Hershey

9-10 October 2014

Offered from the collection of John Moir

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Lot 129

1921 Wolseley Ten Coupe

  • Chassis no. 51961

Sold for $13,750


10 bhp, 1,260 cc SOHC inline four-cylinder engine, three-speed manual transmission, front and rear quarter-elliptic leaf-spring suspension, and rear-wheel mechanical drum brakes. Wheelbase: 98 in.

  • Offered from the collection of John Moir
  • Original and unrestored
  • Enchanting petite appearance


Many early automobile manufacturers had their start in just about every other enterprise imaginable, and some of them were truly strange. However, the “Diversity Award” surely goes to British manufacturer Wolseley, which had been established in Birmingham in 1896 as the Wolseley Sheep Shearing Machine Company. In that same year, General Manager Herbert Austin built the company’s first three-wheeled horseless carriage. A production version with a single horizontal water-cooled cylinder, which drove the rear wheels through a combined belt and chain drive, followed in 1900. Until he left in 1905 to establish his own firm, Austin stuck to the horizontal engine design. By 1914, Wolseley led the United Kingdom in automobile production by building 3,000 cars.

Mr. Moir notes that his Wolseley Ten Coupe was built in 1921 but not actually registered until 1923. “This car originally belonged, I believe, to a short lady. Note the blocks on the clutch and brake pedals. She was well-to-do, I think. Note the coconut floor mat and the corduroy interior—elegant, but in good taste.”

The leather-covered top features a landaulet section at the rear, which could be folded to permit fresh air and sunlight into the interior. Due to the fragility of the original leather, however, it has not been opened while in Mr. Moir’s ownership. Indeed, much of this beguiling little automobile is as it was in 1921. The paint is original, with bare metal visible through the few chips it has sustained, as is the well-appointed, ladylike interior, which shows some light fraying but has survived the years nicely. The car has not been operated in some years, and it would benefit from a mechanical sorting before road use.

This well-preserved original Wolseley has charm in spades and would be a wonderful little automobile for Nickel Era jaunts.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

aweaver@rmsothebys.com

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

asabatie-garat@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

bruprecht@rmsothebys.com

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

dswig@rmsothebys.com

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

drose@rmsothebys.com

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

dgould@rmsothebys.com

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

gduff@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

jauerbach@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

kforry@rmsothebys.com

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

mmalamut@rmsothebys.com

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

msquire@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

mfairbairn@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

ocamelin@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

pdarvill@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

pfisher@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

smyers@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

tvandervelden@rmsothebys.com

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more