ONE of the world’s first-ever true sports cars, 102 years of age and still going strong, will go to auction in London next month with expectations it could fetch as much as 600-thousand-pounds, or close to AU$1m.
The Vauxhall Prince Henry Sport Torpedo was designed by one of the company’s most famous engineers, Laurence Pomeroy and named after Prince Henry of Prussia after the prototype Sport Torpedo made its debut in the 1,900km Tour of Prussia motor trial in 1910.
The exceptionally rare 25hp 1914 model that’s going to auction has had just four owners in its century-plus lifetime. The first was a Mr T.W. Badgery who racked up more than 225,000km before selling it to his son Laurence Jnr in 1945, who in turn nurtured it for 21 years before his death in 1966. It was then acquired by its third owner, who sold it just four years later to its last owner who drove it for 46 years until his death earlier this year.
The car was a regular participant in Continental tours, rallies and concours d’elegance events until the passing of its last owner, and enthusiasts and engineers say it’s got many more years rallying and touring in it yet.
Bonhams, the UK’s largest specialist auctioneers of classic cars and motor-cycles, will auction this 1914 “world’s first sports car” in London on December 4.