Originally built to compete in the 1910 Prince Henry Trophy, a German trial designed to discover the world’s best all-round touring car, the C-10 3-liter Vauxhall has since been acknowledged as Britain’s, if not the world’s, first true sports car.
Laurence Pomeroy, Vauxhall’s Chief Engineer, entered three C-10s in the 1910 event, each with tuned versions of the company’s 3054-cc side-valve engine. The cars were driven by Vauxhall’s MD, Percy Kidner, and co-directors, AJ Hancock and Rudolf Selz, all of whom finished the 1230-mile event, but alas without collecting any awards. However, due to the cars’ speed and durability, a legend had been created and later the same year a road version, known as the “Prince Henry Type” was shown to the press.
The Autocar noted that the new car was, “…a particularly fast, light car for road work,” with Vauxhall guaranteeing that the Prince Henry could achieve “more than 90 mph” when fitted with a single-seat body.
The 1910 car photographed below has been owned by Vauxhall Motors since 1946 and is thought to be a pre-production example, one of only nine surviving cars in the world. It is fitted with the earlier 3-liter, 20-hp engine (later cars had 4-liter, 25-hp units), a lightweight chassis and low front axle. EI 641 was originally registered in Sligo, Ireland.
Interior color: Cream
Engine Capacity: 3054-cc
Top Speed: 65mph (90mph in competition trim)
Fuel Consumption: 25 mpg