IF YOU want a perfect example of mechanical excellence from a bygone era, you couldn’t do much better than this beautiful machine.

The site of this 1925 Vauxhall Prestige 39/98 transported me back to my childhood and numerous fetes and fairs where we’d ‘ooh’and‘ahh’ over such a specimen.

Of course Herefordshire-based owner Adam Jones knew exactly what I was thinking. It’s his pride and joy. He’s one of an army of young car buffs in the region who congregate at trials and various other events throughout the year.

“I got the bug from my dad, though he’s more into 60s sportscars,” he said.

“There are a lot of people in their 20s and 30s getting involved these days.”

Now I’d not experienced the thrill of barrelling down a country road in an open top vintage vehicle before. I’d imagined a gentle pootle but hadn’t bargained for just how much of a beast this thing was. Well it was a performance motor vehicle in its day and at 90 years old it can still give today’s cars a run for their money.

Hereford Times: Vintage Vauxhall is a credit to First World War engineering

As we hit the A44 out of Bromyard and Adam ran through the gears, it felt like I was in a Lancaster bomber about to take off.

And Adam has had over 90 out of it on a race track.“When you consider this is pre-First World War engineering it’s astoundingly good,” he said.

The road-holding was something to behold as well, as we gunned into corners with ease.

He bought the Vauxhall in 2004 and also has a 1930 Austin 7 and a 1934 MG.

“It’s the whole thing – tinkering, polishing, fiddling.”Adam works for Holden Vintage and Classic in Bromyard, a specialist vintage car and motorbike parts supplier.

“Most enthusiasts have more than one,” he said. So a lot of time in the shed then... But lLuckily his wife Tania and daughter Ellie share his passion. The three of them regularly hit the road for trials, tests, picnics and other events.

A few years back Adam and Tania took theVauxhall to New Zealand for a road trip, the perfect mix of stunning scenery and amazing driving.

But you don’t need to own one of these magnificent machines to see what they can do close up. There are plenty of events through the summer where you can watch vintage sports cars roaring along in all their glory.

Finally, the question I’d been dying to ask: What’s the 4.2 litre, 120hp Vauxhall – which incidentally was built in England, shipped out to Australia, badly crashed in the 1950s, lovingly rebuilt and eventually shipped back to England a few years ago - worth?

Adam simply smiles, but won’t be drawn, beyond asking: “What’s your mortgage?”

A version of this story first appeared in our Herefordshire Society magazine. (sub please include this line).