- Vauxhall D-type celebrates centenary this month
- Prescott hillclimb to host parade of D-types and derivatives this weekend
- Vauxhall’s own D-type – star of War Horse film – to feature in line-up
Luton – Vauxhall and the Vintage Sports Car Club are celebrating the centenary of the D-type and its derivatives this weekend at the Prescott hillclimb in Gloucestershire, where more than a dozen examples of the model will feature in a parade on Sunday, August 5.
A hugely significant car in Vauxhall’s 109-year history, the D-type reinforced the company’s position as a maker of Europe’s most prestigious motor cars. It became famed for its refinement, durability and strength, though its performance wasn’t quite a match for the 1911 C10 ‘Prince Henry’ – Britain’s first sports car – with which it shared its four-litre engine.
Popular with the British army, the D-type’s inherent strength made it a stalwart of the First World War, where it saw action in theatres as diverse as Egypt and Salonika. In fact, the Morning Post was moved to say this about the D-type: ‘The four-cylinder Vauxhall cars have proved to be the most generally satisfactory of any British make for Staff service (during the war)’. In total, nearly 2000 D-types were produced between 1912 and 1922.
After the war, the D-type morphed into the OD-type 23/60, which had an upgraded four-litre engine with overhead valves and a separate cylinder head (the D-type used a monobloc). The 23/60 was produced until 1927 and sold nearly 1300 units.
The VSCC’s Prescott meet this weekend will showcase 250 pre-war cars competing for honours on the famous hillclimb track. Vauxhall will field its D-type army staff car that starred in the 2012 Steven Spielberg film, War Horse, and its 1923 23/60 Kington Tourer in the Sunday parade. The event starts at 9.00am and finishes at 5.30pm on Saturday and Sunday.