Well before the First World War, keen motoring enthusiast and Stockport businessman Joseph Higginson designed and manufactured the Autovac as a means of delivering fuel from rear mounted tanks without the need for pressurisation.
Higginson held an agency for the Lyon built La Buire car and hillclimbed a 13.6 litre version, very effectively, making best Time of Day at Shelsey Walsh on 22nd June 1912.
On 7th June 1913 he returned to Shelsey with a car built for him by Vauxhall and knocked more than seven seconds of the hill record; although it should probably be added that from 1913 competitors no longer had to carry passengers.
We do not know whether Higginson used an Autovac at Shelsey but the car was, effectively, the first 30/98 Vauxhall.
The original Autovac company was rescued from oblivion in 1966 by Mrs Diana Russell, who owned and ran Vintage Racing Cars, Derby Road Garage in Northampton.
In her younger days Diana raced a Riley Brooklands and, being a stalwart of the VSCC, was approached by them when they heard that Autovac was being wound up and remaining stock being put into skips.
Diana made three trips in her ex-Stirling Moss double car transporter, to Stockport, removing as much as she could although much was lost.
We are still using some of those original parts and, as stocks run out new parts are made to the original blueprints.
As part of the rescue operation Diana also acquired the trademark. We bought the business in 2001.