1953 680 - Barons Friday 20th September 2019 For Sale by Auction
To accommodate its larger six-cylinder engine, the 6/80 was 7 in (180 mm) longer than the 4/50. It also had larger brakes with 10 in (250 mm) drums compared with the 9 in (230 mm) ones of the 4/50
The 'six eighty' was something of an anachronism, built in the traditional style that flagship Wolseley buyers loved, yet the underpinnings were intended to be almost cutting edge for an immediate postwar saloon. It had prewar style radiator, centre hinged bonnet, split windscreen, small oval rear window, and traditional elegant styling with a hint of running boards, and from inside the driver sat in leather seats and peered over the Wolseley hallmark of a polished wood dashboard, down a long high bonnet to the flying W symbol – all dated features by the early fifties, yet it had a monocoque chassis, springless torsion bar suspension, twin telescopic shocks, column gears and powered by a feat of engineering in the shaft driven overhead camshaft big 6. Wolseley had needed to produce a new postwar engine, and turned to their own past experience adapting designs drawn from an aero engine called the Wolseley Viper V8 that started life in WWI aircraft, latterly the Bristol SE5a, to which there is a visual similarity, the engine appearing quite vintage even for the day. However the formula worked for there's no doubt the 'six eighty' made a lot of money for Lord Nuffield's corporation, and was the longest ever running favorite of Police forces who seemed to retain cars well into the 1960s when they were a favorite for skid pan and mechanical training. They are even today recognised as the iconic period British police car.
This example is a 1953 Wolseley 680 for restoration. The car comes with 4 new tyres on sand blasted and sprayed wheels. The engine is believed to have been rebuilt but there is no proof, although it starts and runs excellently. Unleaded balls have been added to the tank so it runs on unleaded. There is said to be very, very little rust on the car. It comes with a spare leather interior and some mechanical spares. The car does drive but it has no brakes, although 98% new brake parts are included with the car. Chrome strips are in the car and the Buff logbook is included. This is a retirement sale.
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