DRIVEN VAUXHALL T-TYPE
Vauxhall throws open the doors to its heritage collection on 12 June. David Simister drives one of its stars – a car created for golfers
The original car for golfers driven in Monaco. Lah-de-dah.
Cars crafted to give golfers a sense of superiority are nothing new – even the Jaguar XK8’s bulbous rump was designed with two sets of clubs in mind. But get behind the wheel of the 20/60 and you literally look down on other motorists.
The centrally hinged bonnet seems to stretch out for an eternity, eventually coming to a chromed cliff edge when it meets the bluff-fronted radiator with its stubby filler cap. But you’re perched high enough to scan the road ahead, and perfectly placed to exploit this car’s long-legged charms.
The feeling of being perched up high is emphasised by the plump array of green leather you and your passenger share. While it’s easily wide enough for even the more ample of 1930s’ golfers and comfy enough to enjoy on longer trips, you definitely get the sense that you sit on rather than in them. They encourage you to actively drive the T-type because there’s little chance to slouch.
Flick a switch on the dashboard to your right and press your foot against a starter button mounted on the bulkhead and the lazy 2.9-litre six erupts with an excitable clatter, and more than happily gets a ton and a half of Luton’s finest away from a standstill once you slot the clunky four-speed manual into first.
You steer with a generously proportioned fourspoke wheel that dips into your lap, encouraging you to sit up as you work its delicate rim through your palms. It’s more direct than you might expect, lacking the vagueness and wandering sensation of plenty of its contemporaries. You do have to work in lots of minute corrections as you guide the T-type along, particularly on tighter stretches of roads, but you never get the sense of battling against it to keep it in a straight line. You can’t quite relax, but it’s not far off.
That’s why the T-type’s natural home is away from the tight, twisty country lanes and on the