Reference Mr. Peter Ward’s letter from Australia in your June issue, I should like to pass on a few comments taken from Show numbers of Auto magazine in 1925 which I have in my possession. At the 1925 Motor Show Vauxhall exhibited four chassis models, as follows: 14/40 4-cyl. Princeton Touring Car, £550; 14/40 4-cyl. Bedford Saloon, £650; 23/60 4-cyl. Kington touring Car, £895; 25/70 6-cyl. sleeve-valve .chassis, £1,050; 25/70 6-cyl. Granton Limousine, £1,675; 30/98 4-cyl. chassis, £950.
Messrs. Arthur Mulliner of Northampton and Baker Street, W1, were showing a 25/70 sleeve-valve sports saloon on their stand at the Show and it would appear that all models had aluminium pistons except for the 23/60, and that the 25/70 was the first Vauxhall to have hydraulic brakes specified as standard fitting, A week later appeared the news that negotiations were in progress with General Motors Corporation for the introduction if additional capital to finance the company’s growing business and on November 19th 1925, the news of a function two days earlier at which the announcement Was made by the Vice-President of GMC of the acquisition of Vauxhall Motors Ltd.
So it would appear that the 20/60 was introduced much later than the 25/70 single-sleeve-valve design, indeed one remembers quite well the impact it made for its apparent “trans-Atlantic” influence, albeit it developed for a year on into a car of considerable charm and merit. I well remember a run with a friend from Reading to Birmingham in 1930 accomplished in two hours 10 minutes during which this particular 20/60 (a coachbuilt saloon) was maintaining Al) mile’s-per-hour wherever possible, including almost all main road hills, traffic permitting.
I cannot assist our correspondent regarding engine details, although I suspect that the engine of the 20/60 was later developed into the standard Bedford trends of 1934 onwards, and became the well-known WD truck of 1939 and onwards through the war years, giving a generally good account of itself in very tough conditions.
I may add that my wife and I enjoy a little motoring in a Vauxhall Victor of late 1963 vintage which we purchased some years ago, when it had done 36,000 miles, and was in immaculate condition. It has now done 110,000, and has had no major engine overhaul, apart from decarbonising at about 100,000, when the cylinder bores showed very little wear.
Coventry A. H. WALLIS