Reviewed by Unique Cars and Parts
Our Rating: 4
The Wolseley 4/44 was originally designed under the Nuffield Organisation but by the time it was released in 1953
Wolseley was part of BMC. Much of the design was shared with the MG Magnette ZA which came out later in the same year - but unlike the MG, the 4/44 used the 1250cc XPAW engine a version of the XPAG engine previously seen in the later MG T-type series of cars but detuned by only having a single carburettor.
The power output was 46 bhp (34 kW) at 4800 rpm. The four speed manual transmission had a column change. The construction was monocoque with independent suspension at the front by coil springs and a live rear axle. The car had upmarket trim with wooden dashboard and leather seats and a traditional Wolseley radiator grille with illuminated badge but was expensive at £997 on the UK home market.
An example tested by "The Motor" magazine had a top speed of 73 mph (117 km/h) and could accelerate from 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 29.9 seconds. A fuel consumption of 27.6 miles per imperial gallon (10.2 L/100 km; 23.0 mpg-US) was recorded.
Behind The Wheel
Excellent all-round visibility was an outstanding feature of the body, to which the large curved one-piece windscreen and exceptionally large area of the rear window contribute. Under the driver's control was a 3.5 kw heating, demisting and ventilating unit with a fresh-air intake, fitted as standard. All necessary fittings were also provided for the installation of a screen washer.
Upholstery was in real hide, covering Dunlopillo cushions. A centre armrest was provided in the rear seat. All the door checks incorporated a device to hold them fully open if desired and push-button outer handles operated Schonitzer semi-rotary catches. The left-hand rear quarter panel incorporated a concealed petrol filler, with the release lever just inside the boot. Operation of this automatically released the small flap covering the filler, bringing the cap with it and exposing the neck of the tank pipe.
To ensure the maximum usefulness the height of the boot was greatly increased by mounting the fuel tank forward of the luggage space, and the spare wheel vertically at one side. The boot door could be raised and lowered literally with one finger as it was precisely counterbalanced by twin torsion bars in the hinges. Built into the boot door handle was a powerful reversing lamp, operated by a switch in the gearbox.
The instruments consisted of a clock, speedometer with trip mileage indicator, oil pressure gauge, water temperature gauge and fuel gauge. Price here in Australia at release was just a little over AŁ1,200. The Wolseley Four-Fortyfour was replaced in 1956
by the similar Wolseley 15/50