Classic Sports Car



The Wolseley Hornet Special has an enthusiast­ic following, and a club that tries to keep track of all known cars. Adrianne Key from St Louis, Missouri, owns a 1934 Hornet Special but has little in the way of paperwork for the car. It is thought to have gone to the

USA in 1981, when it was registered to Henderson Inc, a small dealership in Scott City, Kansas, and then went to well-known dealer Mark Hyman, who sold it to Adrianneʼs father, Charles. “He wanted to restore the car,” she explains, “but unfortunat­ely he never got around to the rebuild – he owned too many projects. My father stored the Wolseley in various places, but he never changed anything on the car.”

In 2008 he gifted the car to Adrianne, then in 2016 it went to a restoratio­n company, although no work was done and it was later returned to Charles. “He placed it next to an MG TC inside an old converted smokehouse at the back of his property,” says Adrianne. “My father passed away in 2020. It has taken several years to go through his estate, but when I opened the smokehouse doors, there it was – right where he left it.”

When acquired by Hyman, the car had already been much-altered. It is thought that the original body was a Eustace Watkins Internatio­nal four-seater, made by Whittingha­m & Mitchel. The rear portion of the coachwork has been removed at some stage and changed, but there is no history of the car prior to its export to the USA. Scraps of paperwork reveal that on

19 May 1965 a ʻTonyʼ from Priory Fields, Studley, wrote to ʻJimʼ, on Wolseley Hornet Special Club headed paper, answering some queries. In November 1967 the car may have been owned by an Edward Heslop of Hexham. There is another slip of paper from a Jim Tygart, who is thought to have been a club member in 1964. The car is now for sale; email crimsonrav­

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