In our second article in a series looking at Vauxhall models through the decades, we are looking at the amazing-for-its-time C-10 three litre ‘Prince Henry’ sports model, which arrived in 1910.
All information and photographs from Vauxhall, plus, 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
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, A J 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 90 mph’ 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, 20 hp engine (later cars had 4 litre, 25 hp units), a lightweight chassis and low front axle. EI 641 was originally registered in Sligo, Ireland.
Interior colour: Cream
Engine Capacity: 3054cc
Top Speed: 65 mph (90 mph in competition trim)
0 – 60 mph: n/a
Fuel Consumption: 25 mpg
They tell us:
Vauxhall Motors started making vehicles in the UK in 1903. Today, as the oldest and most familiar of Britain’s automotive manufacturers, its philosophy is to build vehicles that are relevant to all. Vauxhall’s two manufacturing plants in Ellesmere Port and Luton produced 206,000 cars and vans in 2018, and its sales accounted for nine per cent of the UK market.
Vauxhall has been a Groupe PSA brand since 2017. By 2024, each of its models will offer an electrified version, part of the company’s PACE! plan to become sustainably profitable, global and electric. www.vauxhall.co.uk