Sitting at the news desk up here on the top floor of MotorMartin Towers is often regarded by some as being a rather plum position to be in. After all, it’s on this very desk that motoring information from all corners of the World is filtered through so that MotorMartin can present you with the most current and up to date information possible. And then of course there’s the curious mix of old and new, road car and race, dealer news and auctions, vintage and future, something then for everyone.
I like to think that MotorMartin covers the vast array of news rather well and yet every now and again a story arrives that just reminds us why we got excited about cars in the first place. It’s surely the sheer weight of history, the ability to see where a manufacturer has come from and where they are heading. It’s the celebration of heritage and design and the lucky few with the skills that make this happen so we arrive then at the doors of Vauxhall Motors’ Heritage Centre where Vauxhall Motors’ 113 years of history will be laid bare next month as the ever-popular Heritage Centre Open Day is confirmed for 2016.
MotorMartun has been informed that on Sunday, June 12 Vauxhall’s 73-strong collection of vehicles, covering every decade since the company started building cars in 1903, will be open for families and enthusiasts to explore. And best of all, admission is free. A rare treat in this day and age.
Vauxhall have enthusiastically stated that at this year’s event they will be marking two anniversaries: 50 years since the first Viva HB drove off Ellesmere Port’s production line, and 30 years since the last Bedford commercial vehicle was manufactured. Supporting this, an early SL-model HB will be on display, as well as two CVs that bookended Bedford production: a 1931 2-ton truck and two CFs – a one-off electric model, and a near concours production panel van.
Two new additions to the collection have also been confirmed to MotorMartin and will also be on show. Completing a set of the first five sporting Astras is a 2009 VXR Nürburgring, which will join our two GTEs, Mk. 3 GSi and Mk. 4 888 Coupe. And at the opposite end of the spectrum, a 1949 Wyvern L-type also makes its debut at the Open Day. This car – the only left-hooker in the collection – makes a welcome return to the town of its birth after 67 years pounding the roads of Portugal and Holland.
The breadth and quality of Vauxhall’s Heritage Collection is near-unique, with most of the cars roadworthy and maintained by a small team, led by Andy Boddy, Senior Vehicle Restorer. A majority of the cars were also built in Luton, at the famous Kimpton Road plant. Checkout the short film below for an extremely informative guide to the Heritage Centre, kindly provided by Vauxhall’s own YouTube channel which is well worth subscribing to:
Vauxhall’s Heritage Centre Open Day will run from 10am to 4pm. Refreshments will be available throughout the day, and parking is free. The Heritage Centre is situated behind Vauxhall’s Head Office on Park Street, Luton LU1 3HG.
I think that it’s fair to say that MotorMartin has always appreciated the hard work, skill and dedication that keeps our motoring heritage accessible for us all. Vauxhall are rightly proud of their history and MotorMartin celebrates your success at keeping so many iconic motor cars in such fantastic working conditions so that they can be admired for many years to come.
Where will you go?