Part 2 of Vauxhall’s Decade a Day series, charting iconic vehicles from the company’s 117-year history, focuses on what is now widely acknowledged as ‘The World’s First Sports Car’.
And, for a little context, here’s a link to a lovely Vauxhall film made around 20 years ago which shows the sheer breadth of Vauxhall’s heritage and its sporting endeavour: http://tiny.cc/dy05lz
VAUXHALL C-10 ‘PRINCE HENRY’
Originally built to compete in the 1910 Prince Henry Trophy, a German trial designed to discover the world’s best all-round touring car, the C-10 3-litre Vauxhall has since been acknowledged as Britain’s, if not the world’s, first true sports car.
Laurence Pomeroy, Vauxhall’s Chief Engineer, entered three C-10s in the 1910 event, each with tuned versions of the company’s 3054cc side-valve engine. The cars were driven by Vauxhall’s MD, Percy Kidner, and co-directors, AJ Hancock and Rudolf Selz, all of whom finished the 1230-mile event, but alas without collecting any awards. However, due to the cars’ speed and durability, a legend had been created and later the same year a road version, known as the ‘Prince Henry Type’ was shown to the press.
The Autocar noted that the new car was, ‘…a particularly fast, light car for road work’, with Vauxhall guaranteeing that the Prince Henry could achieve ‘more than 90mph’ when fitted with a single seat body.
The 1910 car photographed has been owned by Vauxhall Motors since 1946 and is thought to be a pre-production example, one of only nine surviving cars in the world. It is fitted with the earlier 3-litre, 20hp engine (later cars had 4-litre, 25hp units), a lightweight chassis and low front axle. EI 641 was originally registered in Sligo, Ireland.
Interior colour: Cream
Engine Capacity: 3054cc
Top Speed: 65mph (90mph in competition trim)
Fuel Consumption: 25mpg