1920 Vauxhall 30-98hp E-type Two-seat plus Dickey Tourer  Chassis no. E260
Lot 558
1920 Vauxhall 30-98hp E-type Two-seat plus Dickey Tourer
Coachwork by Grosvenor
£220,000 - 260,000
US$ 280,000 - 330,000

Lot Details
1920 Vauxhall 30-98hp E-type Two-seat plus Dickey Tourer  Chassis no. E260 1920 Vauxhall 30-98hp E-type Two-seat plus Dickey Tourer  Chassis no. E260 1920 Vauxhall 30-98hp E-type Two-seat plus Dickey Tourer  Chassis no. E260 1920 Vauxhall 30-98hp E-type Two-seat plus Dickey Tourer  Chassis no. E260 1920 Vauxhall 30-98hp E-type Two-seat plus Dickey Tourer  Chassis no. E260 1920 Vauxhall 30-98hp E-type Two-seat plus Dickey Tourer  Chassis no. E260 1920 Vauxhall 30-98hp E-type Two-seat plus Dickey Tourer  Chassis no. E260 1920 Vauxhall 30-98hp E-type Two-seat plus Dickey Tourer  Chassis no. E260 1920 Vauxhall 30-98hp E-type Two-seat plus Dickey Tourer  Chassis no. E260 1920 Vauxhall 30-98hp E-type Two-seat plus Dickey Tourer  Chassis no. E260 1920 Vauxhall 30-98hp E-type Two-seat plus Dickey Tourer  Chassis no. E260 1920 Vauxhall 30-98hp E-type Two-seat plus Dickey Tourer  Chassis no. E260 1920 Vauxhall 30-98hp E-type Two-seat plus Dickey Tourer  Chassis no. E260 1920 Vauxhall 30-98hp E-type Two-seat plus Dickey Tourer  Chassis no. E260 1920 Vauxhall 30-98hp E-type Two-seat plus Dickey Tourer  Chassis no. E260 1920 Vauxhall 30-98hp E-type Two-seat plus Dickey Tourer  Chassis no. E260 1920 Vauxhall 30-98hp E-type Two-seat plus Dickey Tourer  Chassis no. E260 1920 Vauxhall 30-98hp E-type Two-seat plus Dickey Tourer  Chassis no. E260 1920 Vauxhall 30-98hp E-type Two-seat plus Dickey Tourer  Chassis no. E260 1920 Vauxhall 30-98hp E-type Two-seat plus Dickey Tourer  Chassis no. E260 1920 Vauxhall 30-98hp E-type Two-seat plus Dickey Tourer  Chassis no. E260 1920 Vauxhall 30-98hp E-type Two-seat plus Dickey Tourer  Chassis no. E260 1920 Vauxhall 30-98hp E-type Two-seat plus Dickey Tourer  Chassis no. E260 1920 Vauxhall 30-98hp E-type Two-seat plus Dickey Tourer  Chassis no. E260 1920 Vauxhall 30-98hp E-type Two-seat plus Dickey Tourer  Chassis no. E260 1920 Vauxhall 30-98hp E-type Two-seat plus Dickey Tourer  Chassis no. E260 1920 Vauxhall 30-98hp E-type Two-seat plus Dickey Tourer  Chassis no. E260 1920 Vauxhall 30-98hp E-type Two-seat plus Dickey Tourer  Chassis no. E260 1920 Vauxhall 30-98hp E-type Two-seat plus Dickey Tourer  Chassis no. E260 1920 Vauxhall 30-98hp E-type Two-seat plus Dickey Tourer  Chassis no. E260 1920 Vauxhall 30-98hp E-type Two-seat plus Dickey Tourer  Chassis no. E260 1920 Vauxhall 30-98hp E-type Two-seat plus Dickey Tourer  Chassis no. E260 1920 Vauxhall 30-98hp E-type Two-seat plus Dickey Tourer  Chassis no. E260 1920 Vauxhall 30-98hp E-type Two-seat plus Dickey Tourer  Chassis no. E260 1920 Vauxhall 30-98hp E-type Two-seat plus Dickey Tourer  Chassis no. E260
1920 Vauxhall 30-98hp E-type Two-seat plus Dickey Tourer
Coachwork by Grosvenor

Registration no. SK 517
Chassis no. E260
*Only six owners from new
*One of only two survivors with this body style
*Highly original
*In-period competition history
*Extensively restored in the mid-1960s and early 2000s

Footnotes

  • Offered here is an example of what is considered by many knowledgeable enthusiasts to be the finest British sporting car of the Vintage period. Vauxhall 30-98 adherents will maintain that while Bentley generated greater publicity - thanks largely to their victories at Le Mans - the Vauxhall company (which raced at both Grand Prix and Tourist Trophy level before the Great War) had produced a car that could run rings around 3-Litre Bentleys on cross-country journeys.

