MAR 20th 2016

This 4‑litre Vauxhall A‑Type Battles Dragons

The base of the seat is at waist height and the buttoned leather trim wouldn’t look out of place on a chesterfield settee. This is motorsport Edwardian style, although this 1914 Vauxhall A-Type was only ever used as a road car when it was new. It was built just before outbreak of World War One, a time when motor racing was a low priority.

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‘It would have had a two-seater body that looked rather like the Mercedes-Benz models that are here,’ says driver James Gunn. ‘It received this body about 20 years ago.’ It also has a Vauxhall D-Type engine from 1918. It’s a 4.0-litre, up from the original 3.0-litre engine but still small in the context of the S.F. Edge Trophy. The first-ever Members’ Meeting race for Edwardian machines features many aero-engined machines, most of which passed the Vauxhall ‘as if it was standing still on the Lavant Straight.’

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What it lacks in straight-line pace, the Vauxhall makes up in entertainment value in the corners. ‘It’s very controllable and drifts nicely,’ says James. The car was raced quite regularly after its rebuild a couple of decades ago, but for the last five years it has had no competitive outings. ‘It gets difficult to keep running when obsolete parts break.’ The invitation to the first Members’ Meeting race for Edwardian cars was enough to bring the Vauxhall out of retirement, and James is enjoying every moment.

Photography by Tom Shaxson

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