A Vehicle Of Interest.
The Great Collector has always hankered after a London to Brighton car. I believe that his 1905 Darracq, despite being manufactured in 1904, wasn't registered until the 1st January 1905, thus disqualifying it from taking part in the famous run.
To this end, we attended the H&H auction at the Imperial War Museum's site on Duxford airfield in anticipation of bidding for a 1903 Humberette. Described as 'a delightful veteran', it would nevertheless need recommissioning as it hadn't been started for a couple of years. The bidding went quickly past The Great Collector's estimate of its worth and the hammer fell at a squeak under 50k. You don't get a lot of car for your money, but it represented, in comparison with other marques, a relatively inexpensive entry to the London to Brighton club. Another chum took his veteran De Dion Bouton - vis-a-vis and tiller steering with a price tag of over 100k - to last weekend's event and managed 6½ miles before conking out. I gather a homemade saw blade and brass rivet ignition fandango (coupled with torrential rain) was tagged as probable cause.
Undeterred by his H&H disappointment, The Great Collector noted that South West Vehicle Auctions had this tidy Wolseley 6/80 up for grabs for less than a 1/6th of the price of the Humberette and was the winning bidder.
The engine is a Series I and having rebuilt two of them, they're not unfamiliar - the only difference between the Morris Six and the 6/80 being the addition of a second carb to the latter.
The interior is in need of some sympathetic preservation, but it has new front and rear wings and apparently the engine has been rebuilt. The vulnerable 'A' posts are in fine fettle. It certainly runs and drives well, though attention to the brakes will be on our general maintenance schedule.
Meanwhile, I'd received enough exhaust flanges to weld to the various sections of the system and started off with the flexible pipe...
... which attaches to the manifold down pipe before snaking its way down past the nearside torsion bar and then on rearwards. I'm toying with the idea of including a commercial silencer which will save me a lot of bother.
The iron-on veneer for the dashboard arrived and I must say I'm impressed with the performance of the glue. A hot iron and a burnishing stick were all the tools required for success.
In cutting out the various shapes, no part of the veneer lifted or broke off. The return for the switch panel was tricky as the cut was blind, but I'm pleased to report that the aluminium sheet fits almost perfectly flush with the veneer.
Next the difficult bit - getting the colour right, and so far I'm wide of the mark. The seat I have is a lightish blue colour. Navy carpets will look good and the aluminium sits well with a dark blue - as will the gold-coloured instrument faces. The Black Walnut veneer has too much red in it, so I've ordered some blue and grey wood stains to play with. I'm hoping I can get around a 20% shade of a gun metal grey/blue whilst still retaining the figure in the wood. Should be interesting.