Bri­tish Ley­land

New Zealand Classic Car - - Feature Car -

In the early ’70s, Bri­tish Ley­land was the UK’S topselling ve­hi­cle man­u­fac­turer within the 1100– 1300cc range. Th­ese ADO16 1100/1300s were what would be soon be termed ‘badge-en­gi­neered’, an early in­di­ca­tion of meth­ods em­ployed by many large au­tomak­ers to­day, such as Gen­eral Mo­tors. On­go­ing vari­a­tions and im­prove­ments were made through­out the pro­duc­tion cy­cle to suit con­sumers’ needs — and mod­els avail­able ranged from ba­sic Austin and Mor­ris ex­am­ples to the lux­u­ri­ous Van­den Plas Princess and the sporty Mg-badged vari­ants. In ef­fect, there was an 1100/1330 to suit nearly ev­ery­one. On­go­ing suc­cess, pop­u­lar­ity, and high de­mand meant that the cars would be built in many other coun­tries, in­clud­ing Italy (the Mor­ris In­no­centi IM3), South Africa (the Austin Apache), Spain (the Authi Vic­to­ria), and Australia (the Mor­ris 1100 Mk1, Mor­ris 1500, and No­mad wagon ver­sions). Built at Cowley, un­der Bri­tish Ley­land, the orig­i­nal Wolse­ley Ado16-type model was the 1100, un­veiled in 1965. An up­mar­ket model, the Wolse­ley shared the same twin-car­bu­ret­tor en­gine as the MG and Ri­ley ver­sions — many also fea­tured two-tone paint schemes. Along­side the up­grade of all mod­els to the larger 1275cc en­gine, the Wolse­ley 1300 MKI was launched in 1967. The 1300 also boasted an all-syn­chromesh man­ual gear­box, although it missed out on the close-ra­tio box that would be fit­ted to the Ri­ley and MG 1330s. Those choos­ing the newly avail­able au­to­matic-trans­mis­sion op­tion lost the Mki’s sec­ond SU car­bu­ret­tor. It was un­veiled to the public along­side the face-lifted 1100cc MKII mod­els in 1967. The Wolse­ley 1100 went out of pro­duc­tion in 1968, while, that same year, the 1300 re­ceived a slight per­for­mance boost. The MKIII ADO16 mod­els ar­rived in 1971, with the Wolse­ley ver­sion be­ing phased out in April 1973.

To­tal Pro­duc­tion

Wolse­ley 1100 Wolse­ley 1300

The ride was su­per smooth thanks to the hy­dro­las­tic sus­pen­sion, which of­fers a ride qual­ity equal to that of many mod­ern ve­hi­cles

This year’s Sur­vivors Class win­ner, with a to­tal of 736 points, is Sh­eryl Boyd’s ex­tremely orig­i­nal 1964 Holden EH Pre­mier. When we spoke to Sh­eryl af­ter she had col­lected her tro­phy, we dis­cov­ered that she had no rec­ol­lec­tion of there hav­ing been any Hold­ens in her fam­ily while she was grow­ing up, but she did ad­mit to hav­ing fond mem­o­ries of an Austin Cam­bridge sedan, an Austin panel van of some kind, and a Com­mer van. Her later pas­sion for EH Hold­ens was con­firmed when, dur­ing an episode of the TV show Out­ra­geous For­tune, the char­ac­ter Pas­calle West named the EH Pre­mier as her favourite car.

How­ever, Sh­eryl has been a mem­ber of the Early Holden Club of Auck­land (Inc) for many years, hav­ing first joined when her son was just two years old — he is now 23. Their car at the time was a mod­i­fied EH Spe­cial com­plete with al­loy wheels; Sh­eryl was there­fore an as­so­ciate mem­ber — club cri­te­ria for full membership stip­u­late that the car be orig­i­nal, not mod­i­fied.

In Au­gust 1997, Sh­eryl bought this mag­nif­i­cent EH Holden Pre­mier from the late Early Holden Club pres­i­dent, af­ter de­cid­ing on it rather than an ear­lier FC Holden. As the EH was her favourite model, and she felt more con­fi­dent driv­ing and main­tain­ing a ‘red-mo­tor’ rather than a ‘grey-mo­tor’ Holden, the de­ci­sion was re­ally quite sim­ple.

Sh­eryl also liked the fact that this par­tic­u­lar EH Pre­mier was an ab­so­lute time cap­sule and was, amazingly, still run­ning on crossply tyres when she bought it. This was, in truth, the car Sh­eryl had wanted to own for a very long time.

Orig­i­nally, Sh­eryl’s EH Pre­mier was brought into the coun­try by an el­derly lady in Queen­stown dur­ing Jan­uary 1964. Un­for­tu­nately for her, she soon found she was un­able to drive it, so put it up on blocks. Ap­par­ently, she had to wait a year be­fore be­ing able to sell the car — in­for­ma­tion passed on to Sh­eryl by the Holden’s third owner, Ross, who also hails from Queen­stown. The car re­mained in the deep south un­til Septem­ber 1994, when it was pur­chased by the then-pres­i­dent of the Early Holden Club, who brought it to Auck­land.

Since buy­ing the Holden, Sh­eryl has at­tended count­less club events, in­clud­ing the Holden Na­tion­als in 2005, in In­ver­cargill, driv­ing it all the way there and back.

Sh­eryl’s EH Holden Pre­mier is truly a credit to her, as she has done ev­ery­thing in her power to en­sure that its orig­i­nal­ity has been re­tained. She reck­ons that, in New Zealand, nearly ev­ery fam­ily can say that they’ve owned a Holden at some time, whether it was Dad, Grand­dad, Un­cle Jim, or who­ever, and we would tend to agree.

This has been the first time that Sh­eryl has en­tered the EH into a judged com­pe­ti­tion; she has al­ways put it in as a dis­play car only at shows, so was de­lighted to re­ceive a tro­phy — tes­ta­ment to the hard work she and part­ner Dave put into pre­par­ing it for the Sur­vivors Class this year.

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