Not really a motorcycle company but, the Wolseley story began around 1895-96 when 30 year old Herbert Austin who was the works manager of the Wolseley Sheep Shearing Machine Company Ltd, being fascinated with the internal combustion engine and the horseless carriage, went about making an improved version of a Léon Bollée design he had seen in Paris.The British rights to the Bollée design were already purchased by others so Herbert Austin had no choice but develop his own design.
The new design was outwardly very simple, the
Wolseley Autocar No. 1 featured independent rear suspension and back to back seating for
two adults. None were sold (£110 in price) as people were turning to 4 wheeled cars
which were becoming much more readily available.
In 1899 Wolseley built a 4 seater car,. In 1901 when Vickers Engineering and Hiram Maxim (of the Maxim machine gun fame) purchased the motor-manufacturing side of Wolseley, the Wolseley Tool and Motor Car Company Ltd. was established
In 1910 motor sleighs were built for the Scott Antarctic
expedition and the Deutsche Antarktische Expedition. 1912 saw what was
probably the most unusual two wheeled vehicle ever, the Gyrocar was sponsored by
the Russian Count Peter Schilovski. Before long Wolseley Motors Ltd. was formed and our
interest in this company declines as the company focussed purely on cars and other 4
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