In feature No. 4 in a series covering significant Vauxhall models through the decades, we take a look at an innovative and ahead-of-its-time family saloon from 1937, the H-Type Ten-Four…
(All information and photographs from Vauxhall).
VAUXHALL H-TYPE TEN-FOUR
In 1937, Vauxhall’s H-type ‘Ten-Four’ model turned the booming 10 hp (RAC rating) market on its head. It was the first British unitary construction car, and the first mainstream British car to have synchromesh gears. It also had hydraulic brakes and independent front suspension, so quite a technical tour de force in its day.
The H’s technological advances – the result of a million-pound investment by Vauxhall – proved instantly popular with British drivers, and five months after its launch 10,000 models had been sold. The price was right, too: At a highly competitive £159, it became the default choice in class for many buyers.
By 1940, when production ceased due to the start of hostilities, the little ‘H’ had found its way into more than 42,000 British households.
This Deluxe model in the colour photographs is owned by Vauxhall Heritage and was restored to its original specification, including an application of polychromatic cellulose paint.
Body: 4-door saloon & 2-door coupé
Engine configuration: 4-cylinders in-line
Engine capacity: 1203cc
Top Speed: 60 mph
0-50 mph: 18.0 secs
Fuel Consumption: 36 – 42 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