VALUE, EXTREMELY COMFORTABLE SEATING AND A VERY USEFUL TOP GEAR PERFORMANCE.
IMPRESSIONS OF THE VAUXHALL “25” SALOON
ALT.() .C,11 the Vauxhall “25” is b v no manlier of means a sports-car, we make no excuse for including these impressions of its performance, gleaned during a drive of nearly 270 miles, because recent correspondence has indicated that a large number of readers of MOTOR SPORT are interested in the behaviour of utility type cars. This Vauxhall ” 25 ” will be of especial interest to those readers— and their number is considerable–who reside in, America, Canada and the Dominions. One’s first impression relates to the size of this Vauxhall. It seems a large, even unwieldy car at close quarters on early acquaintance, although subsequent observation of other people’s ” 25’s ” on the road has shown that the lines are, in reality, very nicely proportioned. But from the driving seat this Vauxhall impresses one as a Compact car, very easy to put through congested streets, probably because it is not ” modern ” to the extent of low seating and invisible wings. Both wing lamps can be seen, and seat and steering column are adjustable. Essentially the car is simple to handle. The starter is operated by depression of the clutch pedal, engine suction putting the switch out of action at all times when the engine is running. The Vauxhall engineers were thinking of novice drivers stalling in traffic, of course, possibly on a hill that would keep their right foot glued to the brake-pedal until the engine re-started, but this arrangement also effectively fools those friends and garage hands who move fuell.-ss cars electrically ! There is no oil-gauge and no thermometer to watch and the wheel centre carries only the horn-button and control for the self-cancelling direction indicators. The carburation is weakened or enriched quite automatically, the hotspotting and intake temperature is thermostatically governed, cooling water temperature likewise, and ignition timing is automatically varied by both suction and engine speed, with no hand control,
Engine : Six cylinders s1.9 x 101.6 man. (:3.21:0 et.) 21.07 h.p. Tax L.. Push-rod
0.1i. Coil ignition. antomtt kali), con.
trolleki. Pump cooling. thermostat ically o.mt rolled.
Gear oz : Four spN,d and l'(‘N’t•Nt..
mesh on second, third and t of:, Cent ral lever. liat los : 4.44. 6.66, 9.s5 and 14.20 toI.
Suspension : ‘Independent at front by coil springs and torsion liars. Half-elliptic at rear. Luvax hydraulic shoek-absorbers.
Brakes : Ilydraulic brakes on all four wheels, with safety hoc)k-up.
Fuel Range : 12 gallons, approximately 204 miles.
Dimensions : Wheelbase : ft. 3 in.
Track : 4 ft. fq in .
Turning circle : Right 4:3 ft.
Left 16 ft. in.
Ground Clearanee : 61 in. Weight (imbiden) : 1 ton I I cwt.. .1r. 16 lb.
Price : Four-door. six light saloon : 2298. Makers : Messrs. Vauxhall Motors Ltd., Lutott. Beds. although there is an under-bonnet micrometer-distributor-adjustment for varying the timing-limits positively, to suit high or low quality fuels. The instrument panel is likewise of simple conception, containing two big Cubbyholes, and a fuel-gauge (accurate in its functioning), clock, speedometer, and ammeter as square-dialled instruments, the only other controls being the switch for all lights and two-stage dynamo charge, ignition key. and combined choke and throttle control. Normally one starts from rest in second gear, and the synchro-mesh works really well, quite fast if desired, and permitting of double-declutching. The hand-brake worked fairly .effectively. So that this big Vauxhall is a very easy car to drive. The clutch action is very positive, but the pedal movement is rather considerable and some practice is needed to ob
viate a jerky get-away. Some of the bother in this connection was due to momentary engine hesitation, but it is not really a troublesome matter. In traffic, as on clearer roads, this Vauxhall has a very masterly performance for a mass-production car. Acceleration in second gear is very brisk up to about 30 m.p.h. and is continued to 50 m.p.h. in third, while the top-gear performance is of the order usually associated with a big-engined American. This ability to make very good use of gaps in the traffic is pleasantly allied to the ability to swing smoothly through congested plates with an admirable verve. The steering is fight, almost finger-light, and acts smoothly, and it has rapid castor action, although by sports-car standards it is low-geared, asking 3f turns, lock to lock. Nevertheless, it is generally