Vauxhall -
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Vauxhall D2-492-70-08
Photo ou archives : D. Ganneau

Capacity : 1000
Model :
Production : 1921 - 1924
Category : (R) Street Bike


1000cc Four -1923

Back from the grave

The European automobile subsidiaries of the General Motors group, Opel in Germany and Vauxhall in Great Britain, both have motorcycles in their past.

Advanced Design

Though Vauxhall only built one model that never went into production, it was nevertheless one of the most advanced designs of its day, a fascinating "might-have-been."

Twelve-Year Restoration

The Vauxhall was designed by Major Frank Halford, later famous for the 2200 hp 24- cylinder sleeve-valve Napier Sabre engine that powered the WWII Hawker Tempest and Typhoon fighter-bombers. After only six frames and 12 engines had been built and two complete motorcycles assembled, it was decided in 1923 that the project was not viable. Everything was offered for sale to Vauxhall employees. The first bike was sold for $200 to a draftsman and the second to an apprentice. All trace of them was lost after

1925 until some dismantled components were found in 1950 and acquired by vintage motorcycle enthusiast Bob Thomas. The main frame, most of the forks, fuel tank and manifolds were missing, but fortunately the original drawings survived. Nevertheless it took 12 years to restore this bike, which had advanced features such as a saddle tank (incorporating the traditional "flutes" featured on the hoods of Vauxhall cars) and electric lighting. The Vauxhall, which cruised at 50 mph, was a delight to ride, said Thomas, who had covered over 1000 miles at its controls by 1970.


Engine: 931cc (67x67mm) air-cooled fourcylinder four-stroke; coil ignition

Power Rating: 30 hp

Valves: vertical overhead, totally-enclosed

Fuel System: carburetor

Transmission: 3-speed tank-shift, multi-plate clutch, shaft-and-wonn fmal drive

Suspension: leading-link forks (front); rigid (rear)

Brakes: 7 inch drum (front & rear)

Wheels: interchangeable 7.00x80 inch clincher (front & rear)

Maximum Speed: 82 mph

With a car-type powertrain and saddle tank, the


Vauxhall bad some unusual refinements. The leftband aluminum footboard doubled as a muffler, the right-band one was a tool box.

Motorcycle encyclopedia Moto Passion, realised by François-Marie Dumas, include almost 2000 photos presented with an exhaustive history of the motorcycles exhibited.

This unique collection has been realised with the participation of many specialists. With many thanks in particular to Yves Campion, Michael Dregni, Didier Ganneau, Jean Goyard, Helmut Krackowizer, Michel Montange, Christian Rey, Bernard Salvat, Mick Woollett, etc

One can order here

  • Original cards on paper (in french)
  • High resolution scans or original documents presented and signed with my name.

Please contact me at for conditions and copyright.

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François-Marie Dumas

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