Vauxhall was one of a handful of manufacturers who supplied vehicles to the war effort during World War One (1914-18). The Luton company produced more than 1,500 D-Type Staff Cars for military use, which saw action in theatres as diverse as the Western Front, East Africa, Russia and Palestine
Regarded by many historians as the ‘First Automobile War', the '14-18 conflict saw for the first time companies like Vauxhall, Rolls Royce and Sunbeam work closely with the British Army to mobilise key personnel. King George V was transported to Vimy Ridge in northern France in a Vauxhall, and the Staff Car was also the first vehicle to cross the Rhine following the Armistice in 1918.
The car in the accompanying shots is one of just two D-Type Staff Cars known to survive. ‘IC-0721' (its military number) appeared in the Steven Spielberg film War Horse, along with Vauxhall Heritage Collection's ‘Prince Henry' model. Saved from a London scrap yard in 1946, the car was restored to its original condition and has resided at Vauxhall HQ ever since.
During World War 2, Vauxhall suspended its production to build 5,600 Churchill tanks in Luton as well as 250,000 lorries at its Bedford plant in Dunstable. Vauxhall is also proud to have raised £290,000 for Help for Heroes - money which is used by the charity to help servicemen and women who are wounded, sick or injured in Britain's current conflicts.
‘We have released this commemorative photography to celebrate the centenary of the D-Type Army Staff car and as a mark of respect for those who lost their lives at war,' said Tim Tozer, Vauxhall's Chairman and Managing Director. ‘Each year we remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice in both World Wars, which included many Vauxhall and Bedford workers, as well as those who have died in recent conflicts.'
The D-Type is pictured with the latest edition to the Vauxhall range, the all-new Corsa. With new engines, transmissions and engine technology as well as a new interior, the Fourth-Generation Corsa raises the class benchmark for driveability, comfort and practicality in a model which has become a household name for British small-car buyers.