Vauxhall’s Heritage Collection Makes Way For Imminent Luton Sale

Vauxhall 1903 5hp 'Light Car'

Vauxhall’s Heritage Collection will be relocated from the company’s Griffin House site to create an all-new public-facing Heritage Centre in the future. The famous Vauxhall Heritage collection will make way as the imminent sale of the company’s former Luton site next month takes precedence.

The classic assemblage will be given a new and temporary interim residence at the company’s Ellesmere Port factory, where a converted 8,000 square-meter building has been set aside for the 60-strong collection, which represents every decade of Vauxhall’s 117-year history.

Ellesmere Port plant director, Mark Noble said:
We are proud to be the Collection’s temporary custodian and looking forward to the arrival of these Heritage vehicles, some of which have been manufactured here over the last six decades. We’ve made sure that the area which will house the cars is heated, dry and secure, in keeping with the way the Collection has been stored in its former Luton home for the last 30 years.

Vauxhall Heritage Collection

Once relocation has taken place, the Collection will be maintained on-site by local classic vehicle specialist, Manor Park Classics, to make sure that all vehicles are preserved to a high standard while in storage.

However, around 20 vehicles – a third of the Collection – will still have visibility outside of Ellesmere Port. Currently, 13 Vauxhalls are on display at Stockwood Discovery Centre in Luton as part of the ‘Vauxhall – Made in Luton’ exhibition, which runs until the end of March 2021.

Vauxhall Prince Henry
Vauxhall Prince Henry

A joint venture between Vauxhall and The Culture Trust Luton, the exhibits include the world’s oldest Prince Henry sports car, the rakish 1966 XVR concept car and a beautifully restored 1970 Viva GT.

Vauxhall’s Heritage Centre also houses an extensive archive, going back as far as the late-nineteenth century, when the Vauxhall Iron Works – as the company was then known – was formed, before starting motor car production in 1903. Like the Collection, the Archive will find a new home at another existing Vauxhall site: the historic and prominent Toddington Warehouse, on the outskirts of Luton.

Vauxhall Heritage Collection

Andrew Duerden, Vauxhall’s long-time Archivist, was pleased that the move would bring more order to the enormous collection of images, records and ephemera gathered over the years:
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. Digitisation of our image library is ongoing and provides a valuable asset to media in search of historical context to Vauxhall stories. We also have many unseen design studies from the Sixties and Seventies 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.

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