    The 'big engine/lightweight car' formula has been repeated to good effect many times throughout the history of the sporting motor car, and Vauxhall's famous 30-98 was one of its earliest successful applications. As has so often been the case, the spur behind this particular combination was the desire for competition success; the first 30-98 being constructed at the behest of car dealer and motor sport competitor, Joseph Higginson, in 1913. Higginson's first objective was victory in the Shelsley Walsh hill climb in June of that year, and the Laurence Pomeroy-designed 30-98 duly obliged, setting a hill record in the process which was to stand for 15 years.

    Laurence Pomeroy's tenure as Vauxhall's Chief Engineer saw the Luton-based concern produce some of the truly outstanding designs of the Edwardian period, commencing with the 20hp Prince Henry in 1910. A larger version of the Prince Henry's four-cylinder side-valve engine was developed for its successor, the D-type, which, with some 70bhp on tap, was good for 70mph-plus when not overburdened by formal coachwork. Pomeroy's 30-98 was powered by a 4.5-litre, four-cylinder, side-valve engine - in effect a stretched version of the Prince Henry/D-type's - mounted in a conventional but lightweight chassis; suspension being by beam axle at the front and live axle at the rear, with semi-elliptic springs all round. Power was transmitted via a multi-plate clutch to a robust four-speed gearbox, and thence via a short prop-shaft to the straight-cut bevel rear axle. The braking system consisted of a foot-operated transmission brake and a handbrake operating on the two rear drums, the front wheels being un-braked.

    At first glance this unremarkable specification seems an unlikely one for a performance car - even an Edwardian example - but the 30-98's 90bhp-plus power output, combined with a weight of only 24cwt (with the factory-built, four-seater 'Velox' tourer coachwork) gave it a formidable power-to-weight ratio for the time. A fully road-equipped 30/98 was capable of around 85mph, and when stripped for racing, the company guaranteed a top-speed in excess of 100mph for the later overhead-valve models, a capability demonstrated at Brooklands on numerous occasions.

    Only a handful of cars was sold before the outbreak of WWI interrupted production, and when manufacture resumed in 1919, the model was given the designation 'E-Type' - its Prince Henry predecessor having been the 'C' and the 25hp Tourer the 'D'. Manufacture of the E-type ceased in September 1922 after 287 cars had been constructed, there then being a slight hiatus in production before its successor, the overhead-valve 'OE', commenced delivery to customers in early 1923. Despite a reduction in capacity to 4.2 litres, the power of the OHV motor went up to 110bhp-plus, although this increase made little difference to the car's performance.

    Chassis number 'E260' is one of the second batch of Vauxhall 30-98s produced after WWI. It was built to Vauxhall Works Order number '2503', erecting shop date 07/07/1920, and was bodied by Grosvenor of London in the sporting two-seat plus dickey style. The engine, gearbox, and rear axle numbers appear to be original to this chassis.

    The car's first owner was Captain Alexander 'Sachie' George McCorquodale, a former RFC British Army officer from Scotland and heir to a printing fortune. He was married to novelist Barbara Cartland on 23rd April 1927 (they divorced in 1933). Their daughter, Raine McCorquodale, became Countess Spencer by marriage and was the mother of the late Princess Diana. The Captain was an enthusiastic participant in long-distance trials, entering the car in the MCC London-Edinburgh trials in 1921, '23, and '24.

    In 1959/1960, the Vauxhall was rescued and restored by Edward Dames-Longworth, who toured France in it. The car was acquired by the current vendor at auction in 1996. Subsequently (in the early 2000s) the car underwent extensive mechanical refurbishment by renowned 30/98 specialist Arthur Archer to bring it to tip-top condition (see bills on file for circa £50,000). It has seen little use since, and the engine would benefit from further careful 'running in'. In recent years 'SK 517' has participated in the Vauxhall Prince Henry and 30-98 Centenary events in 2010 and 2013, was invited to the Goodwood Festival of Speed Cartier Style et Luxe Concours D'Elegance in 2013 and was featured in Classic & Sports Car magazine in August 2013. The current owner is Mr Nick Reilly, CBE, former Chairman and MD of Vauxhall Motors, and President, General Motors Europe.
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