Car of the Month : November 2009
There’s a lot of Wedge-love on AROnline, and we reckon that the most delicious examples of all are the original 18/22 Series models that only ran for a matter of months in 1975.
And when it comes to the examples still with us today, top of the list must surely be Alex Sebbinger’s magnificent Wolseley, which as you can see from the pictures looks better now than it did when it emerged from the line at Cowley. If you fancy buying it, then get those mucky thoughts out of your head, as Alex says he will never sell it.
Words and pictures: Alex Sebbinger
Engineering in a (genuinely) finer form…
Looking better than the day it left Cowley…
I FIRST found out about this Wolseley in the summer of 2001. Having at that time got seriously into Wedges, the moment I first saw the Wolseley version I knew I just had to have one. A search lasted about a year, when one day I got an email from a PAOC member who told me that there was one advertised for sale. It turned out that this vehicle had (in the 1990s) been a former Wolseley Register councours vehicle, however had since been sold and sadly had deteriorated somewhat. Anyway I went to see it (right in the centre of Birmingham) and there were a number of issues; wings rusty, doors rusty, arches rusty, massive key scratch down the drivers side, huge exhaust leak, the speedo didn’t work… Anyway, I bought it regardless, managed to get it home, and took stock.
The Flamenco Red exterior of the car was now rough but the interior was nigh on perfect, as was the vinyl roof. Fortunately all the model-specific badgeing was still in place, and the bonnet was rot free. As the rest was pure Princess it was a case of sourcing panels as necessary, getting them fitted, welded and then all painted up. This was duly done, and you can see the full story in my member’s page.
Mechanically very little needed doing. The speedo was sorted quickly (the angle drive had broken), and a new radiator soon improved performance of the cooling system. After a replacement exhaust was fitted it sounded good. Most of the work on this car was done in the winter between 2001-2002. For an older restoration now it has lasted the test of time very well (these photos having been taken this summer), however for the sake of ensuring it lasts the test of time I am having the underside fully stripped back, and anything less than perfect will be sorted.
I was told some time ago that it was the earliest roadworthy wedge left (being registered in May 1975). Whether that is true I have no idea, but one thing I do know – This car is one that I can never ever sell.
Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Clsssics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...
Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasable adventures all across Europe.