The Wolseley Sheep Shearing Company decided to experiment with cars in 1895 and brought in Herbert Austin as designer. He left in 1906 to start his own company, but Wolseley persisted until 1927, when it went bankrupt and was purchased by William Morris. He positioned Wolseley as a luxury marque, and many boasted Wolseley’s lively overhead-cam engine during the 1930s to mark them out from the Morris cars they were based on.
Post-war rationalisation reduced most of the marque’s output to better-equipped Austins or Morrises; there was even a Mini variant called the Hornet. The Wolseley illuminated grille badge was extinguished forever in 1975.