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auburnseeker

Intersting 1914 Wolseley on Ebay

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I found this 1914 Wolseley on eBay.  Looks like it could have it's original interior.  Doesn't appear too bad.  Seems to be one of the cheaper brass era car manufacturers.  Definitely something a little different.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/1914-Wolseley-Stellite-Convertible/232634311744?hash=item362a15e440:g:TCsAAOSwp-RaX~-A&vxp=mtr 

 

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I looked up the Wolseley Motor Car Co. in the Encyclopedia of Motor Cars and they have a very interesting history. Thy have been around in some shape or form since 1904 up until the '70s. In 1914 they offered three models, the 16/20 the 24/30 and the 30/40. I would assume those numbers signify horse power or liters.

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Numbers like 16/20 indicate taxable/developed horsepower. There was a mathematical formula adopted about 1910 that purported to calculate an engine's HP. It may have been accurate back then but soon became obsolete. However, the government adopted it as a way of calculating license fees or road tax, which was one pound per HP. 16 pounds would be about $2000 a year for license plates in today's money. So this was important information to the car buyer.

 

The 20 indicated developed horsepower as measured on the dynomometer. It was added to give a better idea of the car's performance.

 

Sometimes they just give one number like 'Austin 7' or ' Riley Nine'. In that case it is always taxable HP.

 

The Model A is rated at 24 taxable HP. But for England they made a special small bore model of 2043cc rated at 14.9HP. So the smaller car would be roughly the size of a Model A, not a small or cheap car by English standards at that time.

 

Wolseley was a well made middle class car . In later years they were a favorite of the police.

Edited by Rusty_OToole (see edit history)

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The horsepower tax was used here as well though I suspect it went out of use around the end of WWI. Since every state had different registration laws, its use was never universal.

In the British context, the tax was based on a very early horsepower formula that took into consideration the bore, but not the stroke of an engine. Very early on (pre-1905) there was a general belief that the stroke didn't matter... hence this early formula being enshrined in law. Of course, it does matter but the result was that the British developed small bore, long stroke engines. One of the reasons the Model T Ford was not the success in the UK that it was here was that it suffered from an unusually high tax for its size and cost. It wasn't until after WWII that the tax was done away with.

 

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Here in Ontario registrations used to include taxable HP although it was not used in my time (since the 60s). Back then they had different fees for 4,6 and 8 cylinder cars but today it's a flat fee per year.

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I forget who manufactured the wheels on that Wolseley, they are made from two steel stampings and have a weld seam inside the spokes, they look like wood but aren't. Bob 

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It is a quirk of engine design that a short stroke engine will rev faster and therefore deliver more horsepower, while a long stroke engine has larger displacement which should also give more horsepower. In the early days it was an open question which was better. This may be the reason early HP formulas, which were developed to classify racing cars, left it out of their calculations.

 

It soon became apparent that the long stroke engine was better, for various reasons. But engines of about 1910 and earlier usually had a stroke that was equal to the bore, or a trifle longer like the Model T 3 3/4X 4. By 1913 the long stroke engine was coming in, 3 X 5 being a typical dimension.

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I just noticed those wheels, very cool. What are the studs and wing nuts that protrude into the center of the wheel for? I guess they were one of the first aftermarket wheels.

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