Photographs by, and copyright of, the Author. They can be seen below the text.
So what do you do when you end up with a duplicate model of one you already have? A while back a fellow model club member, who only works with 1:24th scale models, gave me a Heller plastic kit of an Austin Princess 2000. So what to do with this since I had already built a stock Princess 2000? Checking the British Leyland product range circa 1975 I found that there was a Wolseley version, the Wolseley 2200 of the controversial Harris Mann wedge design era that included the Triumph TR7.
The only real noticeable differences between the Princess and 2200 were the shape of the bonnet and a trapezoidal grill. So I decided to modify this kit into a Wolseley by adding a bulge to the bonnet and a modified grill. A layer of styrene plastic to the bonnet and a grill made from a piece of solder bent to shape made the conversion possible. Google images showed that there was a gold colour offered in 1975 with a tan interior. This is a nice addition to my Wolseley shelf, and if I am correct, it was the last BLMC vehicle badged as a Wolseley before the marque faded into obscurity.
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Here we have Parker models VE69 which is a Wolseley Series II as made between 1935 and 1937. This is sold as a white metal kit which consists of a body shell, chassis, steering wheel, four wheels and a Vacform. These models are primarily aimed at the model railway market but now that Oxford Diecast has popularised 1:76 as a collectors scale I hope that they will be of more general interest.
The Wolseley was basically an upmarket Morris using many Morris components. 15,000 were said to have been made before the Series III was introduced. Unlike the Morris equivalent at the time, the Wolseley featured an overhead valve engine and four-speed gearbox, along with ‘Easiclean’ steel-pressed wheels.
The Series II is often used in TV detective series set in the pre-war years as Wolseleys were widely used by the police and other authorities.
As usual the casting was clean and the kit assembled very easily. Unfortunately the vacform got lost and the model as shown has windows made using Krystal Klear.
This model fills another gap and would display well alongside Oxford Diecast’s model of the larger Wolseley 18/85.
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Trax, an Australian based model producer and vendor concentrates on Australian vehicles, many of which are completely home grown and many of which are adaptations of US built cars from the Big Three, or English cars from BMC, British Leyland or Ford UK. This example is the late 1950s early 1960s Farina styled Wolseley 15/60 which was for all intents and purposes exactly the same as the version sold in the UK. It was essentially a upmarket version of the Morris Oxford and Austin Cambridge. The first version used the evergreen BMC B series engine of 1489cc using one SU carburettor. The UK also had twin SU carburettor Riley and MG Magnette versions taking the badge engineering under BMC to new heights. Later versions featured the somewhat larger 1622cc engine and sometimes with an automatic gearbox the Borg Warner 35. It was felt necessary to cater to all the loyal MG, Wolseley, Morris, etc. buyers and the diverse and separate dealer network in the UK at the time. Everybody had to have a piece of the action in this medium saloon market. This basic body and estate car version of the Austin and Morris lasted until 1971 and some were even fitted with BMC diesel engines.
The Wolseley by Trax and sold by Top Gear (TRR18) is resin and comes in the usual clear Perspex display box with a small introduction card. This is the early version the Farina styled cars having the taller and more pointed fins and different tail lamps. For comparison I have pictured it with the Vanguards Morris Oxford showing the slight restyle and muting of the fins in the second generation of these cars. In Australia there was also an Austin Freeway which was essentially an Austin Cambridge but with minor differences including a different grille treatment.
Going by the Vanguards Morris Oxford, Trax got the scale correct and the only obvious flaw is that the A pillars are a bit too fat. The distinctive Wolseley grill is nicely replicated as is some detail on the undercarriage. Separate chrome door handles, photo etched wipers, and badging are provided.
Trax models are produced in relatively limited quantities and often sell out. Shipping from Australia to the USA is $19.50 Australian dollars ($14.00 USD) and in my case took over a month to arrive.
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