VAUXHALL’S DECADE-A-DAY – 1 – The Vauxhall 5hp Light Car

In Short Cuts, Vauxhall by Development

Built from 1903, Vauxhall’s first year of car production, and known as the ‘Light Car’, the model featured a slow-revving, single-cylinder engine producing just five horsepower.


Perhaps showing Vauxhall’s roots as a producer of marine engines, the Light Car was steered by a tiller, with its speed regulated by a brass hand-wheel next to the driver. A two-speed epicyclic gearbox sent drive through a large chain to the rear wheels, and if determined, the driver could probably squeeze around 25mph from the little car.

This model – like all others manufactured in 1903 and 1904 – was built in Vauxhall’s original South London factory, where around 84 of this type rolled off the production line. The factory moved to Kimpton Road, Luton the following year, where it has been ever since.

The 5hp four-seater in the photographs – the oldest of its kind in the world – is part of Vauxhall’s Heritage Collection and is a regular entrant in the annual London to Brighton Veteran Car Run.

Technical Data: Vauxhall 5hp Light Car Colour Blue Interior colour Black leather Engine Capacity 978cc Top Speed 25mph (ungoverned) 0-60mph n/a Fuel Consumption 38.25mpg


VAUXHALL MOTORS – Vauxhall Motors started making vehicles in the UK in 1903. Today, as the oldest and most familiar of Britain’s automotive manufacturers, its philosophy is to build vehicles that are relevant to all. Vauxhall’s two manufacturing plants in Ellesmere Port and Luton produced 206,000 cars and vans in 2018, and its sales accounted for nine per cent of the UK market.


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A recent survey by Autoglym, the UK’s largest vehicle care brand, has uncovered a startling truth-motorists in the UK are unknowingly inflicting significant harm on their cars. How? By using household cleaning products to tackle everyday dirt and grime. This includes unconventional items like washing-up liquid, scouring pads, scrubbing brushes, laundry detergent, floor cleaner, and…

Continue Reading Using household products on cars can lead to paint damage that costs thousands to repair.