Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

'Oldest' Vauxhall could fetch £80k

The 1903 Vauxhall 5hp Two-Seater Light Car

A car believed to be the oldest surviving Vauxhall is expected to fetch up to £80,000 when it goes up for auction.

The 1903 Vauxhall two-seater will go under the hammer at Bonhams in London.

Modelled in cream with brown leather upholstery, the car was ordered for Vauxhall managing director Percy Kidner on November 6 1903.

Mr Kidner sold the car in April 1904 to Dr Dudley Bernhardt, who lived in Marylebone, London.

The vehicle remained in the Bernhardt family and was in regular use until around 1920 - when it was fitted with a modern-style radiator and bonnet.

Interest in the car perked up after the Second World War and in 1955 it was loaned to the London Science Museum for exhibition.

With help from Vauxhall Motors at Luton in Bedfordshire, the museum modernised the vehicle, which took part in London to Brighton runs. It underwent a major refurbishment in 2001/2002.

Tim Schofield, director of Bonhams' UK motor car department, said: "This is the first time in 108 years this historic landmark vehicle has been offered on the open market.

"We believe it is the oldest surviving Vauxhall, which makes it a very important motor car and a great addition to what is shaping up to be a fantastic auction at our flagship saleroom in early November."

Among other cars being auctioned are a 1904 Wolseley Tonneau, which could fetch as much as £150,000, and a 1904 Wilson-Pilcher which might reach £220,000.