1903 Vauxhall 5hp Two-seater Light Car

1903 Vauxhall 5hp Two-seater Light Car

It’s believed to be the oldest known surviving Vauxhall.

Although long established in the general engineering business, The Vauxhall Ironworks Co. Ltd. of Wandsworth Road, London, did not begin motor car manufacture in London until 1903. The first cars were powered by a 5hp single cylinder, water-cooled engine of 978cc, mounted horizontally under the dash with its cylinder pointing to the rear. It adopted atmospheric inlet and mechanical exhaust valves and the engine speed was regulated by a centrifugal governor. Vauxhall's own spray carburettor was used and ignition was by coil and battery. Drive was via a two speed epicyclic gearbox (no reverse gear was fitted until the 1904 models) and final drive was by chain. Steering was by tiller and the little car weighed just 5cwt.

An advanced feature was the stressed body/chassis construction, the new Vauxhall having a strip steel stiffened and reinforced wooden body serving as a chassis frame to which the engine, transmission, suspension springs and axles are directly attached – a feature almost universally adopted in motor car manufacture some 50 years later. Although many other manufacturers adopted proprietary components, or blatantly copied other manufacturer’s components, Vauxhall proudly boasted that the new 5hp model was designed and manufacture throughout in house. The new car was advertised for '130 guineas with Dunlop Tyres' and was to be offered as either a standard two seater model or a four seater with two passengers accommodated in front of the driver.

Descriptions& pictures by bonhams & gracesguide

Production Start 1903
Country of origin Great Britain