1934 Vauxhall ASX 6cyl. Roadster
Under the direction of talented designer Laurence H Pomeroy, who joined Vauxhall in 1905, the Luton Company earned a reputation for building some of the finest and most advanced sporting cars of the day, including the legendary Prince Henry and sporting 30-98, which enjoyed success in various trials and rallies across Europe. Following the takeover by General Motors in 1925, the Vauxhall range was gradually repositioned to compete with the likes of Ford and the Cadet announced in October 1930 was the first entirely new model designed under GM’s control. The Cadet was powered by a six-cylinder overhead-valve engine displacing just over 2-litres for the home market Model VY (rated at 17 hp), with the larger-engined Model VX (rated at 26.3 hp) normally reserved for export. Priced from just £280, the Cadet was the cheapest Vauxhall yet and proved commercially successful, with 5932 VY and 3759 VYs made before a new range of Light and Bix Sixes appeared in 1933. Announced at the 1933 Earls Court Motor Show, the Light Six (or 14-6) became Vauxhall’s new best-seller, with a four bearing six-cylinder engine displacing 1781cc, fed by a downdraught carburettor. Designated the Model ASY (or ASX for export markets), the Vauxhall’s 101-inch wheelbase chassis was largely conventional, with hydraulic shock absorbers front and rear, four-wheel cable-operated brakes and smaller wire-spoked wheels. Since late 1931 Vauxhall had been the first British car to offer synchromesh transmission and this continued with the Light Six, albeit with four forward speeds instead of three. Vauxhall catalogued just two factory body styles, namely a six-light saloon and a two-door coupe, although external coachbuilders such as Salmons, Holbrook, Duple and Whittingham & Mitchel supplied a range of other body styles for the home market. In Australia, Holden built a range of bodies for the ASX, including the sedan, coupe, tourer, roadster and of course, utility. The Light Six remained in production until the war, with a new X-frame and Dubonnet IFS from 1935 and emerged post-war as the unitary construction Model J.