Vauxhall 10-4

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Vauxhall Ten
Vauxhall Ten Saloon 1938.jpg
1938 Vauxhall Ten 4-Door Saloon
Manufacturer Vauxhall (General Motors)
Also called Vauxhall H-type or HIY-type
Vauxhall Wyvern (Australia) [1]
Production 1937–1940
Body and chassis
Class Small family car (C)
Body style 4-door saloon
2-door coupe [2]
2-door tourer (Australia) [1]
2-door roadster (Australia) [1]
Layout Front-engine, rear-wheel-drive
Engine 1203 cc ohv I4
34 bhp (25.4 kW)
1203 cc ohv I4
31.5 bhp (23.5 kW)
Wheelbase 94 in (2,388 mm) [3]
97.75 in (2,483 mm)
Length 155.5 in (3,950 mm)
159 in (4,039 mm)
Width 61 in (1,549 mm)
Curb weight 2,016 lb (914 kg)

The Vauxhall 10-4 is a British-built small family car produced by Vauxhall between 1937 and 1947. It was launched at the 1937 London Motor Show [2] and was the first British car to have a unitary construction body.[4]

A structural innovation,[3] following the pattern set in 1935 by GM's German subsidiary, was the Ten's integral (chassisless) construction. According to Maurice Platt, who transferred from technical journalism to a career with Vauxhall in 1937 (and would be employed as the company's Chief Engineer between 1953 and 1963), the Vauxhall Ten became known within the company as the million-pound car, which reflected the extent of the company's investment in tooling up for the new model.[5] Unfortunately war intervened, however: Vauxhall’s Luton plant switched to tank production and the Vauxhall 10 was unavailable after 1940.

The model was re-introduced in 1946 with the same 1203 cc ohv engine as before, albeit with a reduction in claimed power output. The post war Vauxhall 10 was little changed in other respects. However, with British consumers cash-strapped, and the market for small family cars of prewar design closely contested, Vauxhall withdrew their 10 in 1947. From then until the introduction of the Vauxhall Viva in 1963, the company concentrated on larger and presumably more lucrative models.

The name of the car referred to its fiscal horsepower, which at this time defined the class in which it was to compete against cars such as the Morris 10, the Standard Ten and the Ford 10. The Vauxhall 10’s advertised horsepower in 1937 was 34 bhp (25 kW).

The 10-4 was designated by Vauxhall as the H Type,[2] with the post-war model coded HIY.[6]


A 10-4 look-alike called the Wyvern was built in Australia. General Motors-Holden's did not have the presses needed for monocoque construction and put a 10-4 front end and mechanicals on their own chassis under their own body.

Australian produced Vauxhall Wyvern Caleche H Type


General Motors Java also built the 10-4, beginning in 1939, and exported cars across Southeast Asia.[7]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Holden Body Builders Production 1936 - 1939, Retrieved 31 December 2015
  2. ^ a b c VAUXHALL H - TEN / FOUR, vauxpedianet Retrieved 31 December 2015
  3. ^ a b Culshaw; Horrobin (1974). Complete Catalogue of British Cars. London: Macmillan. ISBN 0-333-16689-2. (1937 - 1940)
  4. ^ National Motor Museum signboard 1939 Vauxhall Ten-Four H-Type Beaulieu
  5. ^ "Vauxhall Owners' Supplement: It started in 1857...". Motor. nbr. Vol. 3466. 23 November 1968. pp. 1–52.
  6. ^ Michael Sedgwick and Mark Gillies, A-Z of Cars 1945-1970, Haymarket Publishing Limited, 1986, page 212
  7. ^ Binder, Alan K.; Ferris, Deebe, eds. (2000). General Motors in the Twentieth Century. Southfield, MI: Ward's Communications. p. 153. ISBN 0-910589-52-6.