Wolseley 15/50

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Wolseley 15/50
Wolseley 1550.jpg
Manufacturer BMC
Production 1956-1958
Designer Gerald Palmer
Body and chassis
Body style 4-door saloon
Related MG Magnette
Engine 1489 cc B-Series straight-4
Transmission 4-speed manual
Wheelbase 102 in (2,600 mm)[2]
Length 173 in (4,400 mm)[2]
Width 61 in (1,500 mm)[2]
Height 60 in (1,500 mm)[2]
Predecessor Wolseley 4/44
Successor Wolseley 15/60

The Wolseley 15/50 was an updated version of the Wolseley 4/44. The main change was the engine; the 4/44 used a pre BMC Morris XPA unit and after the MG TF stopped production it was the only car still fitted with it. To rationalise production the 15/50 was launched with the BMC B-series engine fitted. Much of the design was shared with the MG Magnette, although some of the panels of the MG Magnette ZA/ZB (e.g. the boot and rear wings) are not interchangeable with those of the Wolseley 15/50, as stated in Practical Classics.

Unlike the MG, the 15/50 engine had only a single SU carburettor so the power output was slightly less at 55 bhp (41 kW) at 4400 rpm.[2] Unlike the 4/44, the 15/50 had a floor gear change. From 1956 a "Manumatic" two pedal (centrifugal clutch) transmission was an option. This was controlled by a micro switch hidden in the gear lever operating a vacuum servo. Having no synchromesh on bottom gear could make changes into the lowest ratio, which would normally require double declutching, difficult.[2]

The construction was monocoque with independent suspension at the front by coil springs and a live rear axle with semi elliptic leaf springs. The steering was rack and pinion and Lockheed brakes were fitted with 9 in (230 mm) drums all round[2]

In keeping with the up-market positioning of the Wolseley brand the car had upmarket trim with polished walnut dashboard and door cappings and leather seats and a traditional Wolseley radiator grille with illuminated badge. The individual front seats were placed very closely together to allow the car to be used as a six seater albeit marginal but it was usually sold as a four seater. The handbrake lever was under the dash. A heater was fitted as standard.


An example with Manumatic transmission tested by the British The Motor magazine in 1957 had a top speed of 77.9 mph (125.4 km/h) and could accelerate from 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 26.7 seconds. A fuel consumption of 28.7 miles per imperial gallon (9.8 L/100 km; 23.9 mpg‑US) was recorded. The test car cost £1011 including taxes of £338.[2]

It was replaced in 1958 by the Farina styled Wolseley 15/60.


  1. ^ Robson, Graham (2006). A-Z British Cars 1945-1980. Devon, UK: Herridge & Sons. ISBN 0-9541063-9-3.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "The Wolseley Fifteen-fifty". The Motor. 6 February 1957.