Lady Nuffield's Wolseley Eight

Lady Nuffield's Wolsely Eight car at Nuffield Place

Lady Nuffield’s Wolseley Eight is the only road-worthy historic car in the entirety of the National Trust collections. The couple used the car on a nearly daily basis, and was at the time considered to be a cheaper model of car to buy. This makes the very modest model a very special part of Nuffield Place’s history, as it tells of Lord and Lady Nuffield’s frugality, as well as telling us about how they lived.

Day trips and afternoon tea

Lord Nuffield bought the Wolseley Eight in 1939 for Lady Nuffield’s birthday. Her diaries tell us she used the car on a day-to-day basis, regularly driving into Wallingford, picking up cakes on a Friday, and visiting her sisters in Oxford for afternoon tea.

A treasured family car, Lord Nuffield continued to drive the Wolseley Eight after Lady Nuffield’s death in 1959, until his frailness meant he had to be chauffeur driven.

Keeping it in the family

Wolseley had started production in 1901 with Herbert Austin as the managing director. When in 1927 the company went into receivership, Lord Nuffield purchased it as a personal investment.

Lord Nuffield himself owned 2 Wolseley cars; another Wolseley Eight, and a Wolseley Drop Head Coupe that was given to him by the Wolseley Motor Company workforce in gratitude for him buying the company.

Nuffield Place's Wolseley Eight
The Wolseley Eight car on display at Nuffield Place
Nuffield Place's Wolseley Eight

Looking after Lady Nuffield's car

We have a small team of experienced volunteers who care for the car and support our aim of taking the vehicle out to rallies to engage with the public about the fascinating lives of Lord and Lady Nuffield.

Unlike privately owned cars, we can’t restore the car to its former glory, as much as we’d like to, but instead we conserve it. In this way we can maintain it as it was when Lord and Lady Nuffield would potter around in it during their lives, as the significant historical object it is.