In 1903 Vauxhall created its first car in their plant in Luton. Model 719 was based on a marine engine, held two people and offered 5 horsepower. Its maker, F.W. Hodges, had a background as a marine engineer and intended for the car to weigh less than 560lbs. This was to ensure the inclusion of a reverse gear however this wasn’t to be realised as the weight was 610lbs missing the limit by just 50lbs. Despite this the model 719 had two forward gears and was the beginning of a very successful company.
The body of the model 719 was designed by Hodges in the same way he would design a boat, as this seemed the most logical way to him. It was in fact the first unit body construction of a car – a frameless body – however this was wrongly credited to Lancia Lambada until August 1973.
We all know that technology has come a long way since the early 1900s and Vauxhall is no exclusion. The Cascada is their most recent model boasting not only a convertible roof but the beginning of a new family of engines produced exclusively by Vauxhall.
The Cascada is a pillar-less soft top meaning year round usability even if you live in the UK. Don’t worry about the roof being too soft; the car has been tested in all extremes and comes with a 10 year warranty. You can enjoy the sunshine in just 17 seconds (for the roof to fold down) and when it starts to rain again be safe and dry in just 19 seconds.
The high torsional body stiffness and sophisticated chassis engineering, means that the car is less likely to roll. Combine this with a smooth ride, astonishing handling and precise steering and you have most people’s version of the ideal car.
Under the bonnet sits a 1.6 SIDI turbo ECOTEC engine – the first of a range to come – with a 6 speed automatic gearbox combining the satisfaction of manual transmission and the ability to adjust to individual driving styles.
Over a hundred years since the first ever Vauxhall and the company is still going strong and one of the front runners of affordable automobile technology. What do you think of the new model?