On Friday 5th October, Bridge Classic Cars were formally invited to attend the world-renowned Vauxhall Heritage Centre in Luton.
A special thank you to Stephen Norman – Group Managing Director, Jeremy Townsend – Director, Communications, Vauxhall Motors and Simon Hucknall – Head of Product Communications, Vauxhall for their fantastic hospitality.
The Vauxhall Heritage Centre, housing a collection of 75 vehicles, spanning the company’s entire 115-year history, everything from the first Vauxhall model – a 5hp, single-cylinder, chain-driven ‘horeseless carriage’, to the very latest 600hp VXR8 GTS-R.
Sitting between these book-end cars are a few others with significant anniversaries. The 1918 D-type Staff Car helped mobilise the British Army during WW1.
There’s more to the collection than just production cars. The XVR and SRV concepts showcase Vauxhall’s industry-leading design capability in the Sixties and Seventies, while the VX Lightning shows how this could have continued into the 21st century. There is also a nod to Bedford, with vehicles ranging from the 1930 2-ton truck, to the CA and CF panel vans.
The breadth and quality of Vauxhall’s Heritage Collection is unique, with most cars roadworthy and maintained by Senior Restorer, Andy Boddy and Terry Forder. A majority of the vehicles were also built just around the corner from the Heritage Centre, at the famous Kimpton Road plant.
And thank you also for the wonderful Vauxhall Model by Model collectors book.
Vauxhall, Model by Model since 1903 exemplifies confidence. It shows the confidence of a company integral to British industry, well into its second century. It is a study of the oldest make of a car in the United Kingdom, one of the oldest in the world with continuous history of manufacture. Vauxhall started life on Thames-side Lambeth and in the 1920s went together with General Motors, by the 21st century the first car maker on the planet to reach 500 millions vehicles. Celebrating 90 years under the same umbrella, some 14.5 million of these were Vauxhalls. Innovation was a way of life at GM with pioneering adoption of V8 engines and automatic transmissions. Vauxhall led Edwardian splendour with the Prince Henry and the 30-98, transforming the wide popular car market in Britain with independent front suspension and integral body structures. In 1914 Vauxhall made D-type army staff cars and in 1941 Churchill tanks, at the Kimpton Road plant in Luton, home of the Vivaro van.
Vauxhall Model by Model is an independent account of Vauxhall. Its endorsement by Vauxhall Communications is another example of corporate confidence in its compiler’s objectivity.