For the latest classic car news, features, buyer’s guides and classifieds, sign up to the C&SC newsletter here
The impressive 60-car Vauxhall Heritage Collection is to be temporarily rehomed at the Ellesmere Port plant in Cheshire ahead of its long-awaited move to a permanent base, as the manufacturer’s Griffin House headquarters in Luton edges closer to sale.
The collection, which spans more than a century of the marque, will at some point in the future be on public display in its entirety for the first time. “We are currently developing plans for a new, purpose-built base for the collection, which will allow it to be public-facing, while also bringing back its working status,” explained collection curator and Vauxhall’s head of PR, Simon Hucknall.
“This is by no means the work of a minute, but we hope to be able to share more details about a new Vauxhall Heritage Centre early next year.”
In the meantime, a third of the collection is already on show. The ‘Vauxhall – Made in Luton’ exhibition at the town’s Stockwood Discovery Centre features a diverse 13-car display, including the 1910 Prince Henry sports car and XVR concept from 1966, plus 1970 Viva GT.
Meanwhile, new Runcorn-based specialist hub Manor Park Classics will create a Vauxhall Heritage area featuring six cars, while also maintaining the whole of the collection on-site at Ellesmere.
Manor Park’s managing director, Roger Nowell, said: “We’re excited to play a part in keeping Vauxhall Heritage’s flame burning while it develops its plan for a future permanent base.
“Manor Park’s experience and enthusiasm for a wide breadth of classic cars, like those in Vauxhall’s collection, is immense and we know that the carefully selected models which we’ll have on display will be a great attraction to people visiting our offices.”
To link with the nearby Ellesmere plant, an Astra GTE Mk2 that rolled off its factory line in 1989 will be among the six cars, plus the 1904 6hp Light Car, along with a 1926 OE-Type 30-98 that has been owned by Vauxhall for the last 72 years. The collection’s Carlton will also head to Manor Park, having spent its working life on the press fleet in period.
The Vauxhall archive will be moved permanently to Vauxhall’s Toddington site, overseen by archivist Andrew Duerden.
“Our upcoming move has given me the opportunity to re-organise the archive and prioritise the elements which add depth, colour and interest to our extensive history,” he said.
“Digitisation of our image library is ongoing, and we also have many unseen design studies from the ’60s and ’70s that, quite frankly, take your breath away.
"I will also be taking on responsibility for Vauxhall’s popular Dating Certificate service, providing build verification for owners of classic Vauxhalls.”