Vauxhall through the ages: Britain's first racecar

By: Mark Higgins, Unique Cars magazine

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Vauxhall part 2 Vauxhall part 2

The next in our series of Vauxhalls over the years is the C-10 Prince Henry

It was originally built to compete in the 1910 Prince Henry Trophy, a German trial designed to discover the world’s best all-round touring car, and as a result of successfully completing this event the C-10 3-litre Vauxhall has since been acknowledged as Britain’s, if not the world’s, first true sports car.

Vauxhall’s Chief Engineer Laurence Pomeroy entered a team of three C-10s in the 1910 event, each 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 unfortunately without collecting any trophies.

However, due to the cars’ speed and durability a legend had been created and later the same year a road going version, known as the ‘Prince Henry Type’ was unveiled to the media.

English motoring magazine 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. However, the Prince Henry could still get along at a very respectable 65 mph with its four seat body.


The 1910 car in the photo above is believed to be a pre-production model that has been owned by Vauxhall since 1946. It is one of 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 and was first registered in Sligo, Ireland.

Vauxhall Through the Ages: Part I - Vauxhall's first car

Vauxhall Through the Ages: Part III - Britain's fastest car

Vauxhall Through the Ages: Part IV - The H-Type Ten-Four

Vauxhall Through the Ages: Part V - The Cresta

Vauxhall Through the Ages: Part VI - The XVR Concept 

Vauxhall Through the Ages: Part VII - The Firenza HP DroopSnoot

Vauxhall Through the Ages: Part VIII - Vauxhall's first hot hatch

Vauxhall Through the Ages: Part IX - The world's fastest sedan

Vauxhall Through the Ages: Part X - The Australian finale


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