1928 Vauxhall 20/60 Hurlingham Speedster  Chassis no. 023931

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Lot 211
1928 Vauxhall 20/60 Hurlingham Speedster
Chassis no. 023931

Sold for US$ 139,000 inc. premium
1928 Vauxhall 20/60 Hurlingham Speedster
Chassis no. 023931
The first Vauxhall car, a five-horsepower model with tiller steering, was built by the Vauxhall Iron Works in 1903. Named after the London district where the factory was originally located, the firm also manufactured pumps and marine engines. A move to Luton was made shortly after auto production began.

In 1905, the talented L. H. Pomeroy joined the firm as a designer. Already a sporting car enthusiast, Pomeroy would lead Vauxhall to introduce the 1911 ‘Prince Henry’. This superbly balanced masterpiece is generally conceded to have been the first British sports car. The ‘Prince Henry’ was followed by the 4.5-liter 30/98, a powerful (up to 120 bhp) sports chassis that remained in limited production over a 14-year span.

Pomeroy left Vauxhall in 1923 to pursue a career in the U.S. His replacement, Harry (later Sir Harry) Ricardo, was also a brilliant technical innovator, his cylinder head designs would become legendary. Ricardo designed a new Vauxhall, the mighty 25/70. Costing nearly as much as a Rolls-Royce, the 25/70 unfortunately came to market just as coach built car sales were declining in Great Britain. Vauxhall soon found itself in financial difficulty.

In 1925, General Motors bought Vauxhall for $2.5 million, intending from the first to convert the firm into a high volume producer of smaller, lower-priced cars (a strategy that, happily, would save the company during the forthcoming Great Depression). During 1928-1930, as GM focused on the upcoming introduction of the Vauxhall Cadet, the Luton works produced only the upper-medium price, 6-cylinder, 20/60 line.

The wonderful 1928 Hurlingham Speedster helped keep Vauxhall and the 20/60 line in the public eye. It was the last model to have a direct link to the company’s storied past and was easily identified as a Vauxhall by its fluted radiator shell, a hallmark of the company’s products since the teens.

The smoothly streamlined and beautifully sculpted boattail body included a ‘dickey’ (rumble) seat, a very unusual feature for such a style. The Vauxhall Hurlingham Speedster was cataloged as late as 1930, but few were sold. Interestingly, a modified version of the design was subsequently used on the 1931-1932 Chevrolet ‘Moonlight Speedster’, bodied by Holden’s for the Australian market.

The vendor obtained this extremely rare Vauxhall Hurlingham Speedster from the famed Abba Kogan collection in 2004. It has since been refurbished with new paint, a fresh leather interior and thorough engine detailing. The body sheet metal and wood framework were found to be totally original and remain so. The car is perfectly complemented by its era-authentic accessory full wheel discs and spotlight.

Saleroom notices

  • The chassis number should read 'RPA-023931' as pictured in the catalog
1928 Vauxhall 20/60 Hurlingham Speedster  Chassis no. 023931
1928 Vauxhall 20/60 Hurlingham Speedster  Chassis no. 023931
1928 Vauxhall 20/60 Hurlingham Speedster  Chassis no. 023931
1928 Vauxhall 20/60 Hurlingham Speedster  Chassis no. 023931
1928 Vauxhall 20/60 Hurlingham Speedster  Chassis no. 023931
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