THE “HORNET SPECIAL” TESTED
New j1 lode! with E. W. “Daytona Special” Body Displays Many Attractive Characteristics.
WHEN the Wolseley Hornet was first introduced to the motoring public it was as a family saloon. It was only when the remarkable smoothness and excellent acceleration of this engine became known that various enterprising coachbuilders began to realise that here was a car which was particularly suited for use in a more sporting guise. The result of this was the range of Hornets with sporting coachwork which soon found a ready sale, and are now on the road in such large numbers.
The success of these “special editions “led the Wolseley Company to concentrate on the development of a model specifically intended fro high road speeds, to be sold as a chassis to coachbuilders, who could then express themselves as they wished in the production of various individual types. A full description of this new chassis, known as the Hornet Special, is given in this issue, and here
we are more concerned with the exact effect of the latest introductions on the performance and handling of the car on the road. For purposes of this test we took the opportunity of a run in the E. W. “Daytona Special,” as it is called,
this being the open sports model produced by Eustace Watkins, Ltd., of 12, Berkeley Street, and listed at £275 complete with a most pleasing specification. This model is specially attractive to the man who wants to vary his ordinary motoring with a little competition work, and who does not want a car which will suffer from hard driving over rough country. Inspecting this model with this point of view in mind, we were particularly impressed by the great rigidity of the body work, and the immense strength of the cycle type wings. The new and much larger brake drums of the new model have given the chance of mounting this type of wing rigidly on the anchor plate, and the way this has been done in this case is very good indeed. In addition to the stiff mounting and the full valance on the inside of the wheel, giving excellent protection for the body, the edges and tips of the wings are heavily reinforced, and
should stand up to the hardest treatment.
The body itself is very comfortable, the controls falling well to hand, and in spite of the short wheelbase, there is excellent leg room, and the seats are fully adjustable.
One of Ashby’s “Brooklands “flexible steering wheels adds greatly to the finished appearance and also to the comfort and ease of driving.
On the road the points that immediately strike the driver are, firstly, the extreme ease of ‘control under all conditions without strength or effort, and, secondly, the feeling of great rigidity in the chassis. Excellent acceleration, combined with an exceptionally
easy gear change, make the car well suited for modern road con-ditions, and this is well matched by the power of the brakes. These are very light to operate, but progressive and free from fierceness, and really positive in results.
The steering is very light, and, in ‘common with many modern cars, rather low geared, but owing to good self-centreing this is little noticed.
Steadiness on corners is remarkable, and the front of the car—probably due to the “crab track” of the new model—is absolutely steady and free from skidding under really violent treatment. This lateral stability inspires great confidence, and with the excellent road holding on the straight, makes it a car on which really long journeys
would not be at all tiring.
Further contribution to this feature is made by the extreme mechanical silence of the whole chassis, third gear being indistinguishable from top as far as noise is concerned.
The twin carburetter system and new exhaust arrangements have given a very lively engine which combines real flexibility wit ” snap ” acceleration. This model is a real 75 m.p.h. machine, and can be obtained with an 80 m.p.h. guarantee. An 11gallon rear tank with a quick filler cap completes the equipment of a car which is definitely going to enjoy a -(ry large market.