Motoring Mem­ory – Wolse­ley 6/90

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - The Way We Were -

You may ask how any­one could choose a Wolse­ley 6/90 over a Borg­ward Isabella, a MercedesBenz ‘Pon­ton’ or a Jaguar XK140, all of which were launched in 1954. To which I would re­ply: ‘Be­cause I like them.’ And not merely for Ger­ald Palmer’s coach­work, el­e­gant though it is. No, the sound of that C-Se­ries en­gine with its dis­tinc­tive trans­mis­sion whine and the sight of the il­lu­mi­nated ra­di­a­tor badge in­stantly trans­ports me to a myth­i­cal Eng­land where ne’er do wells smoked Wood­bines on bomb sites. The as­so­ci­a­tion of the Wolse­ley mar­que with po­lice cars in 2/6d bud­get sup­port­ing fea­tures is not a mere side is­sue but the 6/90’s rai­son d’etre in my eyes. Watch­ing Edgar Wal­lace or Scot­land Yard films on late night tele­vi­sion not only led me to be­come a cinema his­to­rian but in­spired my love of mo­tor cars of this pe­riod. It is, there­fore, ir­rel­e­vant to con­tend that there are ‘bet­ter’ new cars of 1954, be­cause none of them ful­fils this sub­jec­tive, highly idio­syn­cratic and very real set of cri­te­ria. Nearly ev­ery reader will have his or her list of pri­or­i­ties for a clas­sic car, and for sev­eral, the memories they evoke are stronger than any per­for­mance fig­ure.

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