The 6 cylinder Wolseley 24/80 sedan and station
wagon (also sold under the Austin name) were released
in April 1962. These cars were developed by BMC Australia
to counter the growing popularity of the new 6 cylinder
rivals from the US, namely the GM Holden and Ford
It is interesting to note that BMC had already
determined that Australia deserved (in fact needed)
a larger displacement engine.
While their cars were
near identical to those sold in the UK, the Australian
cars had the B Series 1622cc engine fitted 2 years
prior to their UK cousins, who had to make do with
the 1489cc motor.
Rather than design an entirely new
6 cylinder motor, BMC simply added an extra two cylinders
on the existing 1622cc engine - bringing the capacity
to 2433cc. The engine was then coupled to an adaptation
of the metropolitan 3 speed gearbox.
Changes to the
radiator and bonnet were required to fit the larger
engine in, as were improvements to the suspension.
BMC continued its tradition of creating vehicles
from the parts bin of others, using rear fins taken
from the Riley, and an interior taken from the Morris
The radiator, which in the four cylinder cars
was mounted behind the bonnet-locking bar, was now
placed in front of the bonnet-locking bar, immediately
behind the grille.
These few changes aside, picking
a 24/80 over the previous 15/60 would be quite difficult
for the casual observer.
The 24/80 remained externally
identical to the 15/60 (except for the wheelbase,
which was an inch longer), and the interior also
remained virtually identical. Originally it was available
only with the manual transmission, but later a Borg
Warner 35 3-speed automatic transmission was offered
as an option.
The Mark II was released in October 1964,
and was identical in styling to the 16/60. The power
was increased to 84bhp, and the interior trim was now
finished in a less up-market but still soft “expanded
vinyl” rather than the leather used in the
The Mark II was short lived however,
the Austin 1800 replacing the Wolseley in BMC's Australian
model line up from October 1965. Unfortunately the
Mark II 24/80 was the last Wolseley to be sold new