When Wolseley launched their lightweight six-cylinder Hornet models in April 1930 it was apparent from the outset that the car’s engine/chassis combination was likely to be a very successful pairing. The small coachbuilding concerns certainly thought so and within a few weeks had begun to produce open-topped ‘special’ versions of the car which were, by the standards of the day, very quick indeed. It wasn’t long before the enthusiasts that bought them took their cars along to Brooklands to compete in clubman events, while others signed up to take part in the famous trials and rallies run by organisations such as the Junior Car Club, the Motor Cycle Club and the RAC. The Hornets performed well and won plenty of awards in the hands of some of the well-known driver names of the period including McEvoy, Derrington, Livesey, Patrick and Laird. The images to be seen in the galleries below capture some of the excitement and drama experienced by the crews when competing in these relatively powerful, nimble, yet inexpensive lightweight cars, particularly during that first half of the thirties decade.
Thanks to Dick Serjeantson of the Wolseley Hornet Special Club for his help in captioning many of the images to be seen here.
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