Luton – A 100 year old Vauxhall model has recently celebrated the centenary of the Swedish Winter Reliability Trial by retracing the steps of the original event.
The Prince Henry model, owned by Alisdaire Lockhart of Selkirk, was driven from Gothenburg to Stockholm and back again, closely following the 1912 route, completing 620 miles (nearly 1000kms).
Lockhart shared the driving with Andrew Duerden, Vauxhall’s Archivist. Kay Mordza, of the Swedish Vauxhall Owners Club, who arranged the journey, partnered them on the event. The car never missed a beat and averaged over 40mph for the entire event (cruising at 55mph on open roads) and achieving 30mpg.
In 1912, Percy Kidner, Vauxhall’s Managing Director, drove the Prince Henry model. He was the fastest entrant on the event, but incurred penalty points by arriving too early at checkpoints. The 2012 team were able to visit many of the points from the original route during their journey. At Norrkoping they visited the Standard Hotel building where the original photograph was recreated.
Alisdaire Lockhart’s long and painstaking reconstruction of the Prince Henry model paid dividends during the event with a reliable and speedy performance from the vehicle. Lockhart also paid testament to Kidner’s 1912 endeavours:
“We were lucky to have decent, asphalt roads and good weather. Kidner had snow covered surfaces with extremely chilly conditions which make his achievements even more astonishing”