Vauxhall Ten-Four H-Type Saloon

Key facts

  • Year: 1939
  • Country: Great Britain
  • Capacity: 1,203cc
  • Cylinders: In-line 4
  • Valves: Overhead
  • Output: 34.5hp @ 3,800rpm
  • Maximum speed: 60mph/96.56kph
  • Performance: 60mph, 0-50mph 18 seconds
  • Price new: £182
  • Owner: National Motor Museum Trust
  • Manufacturer: Vauxhall Motors Ltd
Vauxhall 10 4 H type 1939 On Display

Introduced in 1937, the H-Type Vauxhall Ten-Four was a major milestone in British car design being the first with an integral, or monocoque, chassis, also known as unitary construction. Other features which put the Ten-Four ahead of many rivals included torsion bar independent front suspension and hydraulic brakes. Fuel consumption was an impressive forty miles per gallon.

Replacing the traditional separate chassis with an integrated body and chassis unit (monocoque) produces a very strong, yet lightweight, structure. Vauxhall brochures compared it to a box girder bridge. The disadvantage is that noise and vibration are easily transmitted to the body, so the interior of the H-Type was lined with layers of sound proofing material to counteract this. The H-Type sold well, a total of 42,245 being produced. It was the basis for post-war Vauxhall models such as the Wyvern and Velox.

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