News : Bonhams to sell oldest Vauxhall at veteran car run

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

1903 Vauxhall 5hp Two-seater
1903 Vauxhall 5hp Two-seater

With the future of Vauxhall under scrutiny as ever, it’s good to reflect on the past. And it doesn’t get much more ‘past’ than this car, being auctioned by Bonhams on 2 November. This Vauxhall is one of  14 vehicles on sale, and four at the auction that are eligible for the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run the following day.

Lot 203, the 1903 Vauxhall 5hp Two-seater Light Car ordered new for Percy Kidner, Vauxhall Managing Director. It is believed to be the world’s oldest known surviving Vauxhall. Vauxhall’s works order book shows that car no. 0335 was ordered on 6 November 1903 for Vauxhall Director, Percy Kidner, at ‘director’s price’. It is a standard model, liveried in cream with red lining, equipped with a pair of Dietz sidelamps and an acetylene headlamp with generator.

The remarkable history file with the car contains many invoices and records of repair and maintenance during the Bernhardt family ownership, along with Dr. Bernhardt’s driving licence from 1903 and much more. It is the first time this significantly important car has been offered on the open market for 108 years, and is described in the catalogue as having a history that is ‘truly remarkable and represents a landmark car in the history of one of England’s premier motor car manufacturers’.

The estimated price is £60,000-£80,000.

Keith Adams

Keith Adams

Editor and creator AROnline at AROnline
Created www.austin-rover.co.uk in 2001 and built it up to become the world's foremost reference source for all things BMC, Leyland and Rover Group, before renaming it AROnline in 2007.

Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...

Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.
Keith Adams

8 Comments

  1. @ Andrew Elphick. Look for the packet of ciggies in the glovebox, and then you’ll know. If a car was owned by Mike Humble, I’d have no qualms in buying it-you’d know it would be reliable.

  2. @2 Magnus – I agree the new Cascada looks pretty inviting. Am I right in thinking this is a Coupe Cabrio version of the Astra with a changed name?

  3. The Cascada is sortarelated to the Astra, but it isn’t. It’s bigger than an Astra. Personally, I think it’s the Epsilon platform from the Saab 9-3 Cabriolet given a new coat.

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