Vintage Vauxhall on road to centenary run

Alisdaire Lockhart from Selkirk.  Old cars enthusiast.
Alisdaire Lockhart from Selkirk. Old cars enthusiast.
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IN February 1912, Vauxhall managing director Percy Kidner entered the company’s Prince Henry vehicle in a 600-mile winter trial through rural Sweden in sub-zero temperatures.

Now Alisdaire Lockhart, a Selkirk enthusiast for the UK company is to drive a re-created model, which has taken him 22 years to put together, onthe route taken by Kidner 100 years ago.

Mr Lockhart moved from Bedfordshire to Selkirk five years ago with wife Trish, whose uncle, Rowland Elliot, was a doctor in the town.

He has had a lifelong interest in cars, in particular Vauxhalls, and owns two other vintage models.

In 1988, Mr Lockhart began piecing together his Prince Henry 1912, and after parts were brought from Australia, the job was completed in 2010.

Mr Lockhart said: “In 1910, Vauxhall made specialised models to compete in the Prince Henrich of Germany trial of that year. Three cars were sent across and took part in a series of tests.

“Following modifications on their return to the UK, it became the first 21-horsepower car to exceed 100 miles per hour.

“Because this year is an important centenary of Vauxhall entering the Swedish Winter Trial in 1912, I decided to take my car.

“We are being hosted by the RAC of Sweden, who will hold a reception for us and have allowed us to get the car photographed beside the original trophies from the 1912 trial.”

Mr Lockhart will accompany the Prince Henry, which he keeps in England, to Sweden.

He does not expect conditions to be as tough as 100 years ago. He said: “It should take us five days. The car can still do around 50 or 60 miles per hour, but we won’t be pushing it too hard.

“They went from Stockholm to Gothenburg and back in 1912, whereas we are going the opposite direction.

“They started in the morning and drove until 5am the following day. They had to have a 12-hour break, then started again and drove through the night, often in temperatures as low as -27.”