Gables Service Station
30 June 2005
1905 VAUXHALL 7-9HP TWO SEATER
Car/Engine No. 3CM36
Engine: three individual vertical cylinders, 3 x 3¾ ins. bore and stroke, 1,303cc, T-head, water-cooled; Gearbox: three speed and reverse, cone clutch, final drive by side chains; Suspension: front and rear, semi-elliptic leaf springs; Brakes: rear-wheel and transmission brakes. Wooden wheels with beaded-edge tyres. Right hand drive.
The Vauxhall Iron Works was established in 1857 conveniently close to the River Thames at Vauxhall to easily supply the steam engines that it built to the working boats that plied the river. Experimental work with petrol engines began in 1902 and the first motorcars were made the following year - light vehicles with front-mounted single-cylinder horizontal engines, side-tiller steering and single chain drive that were produced at the rate of about one car per week. A more substantial 2½-litre 12-14hp car was brought out towards the end of 1904, with a 3-cylinder vertical engine - for which there was a notable but transient vogue at this time. In January 1905 a 7-9hp model was introduced which The Autocar described as a 'natty and interesting little car...a smaller edition of the big car, similar in every respect as to design.' Both models were exhibited at the Olympia Automobile Show in February 1905 and it is clear from the Vauxhall Works Records that a significant number of orders were taken during the course of the Show.
The precise date of order for this car by the Britannia Motor Co, of High Street Marylebone, was the 20th February and in the column headed 'Date of delivery Promised' is written '1st week June'. This period would cover Vauxhall's relocation from London to Luton and the inevitable disruption to production that occurred. The car's first owner was C.L. Schwind of Lea House, Wheathampstead, who specified a colour scheme of 'dark Midland Railway red, black beading, white [coach]lines - the wheels the same'. He registered the car with Hertfordshire County Council on the 27th June 1905 and received for it the registration AR 861.
Many years ago the car was prepared for restoration but the project did not proceeded and it now needs reviving. It is thought that the car is largely complete but potential purchasers will need to satisfy themselves on this matter.
Out of the total of fifty-two 7-9hp Vauxhalls made only two others are known to survive. This rare and interesting car merits all the time and effort necessary to once more return it to the road.
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No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 17.5% will be added to the buyer's premium, which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.
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