1920 Wolseley Fifteen Tourer


  • Superb Edwardian Wolseley in excellent condition
  • Mechanically reliable and ready to go
  • Charming and comfortable interior with little wear
  • Recent expenditure on mechanical overhaul

The Appeal

Introduced in 1919, the Wolseley 15hp was a singularly advanced design. Influenced by its experience manufacturing Hispano Suiza aero-engines during the First World War, it featured a 2.6 litre OHC four cylinder engine, complete with detachable cylinder head.  It was claimed to give "a sense of unlimited power “either on hills or on the level, yet . . . is only rated at 15.6hp and has a correspondingly low fuel consumption".   By 1921 Wolseley was a well established manufacturer producing 12,000 cars a year, many of which were the 15 and 17hp four cylinder models.

Purchased by the Seller in 2018, he registered t in his name in 2020 and set about re-commissioning it as it had been standing for some time. Much of the work was carried out by Wilson-Morton Engineering in Berkshire, and completed in May 2021 at a total cost of £2,850. The starter motor was rewound and rebuilt, as were the magneto and the Autovac.  A new battery was installed, along with 4 new tyres costing over £1300.

The original carburettor was replaced with an SU item, and the Wolseley runs far better with this, although the original will come with the car. Having used the car for short trips, local shows and entertaining the grandchildren the Seller has decided to concentrate his efforts on his other Wolseley, so has decided to sell. 

We followed him from the photo venue back to his house, and can report that it’s running well and driving like it should drawing plenty of interest and admiring looks along the way.

History and Paperwork

  • Built in 1920 and sold in early 1921
  • Purchased by the Seller in 2018
  • Believed to be the only Wolseley 15 A9 Tourer with an OHC engine on the road in the UK, this is a truly rare example - indeed, the Wolseley owner's club only knows of approximately 25 survivors worldwide.
  • V5c In Seller’s name
  • Thorough mechanical recommissioning in 2021
  • Itemised invoice from Wilson-Morton for £2,850 for wok completed
  • Magneto and Autovac rebuilt
  • Starter motor rebuilt, new plugs and leads
  • 5 new Excelsior tyres costing over £1,300
  • All fluid drained and replaced with new filters
  • Original Wolseley Fifteen Instruction manual

The Interior

  • Simple but well presented interior in beautiful condition
  • Comfortable light grey button-back leather seats front and rear
  • Minor split in passenger side seat leather
  • Intact black rubber floor matting
  • Large and comfortable rear seat
  • Matching grey leather door cards on all four doors
  • Well fitting black folding roof with oval rear window with no damage
  • Solid steel folding mechanism with wooden spars.
  • Wooden dash with comprehensive selection of gauges
  • Horn pictured is not included with car and will be removed by time of sale 
  • Large original four spoke steering wheel with no cracks
  • Large rear mounted Brooks travel trunk in good condition

Overall the interior presents really well, with no areas that require attention.  The roof fits well, and folds and erects easily.  The seats are smart and luxurious, and have just a little wear.

The Exterior

  • Nicely patinated green paintwork with age related marks but generally excellent condition with a good shine
  • Black painted wings with minor stone chips and wear
  • All glass and lenses in great condition with no cracks or damage
  • Excellent brass radiator and headlights with light wear
  • Brass windscreen surround, top swings out for ventilation, or full screen folds forwards 
  • Green painted artillery style wheels with new Excelsior tyres, including wing mounted spare
  • Full running boards with mounted spare wheel, battery and Pratts spare fuel can

The exterior is in lovely condition, not perfect but with just the right amount of wear for the age of the car.  There are no areas that we could see that needed work, and the Wolseley looks attractive proportioned from any angle.

The Mechanics 

  • 2.6 litre four cylinder OHC engine with 15 hp
  • Corrosion free underside with clean chassis
  • Solid wood running boards
  • No major visible fluid leaks
  • Presentable engine bay with evidence of new parts
  • Plenty of recent mechanical work completed with few miles since
  • Rebuilt starter, magneto and Autovac
  • New battery

Having followed the Wolseley on the road we can confirm that it is driving well, with a good turn of speed and no smoke under acceleration.  Its stops well, and the Seller tells us it is entertaining to drive with no vices or issues.


For a car that has just celebrated its 102nd birthday the Wolseley in is in exceptionally good condition. It’s clear that much time and effort has been expended in the past to keep it such good order, with over £2,800 spent in the past couple of years to get it mechanically reliable. 

The seller likes his cars to drive as they should, and this is a good example, probably driving better than when it was new!  Just the right amount of wear, with plenty of period charm and “on the button”. Lovely!

Notice to bidders

This item is sold on an ‘As is Where is’ basis. The condition of this item is the opinion of the seller and may differ from your own opinion. Photos and listing descriptions are for guidance purposes only*.** Car & Classic do not warrant listing accuracy. Full inspection is recommended. Viewings are at the seller’s discretion. Buyer is responsible for delivery and collection of any item purchased.*

UK-registered cars and motorbikes on Car & Classic are run through an online HPI check. On the HPI report, this vehicle shows no insurance database markers for damage or theft. It is currently not covered by a finance agreement.

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1920
  • Make Wolseley
  • Model 15
  • Colour Green
  • Odometer 466 Miles
  • Engine size 2107
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Private
  • Location Berkshire
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
5 bids
  • Jedtayl•••• £5,000 23/09/23
  • Trev Pr•••• £4,000 21/09/23
  • jayemem•••• £3,500 20/09/23
  • neil-si•••• £2,500 20/09/23
  • oxar £2,000 20/09/23

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