TRYING A SECOND-HANDER A 1933 Wolseley Hornet Special.
WITH thoughts of Summer and the beginning, of the “Season “many of those who have spent the winter months motoring behind glass are now taking an interest in the advertisements for second hand open sports cars, with a little less comfort and a much better performance. And so, with this thought in our minds we paid a visit to the firm of E. C. Stearns & Co., of 16, Fulham Road, S.W.3, and found there a smart looking Hornet Special fitted with a Swallow 2seater body. This car was accordingly placed at our disposal for a thorough test on the open road.
On looking at the speedometer we noticed that the mileage registered thereon was 8,465, and judging by the appearance of the bodywork, the small oil consumption and the general ” feel ” of the machine, we have no reason to doubt the accuracy of that figure. One thing which we particularly noticed was the exceptionally new condition of the tyres, partly due to the fact, no doubt, that there are two spare wheels.
As to the rest of the equipment, the hood showed no sign of trouble, the side-curtains were practically unused, all the instruments functioned (even the thermometer !) and the battery was up to its job. On driving the car away from Fulham, Road we noticed that the acceleration in second gear was well up to the Hornet Special standard, and was. accompanied by a very hearty exhaust note, causing a cer
tain amount of attention in the presence Of our friends in blue. After placing suitcases in the space provided under the protection of the tail, we set off for the South Coast. At the first opportunity we got of trying the maximum speed we changed from 3rd to top at about 4,500 r.p.m. and in a very short space of time we obtained a speedometer reading of 75 m.p.h.,, which seemed to be rather optimistic. But while we are on the subject of maximum speed it would be as well to say that the speedometer needle could be pushed up to 80, which was an actual speed of 75 m.p.h. It
was this which reminded us that we had forgotten to enquire the price. We. did, however, remember that the original cost of the car when new was £255.
At about 4,700 r.p.m. there was a certain amount of valve bounce (which could be easily cured by fitting new valve springs) and for this reason we settled down to a cruising speed of about 62 m.p.h. On corners, both fast and slow, the car felt safe and was easy to control in a ” slide.”
On returning the car to Messrs. Stearns we learnt that the price was £165 and the firm would fit a set of new valve springs without charge.