1931 Vauxhall Cadet
Owned by my father for several years from about 1954. This motor was
beautiful with the original black Belco cellulose paint still in near
condition - this was the first car we'd had that had not been brush
with Valspar! It was the 1932 model Cadet with synchromesh on
and 3rd. gears (the first British car with synchromesh) - the handbook
said there was no synchro on 1st. because you would never need to
change down into bottom gear on a hill unless you were baulked by
The Cadet was a cut above the equivalent Austin, Morris or Ford and
was a touch of luxury for the ordinary driver but with the depression
1932 people were making do and the Cadet was a bit above depression
It was superb in all respects except it still had comparatively poor
brakes which could not compete with the likes of Morris's Lockheed
system. Another problem we had was that all the wire wheels had
be rebuilt as the spokes were continually stretching and loosening,
ended up remaking the wheels with more spokes.
The Cadet went soon after Dad had driven it back from work one night
with no water in the engine (it was winter and with no antifreeze the
was always drained at the end of a run and refilled before the return
this time the drain tap was left open and when he arrived home the
was red hot - the heat could be felt from 6 feet away) and a previously
repaired cylinder block crack had extended. The new crack was
with a plate and gasket but Dad never trusted it after that and it was
sold off cheaply.
- First British car with synchromesh gearbox.
- A very classy motor at a reasonable price.