Once my offer was accepted, I got it back home to north Cheshire and then almost immediately I set about making a lot of improvements myself. This included cleaning the cloth roof and leather upholstery, treating the beech wood on the dashboard and around the doors and adding "modern" indicators lights for safety purposes. I also added five new period tyres and completely flushed the radiator.
What is particularly interesting about the car is its unusual history, as it spent its first 10 years in India. It had been taken there by the original owner, a Scottish businessman who owned a tea plantation near Calcutta where he lived and that is where he used it.
He returned to Scotland in 1947 and brought the car back with him and then kept it for another 32 years, although the records show that it remained under a dust sheet between 1951 and 1976. It then had an extensive restoration in 1979 when the engine and gearbox were refurbished and many other parts were also overhauled. It is believed it may have been repainted into the two-tone blue colour scheme at this time as the car’s original colour was grey.
What makes the car very rare is that it is a Salmon Tickford body, with the work being undertaken soon after the car was built.
It’s a deceptively large and powerful car and even though it will go a lot faster, I generally don’t drive it more than 45 to 50 miles an hour. The three-positioned drop head is particularly appealing to me as if the weather allows, I always prefer to drive a car in the open, with the wind blowing through your hair and fresh air in your face.
As with other cars of the period, it has quite a few novel features. For instance, there are "picnic" tables on the back of both front seats, as well as art deco type ashtrays at either end of the rear seat. There are forward opening doors for the driver and passenger, with the doors being extremely wide and very heavy. The front windscreen also opens forward to provide extra ventilation and there are also working trafficators on the car, although most of the other drivers on the road today don’t seem to notice them.
As soon as I bought the car, I joined the Vauxhall Owners Club 1903 - 1957, who have been very helpful. Several members were in touch straight away, with some sending me some very useful parts. The club has a fantastic amount of records and other history relating to all the Vauxhall models made before the war, which has also been useful.
I get a lot of nice comments about the car from people who stop me in the road. However, a lot of people who are not car enthusiasts are unaware Vauxhall were making cars in the 1930s and there are very few people who know anything about this particular model. Soon after I bought it someone did make me an offer for it on the spot, and for a higher price than I paid myself, but I said I wasn’t interested in selling.
As the car is very comfortable to drive for its age, I would like to keep it for as long as I can. I am certainly keen to meet other DX 14/6 owners and plan to continue taking it to various classic car shows and rallies as often as possible.