Vauxhall Prince Henry 24 Sports Torpedo

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Prince Henry 24 Sports Torpedo





The Vauxhall Prince Henry was a car manufactured by Vauxhall from 1911 to 1914. It had a length of around 4.05 metres (159.4 in) and a weight of 1,250 kg (2,756 lb) depending on the model and the coachwork fitted.

It is often thought of as the first sports car insofar as its high performance depends less on brute strength and more on overall excellence of design and sturdiness of construction

Known to Vauxhall as their C-10 three specially prepared cars were entered in the 1200 mile (1900 km) long 1910 Motor Trials named in honour of Prince Henry of Prussia. Replicas of the trial cars sold quickly and became known as Prince Henry Vauxhalls. Prince Henry cars also competed in other international trials including the 1911 St Petersburg to Sebastopol Trial and so two cars were sold to Tsar Nicholas II. A sales and support and distribution branch was opened in Moscow with good results. Hampered by the First World War the office was finally closed after the 1918 revolution.

The Prince Henry was a higher tuned version of the Vauxhall 20 hp that had been designed in the winter of 1907-08 by then draughtsman Laurence Pomeroy (1883–1941) when the company's chief engineer F. W. Hodges was away on holiday. The engine was of 4-cylinder monobloc design with side valves and a capacity of 3054 cc giving 40 bhp (30 kW) output. Three of these cars were entered in the RAC 2,000-mile (3,200 km) trial and one won the speed trials at Brooklands which was part of the event as well as winning the fuel economy award for its class. This victory helped Pomeroy to be promoted to Works Manager.

With the decision to enter the Prince Henry Trial the engine power was increased to 60 bhp (45 kW) at 2800 rpm and as a result of the success replicas were put on the market at £580 with the chassis code C10 and known as the Prince Henry model.

Both Austro-Daimler and Vauxhall offered for sale replicas of their Prince Henry models at the 1911 Olympia Motor Show

In 1913 the engine capacity was increased to 3969 cc and the internal designation changed to C. Production continued until 1915.

Cars produced in 1914 have flutes in the bonnet that fade out a short way behind the radiator

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