Carmaker Vauxhall is celebrating its 110th birthday with a book called “Vauxhall and I”, a mix of personal stories people – including Queen Elizabeth – have had with the brand since 1903.
British journalist Richard Benson – former editor of music magazine The Face – compiled the book, scouring through the Vauxhall archives for over a year.
“We wanted to look at the relationship people had with their cars, rather than at the technical details,” said Benson.
“We learned that British people have an emotional relationship with their vehicles that was much bigger than expected.
“Many referred to cars as members of their family, and saw them being intimately bound up with certain periods in their lives.”
Pictures include those of Queen Elizabeth in 1968 at the wheel of a Vauxhall Cresta with Prince Andrew in the front passenger seat. Vauxhall has supplied the British monarchy with a new car every year for the better part of a century.
The book describes how the queens of the catwalk in 1992, Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss and Linda Evangelista, jealously tried to destroy the new model Corsa for an advert which received the most views on British television that year.
The late Bob Markey had a Vauxhall. So did Scottish singer/songwriter Midge Ure.
Said Ure: “I saw this 1953 Vauxhall Wyvern advertised in the paper.
“I went to see it in some old boy’s garage in Glasgow with my dad, who told me not to buy it because it was an ancient old thing.
“But I just loved it – I thought it was the most fantastic looking thing.”
Duncan Aldred, the managing director of Vauxhall Motors said: “This book is not a testament to Vauxhall’s cars but to the way in which they have touched people’s lives.
“It tells the stories of Vauxhall cars in the words of real people who have loved and driven them – from the earliest days of the company through to the current day.”
* Go to www.vauxhallandi.co.uk Vauxhall was founded in 1857 in London as a pump and marine engine company. It began making cars in 1903 and was bought by General Motors in 1925. GM’s other European arm is Opel. Vauxhall got its name from an area in London known centuries ago as Faulke’s Hall, later Foxhall and eventually Vauxhall.