On the stand

1966, Wolseley 1100

Visitors to the Practical Classics Classic Car & Restoration might recognise “Maggie” who has appeared on the ado16.info stand before.

Back in 2018 Emily had owned an Austin 1300 “Alice” for a couple of years, and while browsing the ado16.info Facebook page  spotted an advert for a 1966 Wolseley 1100. This caught Emily’s eye, as her and Tom had just got Alice on the road, so fancied the idea of another project.

The car had an interesting backstory, having appeared in the film ‘The Lady in the Van’ starring Maggie Smith. After a little internet research, Emily also discovered that there were only 22 Wolseley 1100’s taxed and on the road at the time, making Maggie rather rare!

Emily and Tom travelled to Bristol one evening to take a look and Emily fell in love straight away! Maggie was a steal at £350, with some spares and brochures kindly thrown in too. Although Maggie hadn’t seen the road in 4 years, after a bit of work when home, we got her running enough for me to drive her off the trailer.

Having not been on the road since 2014, Maggie needed a lot of work. Tom spent many hours working away in the garage welding new metal into her, amongst various other jobs, making her completely solid and better than ever!

Meanwhile Emily had also been collecting everything required for Maggie to see the road again. This included a Vanden Plas interior, new carpet set, original Mk 1 wheels to replace the incorrect Mk 2 ones she came on, all new seals and screen rubbers and various chrome bits to name a few!

With all the welding complete, Tom also touched up the paintwork in preparation for her grand reveal at the 2019 NEC Restoration Show. While Maggie still has the same paint finish now, long term Emily plans to get a full respray for her, however for now it means she can be used and enjoyed.

Following Maggie’s transformation,  Emily and Tom were nominated for the 2020 Practical Classics ‘Restorer of the Year’ award, and Emily was thrilled when she made the top 8 finalists out of all 26 entries! Unfortunately Covid then got in the way, preventing her from attending the 2020 Resto Show to celebrate her achievement.

In early 2021 work went underway to replace Maggie’s rather leaky engine, meaning she is now much more reliable. Further jobs have also been done in the meantime, maintaining her, but a noticeable problem Maggie has always suffered with in Emily’s ownership has been her suspension as she sits very low at the back. Unfortunately this was not the easy job we’d hoped it to be, and a more thorough look is needed rather than simply pumping up the hydrolastic suspension.

Which brings us to our plans while displaying at the 2023 Resto Show this weekend. Ian and Dawn Kennedy of Hydrogas and Hydrolastic Service Ltd have kindly offered to investigate and hopefully fix Maggie’s suspension issues over the weekend. After all this time, Emily can’t wait for Maggie to leave the show on Sunday sitting level for the first time in a long time!

1968, Austin 1300

Registered on July 4th 1968 to Mr Herbert Childs by Vincents of Reading at a total on the road cost of £857 – this early Mk 2 Austin 1300 is presented in Aquamarine with Satin Beige vinyl interior.

The car remained in the ownership of the Childs’ family until 1999 – and has had three owners since; Adam since 2013.

The car is pretty much original throughout and has been on the road all of its life; with every MOT and an amazing history file detailing the owners and all work ever carried out. The original green log book, leather bound spare keys (unused), the Passport to service book, original invoice and handbook and every single MOT are also included.

There have been minor bits of paint rectification over the years and two new front wings in the early 2000’s – but that aside the car is pretty much as it left Longbridge.

Adam has often thought of a complete restoration; but the way the car drives is excellent and during his ownership has caused him no problems at all and always receives positive comments wherever he goes.

The car has now covered nearly 53,000 miles and Adam keeps on top of the maintenance to make sure the car keeps in good order.

1972, Woseley 1300 Mk2

‘Avril’ belongs to club member Ben Evans and is a late Wolseley 1300 mk 2 presented in rare ‘Blaze’ Orange.

Built at the Cowley plant and registered on 1st October 1972 Avril remained with her first owner for 3 years until she was purchased by John Hughes from Hereford who saw a Vanden Plas 1300 on the forecourt of a local garage but ended up driving away in Avril. She was Johns daily driver throughout his working life until his retirement in 1996 when he decided to treat his beloved Wolseley to a restoration including a replacement front wing and a full repaint. Johns long term love affair with Avril then continued as the car then again became his pride and joy, only to be used on high days and holidays and never to see a salty British winter again. John attended many local car shows and club shows in the car and amassed many spares (almost a single garage full) which Ben inherited when he purchased the car.

Sadly, due to his advancing years the time came for John to part with his beloved Wolseley and he brought in the assistance of his nephew Mark who listed the car on Facebook marketplace where Ben stumbled across the advert and hastily arranged to the view the car. It was fair to say that when Ben met Avril he was instantly smitten with the her and the date of their meeting seemed even more special given that it was the 1st October 2022 – 50 years to the day since she was registered! Having a penchant for all things orange; it was fair to say that it was love at first sight and after some drawn out negotiations (owing to the fact that John didn’t really want to sell the car) a deal was eventually struck.

Upon collection day Ben travelled with his friends Adam and Alex to Hereford to collect Avril and her garage full of spare parts, discovering some much sought after parts and some not so welcome spare underpants which Adam merrily modelled upon their discovery.

A beautiful day provided the perfect backdrop to a country lane drive to her new home leading a three car convoy until disaster struck… A thrown brake shoe, grinding the car to a halt in a cloud of acrid smoke caused by a rear wheel fire; seemingly ironic for a car presented in ‘Blaze’ – The fire was doused by a 30-year-old bottle of water found in the boot and the trip home was cut short! Conveniently the breakdown occurred outside a recovery truck company, so Avril finished her journey home on the back of a truck via Fisher Classic Restoration where Ben had all the brakes and bearings replaced.

Avril now resides in Stratford upon Avon and is Ben’s pride and joy. During the last 6 months Avril has been subjected to some minor fettling and a lot of polishing. A new set of points have ensured that she starts well first time every time. Ben has a plan of sympathetic improvements he wishes to make to her; but all in good time. Ben is looking forward to many more years happy motoring in Avril and he is very grateful to John for having treated Avril so well during his 47 years ownership.

The engine bay still requires cosmetic work, the engine needs removing and painting and while it is out the engine bay itself will be prepared and resprayed.