1950 WOLSELEY SIX/EIGHTY

 

In late 2015 a local couple, Rohan and Ngarie Kelly, from Beach Haven contacted our club with an offer to donate the above vehicle. They had owned the vehicle since 1987 and had used the vehicle regularly until around 1995 when the clutch started slipping and the vehicle blew a head gasket. The vehicle was stored in their garage until sufficient funds and time became available. Shortly after the vehicle was stored Rohan hurt his back and was unable to complete the repairs. The vehicle languished in the garage for 20 years. Rohan stated that he kept it with the hope that when his back got better he would get it back on the road. His back never improved and that day never came.

Retirement came in 2015 and the car was still in the garage. They had sold their house and were shifting to Turua just outside Thames. That is when our club was approached and we were given 2 days to collect the car and a trailer load of spare parts. A team of around 15 members when to Beach Haven and collected the vehicle and parts. There was not only Wolseley parts but numerous parts for Morris Minor’s as well.

The car was taken back to the club and work on the car started in 2022.

Ian Kell, a long standing member of our club contacted the Wolseley Six/Eighty club in the UK to see if they could provide more information on our vehicle. Mike Parry, the Historian for that club supplied the following information from the original factory records:-

 

  • The car was in a batch of 87 CKD’s despatched to NZ from Cowley on 2nd August 1949.

  • CKD – essentially a crate of parts for local assembly at Dominion Motors in NZ. This was to avoid import taxes and to create work in NZ post the war.

  • The batch was from chassis number 8509. (ours 8553)

  • There is only one other car surviving from this batch. Chassis number 8523. This is now in the wrecking yard at Horipito Motors.

  • The original batches of cars were made as 3 production lines running in parallel.

  • RHD (right hand drive) UK market. The first chassis number 501

  • RHD – Export market. The first car was chassis number 3501 (Australia, New Zealand and South Africa in the main).

  • LHD – Export market. The first car was chassis number 6501.

  • CKD kits started at chassis number 8501. Therefore our car is the 52nd car CKD ever crated up (8553-8501)

Whilst the chassis number were allocated as above , the engine numbers were randomly allocated between the 3 lines and the CKD crates as they arrived from Cowley from the separate engine plant in Coventry some 40 miles away. The lower the engine number the older the car. The first engine number was 1001. Therefore, our car has the 856th production engine made (1881-1001).

 

When the body shells arrived at the assembly line from another area of the factory (pressed steel bodies) they were allocated a unique body number. The first production number was 501. Therefore, our car was the 1161th one pressed out.

 

The car was first registered in New Zealand at Nelson on the 18th June 1950