1946

Wolseley Eight

Wolseley Motors: Family car

The Wolseley Eight was a car nearly a decade old before it had even been launched. The outbreak of the Second World War caused production of the Eight to be cancelled as car manufacturing gave way to wartime production. With the end of hostilities and peace in 1945 the Eight was pushed into production, destined for foreign shores. The Eight was sold as an up-market car, but was manufactured for just two years as more modern vehicles emerged from development and were put into production. Over 5,000 examples of the eight were produced. FOF 112 (illustrated) was the personal car of William Morris, Lord Nuffield, who had purchased the Wolseley company in 1927.

Front illustration of Wolseley Eight FOF 112

Specification

Wolseley Eight

  • 3,683Length (mm)
  • 2,261Wheelbase (mm)
  • 1,422Width (mm)
  • 1,524Height (mm)
  • 918ccPetrol
  • 63Speed (mph)
  • 4Speed manual
  • DrumsBrakes

Production

  • EightFamily car
  • 1946Start of vehicle production
  • 1948End of vehicle production
  • 5,344Total production run

History

Were it not for the outbreak of the Second World War the Eight would have entered production in 1939. As it was, production only began in 1946. Factories that in peace produced automobiles switched to making aircraft, tanks, armaments and munitions for the war effort.

Industry in post-war Britain suffered as raw materials were in short supply. Government controls meant companies could obtain steel for manufacturing provided they exported the majority of their products, helping raise vital foreign revenue for reinvesting back in the rebuilding of Britain.

Wolseley pressed the Eight model into production, but the Eight was based on a pre-war design, the Morris Eight Series E. In an early example of 'badge-engineering' Wolseley grafted the characteristic Wolseley nose onto the Eight.

Sold largely for export, the Eight was equipped with luxury features for the time, such as leather upholstery and walnut trim. However, the Eight was outshone by post-war cars such as the modern Morris Minor and production ceased in 1948.

Tags: 1946, Family, Heritage Motor Centre, Motor car, Saloon, Wolseley  |  Permalink

Photographs