Carole Nash
Content Writer
Published: 28th November 2017

Throughout history there have been a lot of memorable sports cars. Britain has produced some great models like the Aston DB5 and Austin Healey 3000. But before they came along, there was the Vauxhall 30-98. Created in the early 20th century, the 30-98 was made for racer Joseph Higginson, who wanted a car that could maintain 100 mph on the Brooklands circuit. The most well-known configuration was the Vauxhall Velox. We’re looking into the history of this intriguing motor.

Body style

The 30-98 was designed by prolific engineer Laurence Pomeroy. After Higginson’s suggestion, the 30-98 Pomeroy was given the standard four-seater Velox body, which was inspired by the Latin word for ‘swift.’ The body had a slim, elegant appearance, but it didn’t provide much comfort because of the low positioning. The interior featured a chauffeur’s dicky seat, electric lamp in the roof and V-shaped windscreen.


A good example of a Velox was displayed at an early Scottish Motor Show display. It was painted dark blue and came with a polished aluminium bonnet. Upholstered blue morocco leather and blue silk tassels gave it a lavish appearance.

Several bodies were created, including the luxury Wensum that was brought out in the mid 1920s. The Wensum was designed in the style of a motorboat and came in the form of an open three-seater with flared wings.

An excellent engine

The 30-98’s OE engine was its true claim to fame. Originally, the engine was developed from the Vauxhall Prince Henry. In 1922, the engine was updated and fitted with overhead valves as well as a detachable cylinder head. The torque was also improved. This made the 30-98 Britain’s first 100 mph car. The braking system featured steel-lined aluminum drums and mechanically operated front brakes. In 1927, this was replaced by a hydraulic system that was self-adjusting.


The 30-98 was successful on the race track, winning at Brooklands and establishing a legendary reputation. As a sports car, it set the pace for many other British motors that came later.

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