IT hadn’t been seen for more than 50 years until it emerged, dusty and covered in cobwebs, from a garage.
Bought back in the day for £895, it was a familiar sight on Southampton’s streets where it operated as a taxi.
Now this rare 90-year-old classic car is set to fetch up to £30,000 when it goes under the hammer at auction.
The car was locked away in a garage for years
The 1923 Vauxhall OD 23-60 HP Kington Tourer was a city taxi in the late 1930s after it was bought by Mr Charles Ayscough who lived in Basingstoke at the time.
Unlike now, it would have been relatively economic to run, with the price of a gallon of petrol costing one shilling and fourpence halfpenny, roughly 7p.
But it has not been seen in public since it appeared at a garden fete in 1967, after which it was locked away in a garage.
Now it is expected to sell for between £25,000 and £30,000 at a Bonhams auction at the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu on Saturday.
The vehicle cost £895 new in 1923 and is one of only 93 such Vauxhalls to have survived worldwide.
David Kirke, an expert on vintage Vauxhalls, said: “This car is almost certainly the most original unrestored 23-60 Kington in the world.”
According to auctioneers Bonhams the car was bought by Arthur Gilbert Lomax and has two rare features – part of the rear tonneau cover is metal instead of the usual canvas and it also has space for two spare wheels.
No records survive about the car until it was bought by Mr Ayscough, who may have once lived in Exbury, who registered it as a Hackney carriage.
The former Southampton taxi is not the only car with a Hampshire link that is up for grabs at the auction.
A 1950 Bentley MKV1 four and a quarter-litre Barchetta,once owned by the late Eastleigh-born former Hollywood stunt driver Sidney “Skid” Martin, is expected to sell for between £30,000 and £40,000.