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1937 VAUXHALL 12-4 - £8,995

  • Aetv51451506 1
  • Aetv51451506 2
  • Aetv51451506 3
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THE BACKGROUND,,In many ways, the Vauxhall 12 4 is one of the most innovative cars ever made. For starters, it was based on the Vauxhall 10, which was the first mainstream car to feature full unitary construction. That essentially means a one piece monocoque body onto which sub assemblies were mounted, much like the cars of today.,,The innovative construction meant it was stiffer and less cart like than many cars of the day, with Autocar magazine once describing it as the best handling saloon car you could buy. Such praise is praise indeed.,,The 12 4 arrived in 1937 and would undoubtedly have sold in far greater numbers had it not been for World War Two, but nevertheless it was a successful model both before and after the war. Civilian production ceased between 1940 and 1946, but the model continued until 1948.,,As well as its unitary construction, the 12 4 had independent torsion bar suspension a rarity for a mainstream car of the day and dual circuit hydraulic brakes again, a first for a mainstream brand and an important safety innovation.,,The car was powered by a 1,442cc overhead valve four cylinder engine developing around 40bhp, which was pretty decent for the day, while the gearbox was a three speed unit with synchromesh on second and third.,,Of the 40,000 Vauxhall 12s made, a large number were exported due to the UKs post war export drive, with Australia, New Zealand and South Africa being popular destinations. This car was reimported from South Africa last year and still wears its RSA number plates and licence disc, but it originally began its life in the UK before being exported by its first owner when she moved to what was then Rhodesia.,,THE HISTORY,,The Vauxhall was discovered by its long term previous owner at the back of a shed in Paarl, South Africa.,,He tried to buy it on several occasions but was told by the family that it was Grannys Car and that they would never part with it. She had bought the car new in the UK right at the start of 12 4 production and shipped it to her new Rhodesian home.,,25 years later, the owner went to Johannesburg to help a friend to collect a classic car he had bought, only for it to be the very same Vauxhall. It broke down on the way home and the new owner wasnt impressed, so agreed to sell it to the chap whod tried to buy it 25 years previously a Vauxhall collector in South Africa.,,It was imported to the UK late last year with a broken gearbox, so has just had a complete gearbox rebuild. The current owner hasnt yet registered it in the UK as he is open to bids from all over the world, so the car retains its South African registration and paperwork. However, registering it in the UK will be a simple process as the car is exempt from road tax and MoT.,,The car is named Vivien, after Vivien Leigh of Gone With the Wind fame. The car is also an interesting anomaly as the body identification symbol ID suggests a prototype or very early build car, which would tie in with its 1937 registration. All 12/4s carried designation IA or IB indicating Standard or Deluxe respectively, with D meaning development model.,,In South Africa, the car received a full mechanical overhaul an engine rebuild using VW Golf piston rings a common swap , a re engineered cylinder head, water pump and oil pump rebuild. The radiator was re cored and the differential rebuilt.,,It also got new period correct tyres, trafficators, headlights and lots of bodywork TLC.,,THE PAPERWORK,,The car comes with a South African registration document and a potted history of the car as recorded by its previous owner, along with a bill documenting the recent gearbox refit.,,Its last owner also amassed a fascinating collection of period road tests and books relating to the car, which are sold with it.,,THE INTERIOR,,Inside, the green leather seats benches both front and rear have been retrimmed in their original Willow Green and look superb. Its a quality retrim and the cabin is surprisingly sumptuous despite being quite basic. The three dial central dashboard has ivory coloured instruments speedometer, clock and fuel/temp gauges all of which work as they should.,,There is nothing of any concern, with only very minor wear to the door pockets, carpets and pedal rubbers. With so little to go wrong, its a pleasant and well presented environment.,,THE EXTERIOR,,Whichever angle you view it from, Vivien is a very pretty car. The two tone green and cream paintwork is one of the more unusual colour schemes for a 12, but sets off the art deco lines beautifully.,,Its also a car full of delightful details the gold medallion Lucas imprints in the headlamps, for example, or the aircraft inspired bonnet scallops, which end in a wonderfully evocative bonnet ornament.,,The car isnt concourse there are a few scuffs on one of the wings and one headlamp bezel, while the chrome is slightly pitted in places, but these are very minor detractions from what is otherwise a truly lovel

  • 57136 Miles
  • Transmission 69197354786223e29b85070a0695cc247a4c2b215c743673c2d02e864b4cd687 MANUAL
  • Steering ca68a9643bbb915d30839040f432af59e679db8cf98e23a4378cbef2ed805059 RHD
  • RefCode: AETV51451506