As Promised in the Soft Top Sunday post we’ve done a bit of research into the ‘Heinz 57′ Wolseley Hornet Convertible.
We spotted this great little car at the recent Soft Top Sunday Breakfast Club at Goodwood and were rather intrigued by the fact that it had been made as a competition prize.
Food manufacturers Heinz had run lots of competitions over the years with cars as prizes but in 1966 they run their “Greatest Glow on Earth” soup competition and commissioned Crayford Engineering to produce 57 bespoke Wolseley Hornet Mini Convertibles for prizes. Crawford had already received great acclaim for their new Mini Convertible and it was decided to base the ‘competition special’ on the booted Mini or Wolseley Hornet so that they would be totally unique to the promotion. The competition was judged by Heinz, Crayford and TV personality and food critic Sir Clement Freud.
The 57 prize cars were produced in two colours, Birch Grey or Toga White with red trim. They were fitted out with special accessories including a built-in insulated food cabinet, electric kettle, tartan rug, picnic hamper, radio and an under-dash make up tray, complete with Max Factor cosmetics. All 57 vehicles had consecutive registrations.
There were over a million entries to the competition. Today 41 of the original 57 survive around the world with it is believed, around half of them on the road.
One of the survivors was on display at the Goodwood Breakfast Club, Soft Top Sunday and still appeared to have most of it’s accessories. It’s a lovely little car and the story makes it so special. Unfortunately we never got to meet the owner and hear it’s personal story.