Friday, February 25, 2011

2 Rare, But Rough, British Sedans

1959 Wolseley 6/99 - The 6/99 is a somewhat significant Wolseley. It was the last large Wolseley sedan.

The 6/99 body was designed by Pininfarina. It came with a 2.9 liter 6. (Said to be the same engine used in the Austin Healey 3000.) For a large 1950's British sedan, it was fairly quick. 60 MPH came in 14 seconds and it had a top speed of 100 MPH.

Sold for only 2 years (an updated version, the 6/110, lived on for another 7 years) just 13,000 were built. I suspect that most were RHD, making this LHD model rare.

This, sadly, is most likely nothing more than a parts car. It has front end damage, rust and the interior is shot. Anything is restorable, I guess, but, even a guy like me, who wants to see everything back on the road, has to admit that the best use for this car is most likely keeping another Wolseley alive.

Located in Little Rock, AK, click here to see the eBay listing.

1959 Humber Super Snipe - This is not as bad as it looks. It is - if you have the time, money and inclination - very restorable.

Humber was part of the Rootes Group. It was officially sold in the US, but never heavily promoted by Rootes, who was having a fair amount of success here with their Hillman and Sunbeam brands.

I always found it odd that Rootes didn't push this car more than they did. It was large, came with a 6 cylinder engine and was well appointed. It seems like a car we would have taken to here in the US.

This car is interesting. Someone loved it once. It has a "Humber 1" vanity plate and a Post Vintage Humber Car Club badge on it. The seller says that much of the trim has been re-chromed and is still in wrapping.

The seller provides a link to a photo album of this car. Based on those picture, the body looks to be in pretty good shape. The interior is very rough and, although it apparently "ran when parked" 15 years ago, the engine is now seized. (The seller dumped some Marvel Mystery Oil in the engine in an attempt to free it up. Believe it or not, that sometimes works. I did it to a 1967 Sunbeam Alpine that I pulled out of a junkyard. It freed the engine and I drove the car for two years before selling it. It's a "mystery" to me how and why it worked, but it did.)

This guy had another Humber for sale a few months ago. As I wrote in a post about that car, Humbers are not worth a lot of money, so anyone taking on this car would be doing it as a labor of love.

This is a great old British sedan and one that is virtually unknown in the US. I hope someone takes this project on.

Located in Northridge, CA, click here to see the eBay listing.


Jon said...

Wolseley - When I first saw the side profile of this car I thought "Peugeot 404."

I quickly read up on it and found out that Pininfarina had sold nearly the same design to a number of European manufacturers during the late 1950's.

The international auto salons during that time must have been something to watch. I can't imagine a fashion designer offering different actresses the same exact dress to wear during the Academy Awards, or at the Cannes Film Festival.

Below is the website with lots of illustrations of the various models. Cut and paste this into your browser:

I'm thinking that the Riley Elf, featured a few entries ago, is the product of a Wolseley 6/99 which hopped the barnyard fence and mated with a Mini. I'm also thinking that in the future I will never aquire the skill which would enable me to spell "Wolseley" correctly. Therefore, I am one step closer to senility.

Humber - Because of the name "Super Snipe," I heard about this car years before I ever saw one, in print or otherwise. My late father thought it was hilarious.

I'm sort of fascinated by these large Euro sedans. In France, many 1950's Simca models looked like 3/4scale Chevrolets of the same period. Some models, such as early versions of the Ford Vedette, have that aero "fastback" theme in 3/4 scale. Way cool.

Dan DiBiase said...

I love the Super Snipe! A guy here in NJ used to bring his to the British car shows - it was black with a red interior. Very cool car. The British Checker!

Anonymous said...

The wolseley 6/99 is a rare bird here. I have a black 61 that is a driver and a 64 6/110. All that car is good for is window glass, trim things. Thinking of bidding on car for glass. It is a 9 hr drive from me.
The big c-series six are great cars. Like driving a tank down the road at 70 mph.
frank mckinney central kansas

Unknown said...

Marvel Mystery Oil can fix many things. While it is sold as a gas and oil additive, it excels as a household and shop penetrating/loosening oil. I have found it works better than any other penetrating oil, and given time to sit and soak, will do amazing things. I am never without a bottle in the tool shed.