Is Your Car Really British? Part One - Vauxhall

Thu 1st Mar 2018

The British Isles used to be one of the bastions of motor supremacy, some of the biggest car brands, names that go down in history. But no more – we may believe that the famous name brand car we are driving is as British as roast beef and Yorkshire pudding – unfortunately we are probably wrong.

Founded by Alexander Wilson in 1857 as a pump and marine engine manufacturer, Vauxhall was bought by Andrew Betts Brown in 1863, who began producing travelling cranes. In 1903 the company built its first car with about 70 single cylinder models produced in its first year.

Production moved to Luton in 1905 and in 1907 the company changed its name to Vauxhall Motors. Vauxhall owed much of their early success to Laurence Pomeroy, after joining the company at 2, he was asked to design an engine for cars to be entered in the 1908 RAC and Scottish Reliability Trials. The cars were so good that Pomeroy was asked to replace existing chief designer F.W Hodges who had been on a long holiday.

The first design from Pomeroy’s stable was the Y-Type Y1, a vehicle which had excellent hill climbing abilities. At the famous Brooklands circuit, the Y-Type was so far ahead of the field that the driver managed to slow down and still win with an average speed of 46mph.

Following this success, Vauxhall put the A-Type into production and made four different types over the next six years. At its peak, the A-Type was capable of a speedy 100mph.

Vauxhall vehicles were used extensively in the First World War as staff cars for the British forces, as the D-Type and that vehicle remained in production after the war, along with a sportier E-Type which followed.

However, once Pomeroy left the company in 1919 Vauxhall went into decline and their top end cars were not popular with the public. In 1925, seeking investment, they were bought out by General Motors – bringing an end to British ownership of the famous brand.

Vauxhall is still a popular brand today. has 300 different models available. Click your car today and get it delivered to your door.