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Elf and safety

My wife wants a cute second car to bomb around in. I on the other hand would like a classic. We have agreed (compromised) that a late 1960s Wolseley Hornet or Riley Elf would suit our weekend inner city driving perfectly (we already have a very practical Honda for 9-5). But which one do we pick? I gather that both are based on the old Mini so parts shouldn't be hard to come by. A motoring friend reckons there's likely to be more spares for the Riley than the Wolseley, but which one would be the most practical and reliable to go for?

Asked on 9 January 2010 by R.G., via e-mail

Answered by Honest John
The Riley is the prettier of the two and has a full width walnut dash,
whereas the Wolseley just has a walnut binnacle in the centre. Unless they are perfect recent rebuilds with new subframes front and rear, they are potential nightmares. Subframes only lasted 4 - 5 years before rusting through and splitting. Happened to me with a Wolseley Hornet once in my learning days. Trim bits, bonnets, boot lids and rear wings are hard to find. The rest are just straightforward Mini 1000, but can easily be upgraded to 1275S. Very bouncy ride on those tiny 10" wheels.
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