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Vauxhall honours Great War

Published 07 November 2014

British carmaker Vauxhall has released commemorative photography of its D-Type Army Staff car to mark Remembrance Day.

Vauxhall was one of a handful of manufacturers who supplied vehicles to the war effort during the First World War (1914-18).  The Luton company produced more than 1500 D-Type Staff Cars for military use, which saw action on the Western Front, in East Africa, Russia and Palestine.

Regarded by many historians as the ‘First Automobile War’, the 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 the Second World War, Vauxhall suspended its production to build 5600 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.

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