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assistance please

Post  willys or hornet on Sat Jan 09, 2016 4:22 am

I have just come across a non running 1963 Wolseley Hornet, owned by the same family since purchased in the sixties.

I have not had the opportunity of a full inspection yet but wanted to ask members just how available are parts for repair replacement. I am capable of repairs having owned 1966 austin cambridge and currently owning a 1943 willys jeep, so not daunted by getting my hands dirty but are there some items that are no longer available, things that I should watch out for.

I must admit my wife fancies a basic mini and is not enthralled by the Wolseley but could be converted (perhaps) Ok what are the likely ups and downs ahead if I purchase this vehicle.

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Re: assistance please

Post  Red Riley on Sat Jan 09, 2016 5:21 pm

Not sure what you mean by "converted", but the mechanicals are pretty much the same as a standard Mini, just with added bonuses of more boot space, more attention due to the increased rarity factor, and the added element of having a bit of a sleeper if you do the usual Mini upgrades to the running gear.
The only downside to owning an Elf or Hornet is that some of the body panels and most of the trim are unique and not available from the usual Mini parts sources. You just have to be a bit more creative, since the off-the-shelf (boring) cosmetic Mini bits won't fit.
Your wife will love the Hornet, it will be way more interesting than a basic Mini.

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Re: assistance please

Post  boris710 on Sat Jan 09, 2016 5:36 pm

Hi, good to see another 'early' car may be being restored for use.  Best of luck in getting it back 'on the road'.

As RR has said already the major issues with restoration that I can see is the availability (or not!) of elf/hornet body panels and trim that are not shared with the early Minis.  Front panel, bonnet, rear wings, rear valance, boot, and just about all brightwork including bumpers are now few and far between, if available at all so its essential to have the existing items in as good condition as possible or you may be looking at sourcing another 'doner' vehicle just to get the bits!

Most 'mechanicals' are the same as, or similar to, early Mini parts but the Hydrolastic suspension displacers are rather expensive these days.
If your car has 'dry' shocks then that is one less concern although the 'wet' Hydrolastic setup gives a far superior ride so is well worth maintaining.

If you intend the car to be as it was when built then you will not have the modern day luxuries of disc brakes, electronic ignition, mechanical fuel pump, alternator, etc but you will have a car with bags and bags of character and enormous 'fun' to drive.  Its up to you how you wish to 'modernise' the car and, as with any Mini, the popssibilities are endless.

One thing that you will have with a restored car - head turning looks and never a dull moment !!!
When you park your car next to ant "New" modern day vehicle it'll always be the Elf/ Hornet that gets all the attention !
If only I had £1 for every time someone says "I used to have one of them" or "I learnt to drive in a car just like that", I would be rich !

Keep us informed on how it goes.
Best of luck

boris
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