very good steering, and return action is only evident when the front wheels are working abnormally over bad surfaces. The steering column is telescopic, but did not appear to lock positively. We had no opportunity to check the speedometer, or to take acceleration figures, but this Vauxhall cruises happily at a speedometer speed of 70 m.p.h., will hold 80 when you are in a hurry, and reached a maximum of 85 m.p.h. (probably 81) when we ” took on,” and beat, a 2.3-litre Bugatti. The makers claim to 50 m.p.h. in 16* secs. ; thereafter the acceleration tends to tail off. The suspension, while not of sportscar characteristics, is not as soft as the style of car would lead one to expect. At the front it is independent, and provided one is prepared to really ” drive,” the Vauxhall can be cornered impressively fast. Another aspect of the suspension is the very comfortable ride, it provides. For instance, on the decidedly bad stretch of road between Hockcliffe and Stony Stratford, on A5, we held 50 and 60 m.p.h. unconcernedly, and woniered why other vehicles went so slowly, until we recollected how our previous conveyance to Donington had behaved at this locality. The front suspension works admirably, with only a slight indication
of movement when in reality the wheels are being deflected excessively. Our only criticism of it concerns a tendency to wheel judder or tramp on full lock, possibly the penalty of having such generous Steering lock. Independent suspension we deemed well worth while on this moderately priced car. The brakes, too, are -very good indeed, being extremely effective in slowing the car from high speeds, progressive in action, and making no sound Save a slight rubbing noise. There was some return movement through the pedal. From the foregoing remarks it will be perceived that the Vauxhall ” 25″ is no sluggard. In confirmation of this we may mention that, strange to the car, we took exactly three hours from Fin chley Road, London, to the Competitors’ Enclosure, Donington Park, going via St. Albans, Dunstable, Towcester, Weeder’ Beck, and along B 584 to Ashby-de-la-Zouch, a distance of approximately 116 miles. Much of the time heavy rain fell, and we cruised at 45 to 50 m.p.h. while a levelcrossing near High Cross delayed us for about ten minutes, in company with spine sporting occupants of an open Ford Ten.
Particularly impressive, in view of its ability to cover the ground, is the smooth, completely unobtrusive functioning of the engine at all speeds, while third gear is as silent as top and second gear emits only a low hum. The screen-wiper could have been a trifle more effective, and the scuttle-top ventilator leaked rain onto the driver’s left leg during a torrential downpour. But generally the body appointments are good, with excellent sliding roof, really substantial, separately adjustable bucket seats, and an exceedingly roomy rear seat with folding central arm-rest. The windows have swivelling half-panes for ventilation purposes. The screenwiper, incidentally, is engine-driven. The luggage-locker is of very generous area and when the doors of the rear compartment are opened the interior lights will function automatically. The wheels are of pressed-steel type, particularly easy to clean and, indeed, the whole exterior of the Vauxhall ” 25 ” is of such a nature as to cheer considerably the person whose job it is to keep the car pristine. There is a foot-operated head-lamp dimmer that worked effec tively, but we would have liked a More strident horn-note. A rough check showed the fuel consumption to be about 16 to 17 m.p.g., under conditions of hard driving. The pedals are well spread and the hinged, treddle-type accelerator is comfortable to use. The screenwipers are controlled from a tiny lever on the Screen-base and the rear-view mirror is adequate. This Vauxhall offers truly astonishing value for money at the low price of L2-98 and is of direct interest to all who have reason to journey hastily with four passengers aboard and who appreciate modern conveniences
and easy performance. Personally, we should not, however, refer to it as the successor to the immortal 30/68 Vauxhall. Salmons and Sons, The Grosvenor Carriage Co. Ltd., Connaught Coachwork Ltd., and Martin Walter Ltd. list special bodywork on the ” 25 ” chassis. The equipment includes Firestone tyres, Triplex safety glass, A.C. plugs, and Belco finish. The makers are Messrs. Vauxhall Motors Ltd., Luton, Beds. Seldom have we felt so enthusiastic over the value and performance of a nonsports type of car.