Vauxhall is GM’s mainstream passenger car brand in the United Kingdom, but what does its name mean and where did it come from?
The company was founded in 1857 as Alex Wilson and Company at 90–92 Wandsworth Road in the London suburb of Vauxhall, on the south bank of the Thames River. The firm changed its name in 1897 to Vauxhall Iron Works.
Initially specialising in pump and boat engines, Vauxhall didn’t make its first car until 1903. Although named after the suburb in which it was established, Vauxhall is now based in Luton, a town around 55 kilometres (33mi) north of London.
As for the etymology of Vauxhall itself, it’s commonly accepted that the London district is named after Sir Falkes de Breauté, a 13th century soldier. For his deeds and valour, he earnt titles, honours, and a nice estate and home, which he built for wife and named Fawkes Hall or Falkes’ Hall — English spelling was pretty fluid back in those days, and records a little murkier.
Over time, Fawkes Hall into Foxhall and then Vauxhall.