1925 Vauxhall Type-OD 23/60hp Kington Tourer

Chassis Number: OD 1001

Registration Number: VX 1191

Prior to Vauxhalls take over by General Motors in the mid-1920s, the firm was renowned for producing handsome, finely engineered cars that put it on a par with Bentley or Sunbeam. Introduced in 1922, the 23/60hp was a development of the 4.0-litre, four-cylinder, sidevalve-engined D-Type Vauxhall of 1913, which had been designed by the firm’s famous Chief Engineer, Laurence Pomeroy. Manufacture continued after the cessation of hostilities, though Pomeroy departed and his place was taken by Charles Evelyn King, who designed a new overhead-valve detachable cylinder head for both the D-Type and its legendary sporting stablemate, the 30-98. Updated with King’s ohv ’head in mid-1922, the model was known thereafter as the ‘23/60’ or ‘OD’ and was built until 1926. The OD 23/60hp Vauxhall was a popular overseas model and many were dispatched to Empire markets.

This factory bodied Kington tourer was imported into this country from Australia in the year 2000. The plaque of the original Australian supplier - Boyd Edkins - is still on the dashboard and it is understood that the final Australian owner, Geoff Taylor, kept the car for 40 years using it extensively, as illustrated by photographs on file showing it on various events in Australia.

According to cataloguing from when the car was sold at auction in 2009, ‘OD 1001’ was when imported into the UK in 2000, roadworthy but requiring total restoration.  At this time it was inspected by other Vauxhall owners and deemed to be highly original, even the floorboards being number stamped.

The bodywork was repaired wherever necessary, though most of the original structure was sound. Traces of deep red paint were found under the existing black finish, inspiring the choice of the current colour scheme, while sections of the original buff leather trim were discovered under the black vinyl upholstery. New leather was matched to this, identical to that on a car in the Vauxhall museum, and the seats re-trimmed in the correct saddlebag design.

The steering column was replaced together with the bearing in the dashboard mount. Refaced with new aluminium, the dashboard timber is original, while all the correct instruments are present including matching Jaeger speedometer and clock, and the rare horn button and CAV dimmer switch. All the brightwork has been re-nickeled to a high standard and the hood rebuilt and re-covered, complete with new side-screens and hood bag. The wheels were in a poor state so were rebuilt by Richards, while the radiator was overhauled by specialists Star Engineering in Newport.

This car is fitted with an SU carburettor, which is a desirable feature of late 23/60s. The running boards were replaced, incorporating a replica of the original tool tray as fitted to all 23/60 Kington tourers. The electrics were rewired and the lights all professionally rebuilt,

This rebuild which it is thought was carried out for the cars first UK owner Richard Edmonds was completed in 2006, following which, it is believed that the owner undertook several long distance journeys to VSCC events such as Prescott and Madresfield. Following this, the Kington was purchased by Dr Andy Newbound at auction in 2009. The car appears to have been relatively lightly used during his ownership but appears to have been well taken care of (see sundry invoices on file) and benefited from the acquisition of the ideally suited registration number ‘VX 1191’ in place of the previous age related number.

The Kington passed to Brian Stevens in 2011 and Mr Stevens appears to have used the car sparingly until it passed to the current owner in 2015; a professional engineer and former Vauxhall Apprentice, who appreciated the obvious engineering quality of Vauxhall cars of this period in general and the level of originality evident in this example in particular. He entrusted ‘OD 1001’ to marque specialist James Gunn of Ecurie Fusil to ensure the car ran and drove as the makers intended.To this end much work has been carried out including rebuilding the - cylinder-head,  steering box, water pump, dynamo, magneto and clutch and a great deal of other detail work and fettling as evidenced by invoices on file totalling circa £14,000, the most recent dated October 2017. Since then ‘OD 1001’ has been used sparingly on local events, most recently winning first in class and indeed best in show at Bardwell Classic Car Show  which shows how well it presents. Only for sale due to the owner, a Jaguar enthusiast of many years standing feeling the need to have an XK120 in his garage, this Kington benefits from thousands of pounds recently spent, offers rapid and comfortable vintage touring of the highest quality and is available for a fraction of the price of a 30-98. Offered with sundry invoices, current MoT and a V5C registration document.

John Polson