In Part 3 of Vauxhall’s Decade-a-Day series, we turn our attention to Britain’s very first catalogued 100mph car, the truly iconic Vauxhall 30-98.


Built in series from 1919 to 1927, the 30-98 was, in its day, the fastest catalogued production car in Great Britain, with a factory-warranted top speed of 100mph when fitted with a high axle ratio and pared-down coachwork.

The majority of 30-98s were sold with a tourer body (the Vauxhall-owned example in today’s images sports one made by in-house coachbuilder, Velox), but the most dramatic-looking was made by Wensum – another of Vauxhall’s in-house creations - with no doors, no hood, flared wings and carrying a £150 premium; a sizeable increase when a standard Tourer cost around £1200.

During its production life, around 600 E- and OE-Type (for ‘Overhead-valve) 30-98s were built, and it says much for its legacy that today around 170 still survive, many of which remain in regular use on road and track.

The OE-Type 30-98 model had exceptional performance in its day, producing around 112bhp from its four-cylinder, 4224cc engine. But a centre throttle, extremely heavy flywheel and weak brakes by today’s standards make this a challenging – if very fast - car to drive on modern roads.

Nevertheless, Vauxhall’s ‘OE268’ – built in the penultimate year of production – has accrued some 25,000 miles as a press and events car in the last 12 years alone.

Technical Data:

Colour: Primrose Yellow

Interior colour: Blue

Engine Capacity: 4224cc

Top Speed: 85mph (100mph in performance guise)

0-60mph: 29.8 seconds

Fuel Consumption: 14-18mpg


Previous instalments of Decade-a-Day can be found here:

1903 5hp –

1910 C-10 ‘Prince Henry’ -