Home » What The Hell Am I Looking At Here?: Cold Start

What The Hell Am I Looking At Here?: Cold Start

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Look at that image up there. What the hell is that? It took me a solid few minutes of looking at it before my brain sluggishly lurched into comprehension. At first I thought it was a flying saucer orbiting a planet with a rocky surface and some weird alien architectural something on the surface, perhaps the palace of the Grand Tentacled Garvinax, ruler of Planet Nostriliannia, or something. But it’s not that. It’s the cover to a car brochure, and here’s the full image:Cs Wols 2

Ohhhhhh, it’s a very weird close up of a small pile of gemstones and a little leathern pouch and some rocks and a…bowl? A shallow dish? For diamond panning? It’s all so weird, this Wolseley brochure, because it doesn’t show a car at all on the cover, just this weird murky image. But they should have shown the car, a Wolseley Hornet, because they’re great:

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

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Basically, the Hornet was an upmarket Mini with a funny but useful little trunk tacked on the back. They also gave it a more traditional Wolseley grille complete with their trademark illuminated badge and a much fancier interior, slathered in wood and leather. Look how those people drove theirs to an idyllic lake so they could get out and stand 15 feet away and enjoy a lively conversation! On grass!

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That trunk is pretty handy for a Mini, really, and it looks surprisingly good, too. Oh, and before you get too excited about the luxury upgrades, here’s an example of what that means:

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Oooh, one all-powerful stalk that controls turn signals, high beams, and the horn? What is this, a Rolls-Royce? This wasn’t the only badge-engineered Mini with a trunk implant. Riley had one, too, called the Elf:

Cs Wols Elf

This is some of the best badge engineering ever, if you ask me; the car gets not just trim and detail upgrades, but a real differentiator for the body that adds practicality. Plus, the concept of the luxury small car is still one I adore, even if it still seems to never really have caught on. And yes, that includes the Aston Martin Cygnet. These two gave it a pretty good shot, though.

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Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
10 days ago

It’s an ugly car. About 10 cars ate this shape. BMW2002 is one. Thanks for another car that looks like every other car we see. I propose a contest. Readers suggest a car that has never been really coveted on the Autopian. And see if any writer recognize it or knows about it? It’s time you guys expand your knowledge. I started with less but since we see the same cars over and over I know them almost as well as the writers but so many other cars I know better.

Jesus Chrysler drives a Dodge
Jesus Chrysler drives a Dodge
10 days ago

So apparently there was some sportsball game this weekend where 2 teams ran around to win the affection of Taylor Swift, pausing at one point for a nostalgic VW commercial, and no mention of its taillights in Cold Start?

Last edited 10 days ago by Jesus Chrysler drives a Dodge
Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
10 days ago

Yeah it was the Taylor Swift Bowl. It used to be some American Football Tournament but they made it a Taylor Swift Game. Hey Taylor Swift is not too blame.

Freelivin1327
Freelivin1327
10 days ago

I just learned that this Hornet exists and I like it. The grille reminded me that I’ve been wanting to make a comment that isn’t funny that the Edsel grille was made fun of so much but not the Alfa Romeo? I know it’s a different shape and not as bad…it’s just funny. Also, this Hornet’s grille is not as similar, it’s more of a waterfall grille; it just reminded me of that

Torque
Torque
10 days ago

So Jason what the hell is in the picture?
I get the pouch with the “gems” in the foreground… what the he’ll is in the background?
I was thinking maybe it is supposed to be a pot and class? Or a wok and class?
It might supposed to represent a winning pan and small rocks, but how the hell does that make sense? Panning for gold? Sure.

Who “pans” for “gems”*?

*especially “gems” that look like colorless tumbles smooth clear glass

Mike Harrell
Mike Harrell
10 days ago
Reply to  Torque

Small-scale extraction of alluvial gemstones, including diamonds, often involves panning, much as with alluvial (placer) gold. I’ve never been any good at it, which shows what a Ph.D. in mineral physics is worth…

Last edited 10 days ago by Mike Harrell
Torque
Torque
10 days ago
Reply to  Mike Harrell

Panning for gemstones!?! I have never heard of that; Holy buckets

Insert “the more you know” rainbow gif here

https://traveltips.usatoday.com/pan-gemstones-colorado-rivers-streams-31400.html

Mechjaz
Mechjaz
10 days ago
Reply to  Torque

I thought it was a cast-iron pan. I choose to believe this is appealing to the prospector-miner-jeweler cohort of their demographic, and that just out of frame are a can of Prospector’s Best Camp Beans and a pack of What in Tarnation! Molasses-Flavored Cigarettes.

