1973 Wolseley 6 2200 – The BIG Austin Mini! Welcome the Landcrab.


I was looking in my recent issue of Classic and Sports Car, and as so often happens, the innocent reading of an article about a cool car I have never seen in the flesh before turns into an Ebay.uk.co search, which in turn becomes some impulsive and not-well-thought-out bidding, which ultimately resolves itself as a lot of money spent on something that will not make me any money, but will hopefully be fun.   I buy most/all of these with the idea they will be a ‘Forever Car’ for me, and this is why in the last several years they all have 4 doors,  seem somewhat practical (??!?) and I imagine dropping the kids off someplace in it, or going on that roadtrip to Munna’s House, rockin’ it in a Swinging Sixties/Seventies sort of a way.

Things do not usually play out like that, though…

So this is a 1973 Wolseley ‘6’ –  It can honestly be considered an upscale, larger, 4 door Austin Mini.   This particular one has an inline-6 cylinder engine mounted transversely in the front, driving the front wheels through a 4-speed manual transmission, which was the exception in the case of the Wolseley.   I could not resist laying my eyes upon this engine bay.   This car had me at ‘Big Mini’ –  And I have a crazy uncle who told me some long time age he wanted a Wolseley, and the idea stuck.

Interior looks livable, but not perfect.   I can order a new wool carpet set for this car, which I cannot do for even my very ‘normal’ Volkswagon trucks, so I was surprised.   Body looks straight, nice, and maybe even beautiful in these photos, but experience has taught me to not get too excited –  Once here in the flesh it will likely not be so brilliant.

I was told ‘brakes drag a little’ and have already ordered in a complete braking system.   (This is actually a rather-semi-common vehicle under the skin, a BMC ADO17 – Sold in Austin/Morris and Wolseley guises, both in 4 cylinder 1800cc and 6 cylinder 2200 cc displacements – about 250,000 were made so parts can still be found) calipers, rotors, pads, drums, hoses and wheel cylinders are all on the way.

Will be here in about 2 weeks!   This is the direction I want to go with the Biz  –  I always favored cool cars to cool trucks, but the Land Rovers are interesting and do pay the bills for me, and the pockets are much deeper on the turbo-diesel 4×4 crowd than the weird-unusual-British car crowd here in the US.

Some highlights:

  • Has to be the only one in the USA, certainly the only one registered and driven.
  • 2.2L inline-6 overhead camshaft engine, twin carburetors.
  • 4-speed manual floor-shift gearbox (unusual in Wolseley models).
  • Inertia-sensitive braking.
  • Full 4 doors, very roomy inside.
  • Designed by Alec Issigonis, who also designed the original Austin Mini  –  Truly is a stretched 4-door version of his most popular car retaining much of the charm and character of the smaller, more well known version.
  • 1964 European Car of the Year (albeit in 4-cylinder Austin form).
  • Very upscale inside – Wool carpeting, wooden dashboard.
  • Showing/ represented as having 70,000 original miles.
  • Hydrolastic suspension like original Mini.
  • Will be a project, but one I am excited about.
  • Front 3-piston caliper disc brakes, rear drums.
  • Power steering.
  • Tow ball and electrics – How cool would this be to tow a little boat/trailer/etc or use for ‘work’ ?

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