At the end of 1904 and the start of the following year, Vauxhall Ironworks were in the middle of an expansion which led to the transfer of their vehicle production from their original factory in Lambeth, London, over to their new factory in Luton. At the same time, Vauxhall’s chief designer, Frederick William Hodges, was busy designing a less expensive alternative to the previous 12/14hp model.
Much like its predecessor, the 7/9hp continued to have a T-head engine with three cylinders cast separately. The model retained the oblong radiator and pointed front, but with a smaller engine capacity (at only 1.3 litres). The 7/9hp has a three-speed gearbox with reverse and the wavy rear mudguards enclose a chain drive to each rear wheel.
With only around 52 of this model built, the 7/9hp had a relatively short-lived production. There are very few of these early Vauxhall cars remaining. This one on display is the first that came off the assembly line at the new Luton factory and has been owned by the Vauxhall Heritage Collection for over forty years.