Brian Shaffer
Brian Shaffer
10 days ago
Reply to  Mechjaz

Cast-iron pan, charcoal and a very fancy pouch for your zippo?

AlterId
AlterId
10 days ago
Reply to  Torque

…especially “gems” that look like colorless tumbles smooth clear glass

This was postwar Britain and, while they’d been allowed to buy as much sugar as they wanted to for several years, relative decline and the need to finance the welfare state did make a dent in the living standards of the upper-middle classes and the less prudent among the minor aristocracy.

Mike Harrell
Mike Harrell
10 days ago

The quality of the photographic reproduction isn’t the greatest and there’s not a lot to use for establishing scale but these appear to be single cut melee diamonds of less than 0.2 ct apiece, which is to say mass-produced to (at best) an adequate standard, inexpensive, and generally considered to be too small for anything other than a supporting role.

Let it not be said that Wolesley didn’t understand their own product.

AverageCupOfTea
AverageCupOfTea
10 days ago

I think small cars today are more luxuries compared to Wolseley Hornet but they have none of the charm, and big luxury cars today focusing more on the digital tech, add to that the alien design (looking at you Lexus), i prefer old fashion luxury.

Trust Doesn't Rust
Trust Doesn't Rust
10 days ago

Everyone gives GM shit (deservedly) for their badge engineering travesties, but BL really leaned into it. I feel like BL’s marketing department had a coin pusher machine loaded with all the badges and whatever came out is what they slapped on the cars.

Chronometric
Chronometric
10 days ago

The luxurious interior is hand-stitched of sheep-like material we call Woolsley.

Larry B
Larry B
10 days ago

Or… It’s a covert pamphlet extolling the virtues of polygamy. The couple in the first picture telling the woman about the pleasures of being a sister wife. The pleasures of the multi purpose switch. The picture of the two sister wives welcoming the new third wife. And all four of them will drive around in their luxurious Wolseley.

I might still be a little drunk from the Super Bowl party last night.

Jj
Jj
10 days ago

I like the idea of a luxury small car, but I can understand why they haven’t been a thing in the US.

A small well-optioned car would cost about as much as a larger vehicle which may be equipped to the same (or higher) level. There is often not much a fuel economy penalty going to a vehicle one size up, and the US has no tax or insurance penalty for larger displacement engines.

It’s not much more difficult to operate a larger vehicle on US roads except for a handful of older cities.

You may not need the extra space every day or possibly ever, but it’s difficult to turn it down if it’s essentially free.

Wally_World_JB
Wally_World_JB
10 days ago
Reply to  Jj

Cadillac Cimarron agrees.

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
10 days ago
Reply to  Jj

And in terms of luxury, being able to spread out and having a very comfortable seat is much more important to me than any amount of fancy turn signals stalks or CarPlay or heated seats or, honestly, even power windows.

OCS-BN
OCS-BN
10 days ago

What you see are the diamonds forged in your underwear after mastering a full-throttle lap at Brands Hatch in a Wolseley.

Jesus Chrysler drives a Dodge
Jesus Chrysler drives a Dodge
10 days ago
Reply to  OCS-BN

COTD, guv’na!

getstoneyII (probably)
getstoneyII (probably)
10 days ago

The font on the “W” in Wolseley is the finest Morganna The Kissing Bandit of them all.

DialMforMiata
DialMforMiata
10 days ago

That “W” is very…. buxom.

Flyingstitch
Flyingstitch
10 days ago

You can tell it’s for the wealthy because the gent has a little rich-guy paunch.

DialMforMiata
DialMforMiata
10 days ago
Reply to  Flyingstitch

“No gruel for me, I drive a Wolseley!”

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
10 days ago

I like big boots, I cannot lie.

Church
Church
10 days ago

Yeah, I’d avoid showing the car in advertisements, too.

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