1920 Vauxhall

In the years surrounding the Great War the Vauxhall firm, led by its technical director Lawrence H. Pomeroy, was one of Britain's foremost builders of high performance automobiles. Developed from the 3-litre C-Type cars built for the Prince Henry Trials, the four-liter Type D introduced in 1912 gave excellent service as military staff cars in the war. Their demonstrated performance and reliability no doubt recommended them to owners whose environment encompassed more rugged conditions, including the first buyer of this car, Mr. E.K. Bowan of "Wargundy", Craboon, New South Wales, Australia, about 250 miles northwest of Sydney. According to Vauxhall production records it is the first chassis built in 1921 although dated by the factory as a 1920 model. Shipped to Australia as a rolling chassis, it was bodied locally with the special coachwork with extended top to shade its occupants from Australia's intense sunshine which it retains to this day. A fascinating body of correspondence both direct and indirect accompanies the car attesting to its long history in Australia including over thirty years at the outback sheep station Barkly Downs in the ownership of Mr. Joe Draper. In the late 60's it was acquired by Mr. Frank Aston who as a young mechanic had tended to it at the GM dealership in Mt. Isa, Queensland while owned by Draper. It was acquired from Aston in 1989 by Mr. Gavin Campbell who completed a comprehensive restoration of the car, which had been stored partially disassembled for over ten years, including some upgrades for more reliable touring including a discretely placed alternator and turn indicators. Carefully preserved by collectors in the U.K. and U.S. since 1998, it is finished in its original livery of green with black fenders, black Rudge Whitworth centerlock wire wheels, green leather upholstery and a black top with green piping. It has a dual panel opening windshield, a number of handsome period accessories including the bullet marker lights, nickel plated drum headlights, a single spare wheel side-mounted on the right side, Vauxhall gauges, Smiths clock, Watford speedometer, CAV switchbox and a radiator mascot of the flag-carrying Vauxhall griffin. The original, matching number side valve inline four-cylinder engine makes 60 brake horsepower driving through a four-speed with reverse transmission. It runs and drives well, will run over 65mph and, if experience with the later D-type based 4 1/2 liter Vauxhall 30/98s is any indication, is capable of challenging an enthusiastically driven 3-litre Bentley which it resembles in design, coachwork and sporting concept.

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