9-10 October 2014

Offered from the collection of John Moir

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Lot 114

1953 HRG 1500 WS Roadster

  • Chassis no. WS.222
  • Engine no. 4AD.2492W

Sold for $60,500

65 bhp, 1,496 cc SOHC four-cylinder engine, four-speed manual transmission, solid tubular front axle with quarter-elliptic leaf springs, solid rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 103 in.

  • Offered from the collection of John Moir
  • Ultimate late-specification car with a Singer engine and hydraulic brakes
  • Originally owned and raced by American HRG representative Jack Wherry Sr.
  • Superb elemental performance and handling
  • Includes side curtains and tonneau cover
  • Fun to own and drive; known as a “runner”

After the collapse of the G.N. cyclecar concern, H. Ron Godfrey went on to partner with fellow racing driver Major Edward Halford and fellow automaker Guy Robins to form the H.R.G. Engineering Company. Together, they worked at developing a sports car that used a Meadows four-cylinder engine and was built on a rather primitive chassis that had a solid tubular front axle, a solid rear axle, and leaf-spring suspension in the front and rear, as well as cable-operated mechanical drum brakes on all four wheels. The suspension was stiff and unforgiving, but it allowed the HRG Roadsters to make up in the corners what they lost on the straightaways to the more powerful MGs.

Of the 241 cars produced in two decades of construction, the final 12 sent to the United States, of which the Moir Collection’s car is one, were powered by modified Singer short-stroke engines, which provided significantly better performance. Notes in its file indicate that this was the first of the twelve Singer-powered cars and that it was also factory-equipped with four-wheel Girling hydraulic drum brakes, as well as leather bonnet straps and optional motorcycle-style racing fenders.

In a letter to enthusiast Frank Faeth, a copy of which is on file, HRG Western Hemisphere Works Representative Jack Wherry Sr. writes that “WS.222 was one that I imported…I was the first owner and raced it quite a bit. It was a good runner. I later had it painted British Racing Green, and this is the car that I gave to my son, John.” The May 1971 HRG Owner’s News confirmed that the car would be accompanying Wherry Jr. to school at Northwestern, which, the editor remarked, was “fortunately…a progressive institution, which permits co-ed visits to the men’s dorms.”

Wherry Jr. eventually traded the HRG when buying a Ferrari, and it went on to be sold to Derek Durst, of North Kingston, Rhode Island, in whose ownership it regularly appeared at New England shows. It was acquired from Durst by Mr. Moir and has remained in the collection since. The car will be accompanied by exhaustive documentation from its Wherry racing-and-driving years and a collection of HRG Owner’s News back issues.

This HRG is a proud “runner” that has been well maintained and regularly exercised by members of the Moir family, and it is most certainly one of the most thrilling automobiles in the Moir stable.

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


+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


+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


+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


+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


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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


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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


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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


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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


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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


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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


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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


+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


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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


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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


+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


+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


+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