From 1903 – 2014: A Brief History of Vauxhall

Vauxhall started making cars in 1903, and since then their cars have gone on to become some of the most popular models in the world. Their vision and philosophy has remained with them ever since their first car, the 6HP, was created, and now even their futuristic models are created with the same love and care. Keep reading for a brief history of this world class company.

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Photo by Steve Glover

The Early Years

The 6HP was the first car that Vauxhall ever built. With a single cylinder, slow revving engine and a forward thinking chassis, the 6HP firmly put Vauxhall on the market. In 1908 the A-Type was released, and quickly become renowned for beating a Rolls Royce on a speed test over 200 miles. This was shortly followed by the Prince Henry in 1910, the most well known Vauxhall during Edwardian times. The Prince Henry was the car of choice for wealthy consumers who loved its technical innovation and style.

Between 1913 and 1923, Vauxhall released three more cars: the 30-98, the 1922 TT, and the E-Type. Each was sportier and more elegant than the last, showing that Vauxhall really had an eye for design. In 1925, the company was taken over by GM Motors in a $2.5 million deal.

The 1930s-1990s

GM Motors helped to increase the production of Vauxhall cars, and it wasn’t long before they produced a car that looks similar to what we drive today. The Cadet, released in 1930, was the first car of its type in Britain. Described as a car for lazy people that had a long way to go, sales soared, and Vauxhall once again proved that they were ahead of the market.

During the war years, Vauxhall designed and developed the Churchill Mark War Tank. It was the only tank able to withstand the 88mm tungster carbide shot from the German Tiger Tank.

Following the Second World War, Vauxhall returned to designing cars. They soon found there was a 2-3 year waiting list for one of their models, and over half of the cars they produced were being shipped abroad. The 1950’s saw the PA Cresta wow at motor shows, and Vauxhall made a name for themselves for designing stylish cars that everyone loved.

As the decades passed, Vauxhall continued to make stylish cars that were loved by all. 1980 saw the release of the first Vauxhall Astra, whilst the first Corsa was released in 1993. The first Vectra was released in 1995, and the first Zafira was released in 1999.

2000’s – Present Day

The turn of the century saw Vauxhall release their VXR line of cars, which have gained legendary status with consumers and the media alike. As well as further improving on the style of cars, Vauxhall also focused on safety, announcing a five star crash test rating for the Corsa in 2006. Flexible finance offers were announced in 2011 making it easier for people to afford a new car.

Nowadays, Vauxhall is focusing on creating stylish vehicles that are eco-friendly. In the future, we can expect to see high performance electric cars, and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles. We can’t wait to see what they have in store for us next!

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