Brit classics star in new Spielberg movie

| 12 Jan 2012

With all the buzz around the new movie War Horse - we love films about bygone eras because of the guaranteed interesting car content - there are plenty of classic cameos for enthusiasts to look forward to.

Among the vintage cars in Steven Spielberg's new blockbuster are a 1911 Vauxhall C-Type Prince Henry and 1918 Vauxhall D Type Army Staff Car, the former seen racing across Dartmoor against the title character.

Denis Chick, Vauxhall Motors' Director of Communications, said: "Steven Spielberg loved the Prince Henry but due to its non-conventional controls, an expert was on hand to drive on set to master the centre-mounted throttle and outside gear changes. Mechanics were also around 24/7 to ensure the car was always operational so that valuable filming time was not lost.  It's great that these two cars from Vauxhall's own museum are starring alongside such notable actors."

The movie, which opens in the UK tomorrow (13 January), stars Jeremy Irvine, Emily Watson and David Thewlis and follows a young lad who enlists in WWI after his horse is sold to the cavalry.

Some quite interesting info from Vauxhall about the models concerned, especially the staff cars:

The 1911 Vauxhall C-Type was widely acknowledged as Britain's very first sports car and was named after Prince Henry of Prussia who sponsored early reliability trials.  The C-Type was on sale from 1911 to 1914.  The chassis price (excluding body) was £485 in 1911, Prince Henry Vauxhalls won many trials and hill climbs including the Swedish Winter Trial in 1912.

The 1918 Vauxhall D-Type Army Staff Car is a development of the ‘Prince Henry'.  Vauxhall built nearly 2,000 for the War Office costing £500 each.  Army Staff Cars saw war-time service in many countries, including Egypt and Salonika.  A D-type carried General Allenby into Jerusalem, another was the first car to cross the Rhine into Germany after the 1918 Armistice.

Vauxhall Motors has a 109 year heritage and has manufactured vehicles in Britain without a break since 1903.  During the First World War, the plant in Luton continued to contribute to the war effort by producing the D-Type Army Staff Cars, all of which were hand built.  Throughout the Second World War Vauxhall Motors designed and built the Churchill tank, Queen Mary Aircraft Trailers, and thousands of jerry cans and steel helmets.