Wolseley 7.5hp 1647cc Twin Cylinder Rear Entrance Tonneau

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7.5hp 1647cc Twin Cylinder Rear Entrance Tonneau





In 1897 Austin's second Wolseley car, the Wolseley Autocar No. 1 was revealed. It was a three-wheeled design (one front, two rear) featuring independent rear suspension, mid-engine and back to back seating for two adults. It was not successful and although advertised for sale, none were sold. The third Wolseley car, the four-wheeled Wolseley "Voiturette" followed in 1899. A further four-wheeled car was made in 1900. The 1901 Wolseley Gasoline Carriage featured a steering wheel instead of a tiller. The first Wolseley cars sold to the public were based on the "Voiturette", but production did not get underway until 1901, by which time the board of The Wolseley Sheep Shearing Machine Company Limited had lost interest in the nascent motor industry.

Thomas and Albert Vickers, directors of Vickers and Maxim, Britain's largest armaments manufacturer, had much earlier decided to enter the industry at the right moment and, impressed by Austin's achievements at WSSMC, they took on his enterprise. When Austin's five-year contract officially ended in 1906 they had made more than 1,500 cars. Wolseley was the largest British motor manufacturer and Austin's reputation was made.

Wolseley Motors Limited was a British motor vehicle manufacturer founded in early 1901 by the Vickers Armaments in conjunction with Herbert Austin. It initially made a full range, topped by large luxury cars, and dominated the market in the Edwardian era. The company had been formed in March 1901. By 1 May 1901 Austin had issued his first catalogue. There were to be two models, 5 hp and 10 hp. They were both available with either a Tonneau or a Phaeton body with either pneumatic or solid tyres. For an additional outlay of thirty shillings (£1.50) the 10 hp model would be fitted with a sprag to prevent it running backwards. "We recommend pneumatic tyres for all cars required to run over twenty miles an hour." Austin then provided a paragraph as to why his horizontal engines were better lubricated (than vertical engines) and that 750 rpm, the speed of his Wolseley engines, avoided the short life of competing engines that ran between 1,000 and 2,000 rpm. The association with Vickers not only helped in general design but in the speed of production and provision of special steels.

Engines were horizontal which kept the centre of gravity low. Cylinders were cast individually and arranged either singly, in a pair or in two pairs which were horizontally opposed. The crankshaft lay across the car allowing a simple belt or chain-drive to the rear axle.

John Siddeley founded his Siddeley Autocar Company in 1902 to manufacture cars to Peugeot designs. He had Peugeot-based demonstration cars at the Crystal Palace in 1903. By 1905, the company had a dozen models for sale and some of them were built for him at Vickers' Crayford, Kent factory. During 1905 Wolseley—which then dominated the UK car market—purchased the goodwill and patent rights of his Siddeley Autocar Company business and appointed Siddeley London sales manager of Herbert Austin's The Wolseley Tool and Motor Car Company Limited owned by Vickers, Sons and Maxim. A few months later Herbert Austin left Wolseley to found his own Austin Motor Company due to resolute refusal to countenance new vertical engines for his Wolseleys, whatever his directors might wish. Austin handed in his resignation the year before his contract ended and Siddeley was appointed manager of Wolseley in his place and, without authority, added Siddeley to the badge on the Wolseley cars.

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