Ex-Coppa Florio 1907 Wolsit Factory Racer. Photo: Peter Collins
Ex-Coppa Florio 1907 Wolsit Factory Racer
A little-known aspect of the history of the British Wolseley firm was its Italian connection—a joint venture with the Banca di Legnano and the Macchi di Varese—in the formation of a new Italian company called Wolseley Italiana SA in 1907. The trade name of the new company was “Wolsit.” The objectives of the company were first, the manufacture of cars and trucks and second, the acquisition of concession rights from Wolseley in England. One of the new company’s directors was
J. D. Siddeley, who was then the general manager of Wolseley. He had replaced Herbert Austin in 1905 and his vertical engine designs had been adopted by Wolseley that year, in place of Austin’s favored horizontal engines in the company’s new range of cars. Between 1905 and the end of 1909, the cars made at the Wolseley factory were known as Wolseley-Siddeleys although they were often just called Siddeleys to the dismay of some Wolseley directors.
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