine.

 Left: 1935 Eustace Watkins Daytona Four Seater. Note the deeper radiator with single vertical embellishment, the absence of a headlamp cross brace bar.

Right: 1934 Eustace Watkins Daytona four seater. Note the U shaped chrome radiator embellishment with the new illuminated Wolseley badge with white background.