For the first time in its 72-year history, a selection of cars from Vauxhall Heritage’s famous collection will be on public display from next month, telling the incredible story of Vauxhall Motors rise from a niche sporting car manufacturer to one of the UK’s best-known automotive brands.
‘Vauxhall – Made in Luton’ opens on September 5 at Stockwood Discovery Centre, Luton - a stone’s-throw from where almost all the exhibits were originally manufactured. The main exhibition will include ten of Vauxhall’s most significant Luton-built cars from the last 115 years, book-ended by the very first model to be produced at the famous Kimpton Road factory – a 1905 7/9hp – to the last passenger car to roll of the line – a 2002 Vectra, before the plant started to produce LCVs exclusively.
As well as the main exhibition cars, which will be on display until Easter 2021, each month ‘Vauxhall – Made in Luton’ will feature a different ‘hero’ car, starting with the chrome- and fin-laden 1959 PA Velox, which brought a welcome slice of colourful Americana to austere Fifties’ Britain. Other ‘heroes’ include the Vauxhall Lotus Carlton, Firenza HPF ‘Droopsnoot’, and OE-Type 30-98, Britain’s first 100mph car.
Vauxhall became a car manufacturer in 1903. It was originally based in the South London suburb from which it takes its name, but after two years needed larger premises and moved to a six-acre site in Luton, where it still manufactures motor vehicles today.
This is a perfect opportunity for the public to get up close and personal with cars from our collection that are normally only seen via the hundred-or-so media loans that we arrange each year,’ said Simon Hucknall, Vauxhall’s Head of PR. ‘There are some extremely rare and valuable cars on display, but many that will conjure ‘my-dad-had-one-of-those’ memories, too.
‘Vauxhall – Made in Luton’ opens at Stockwood Discovery Centre on the 5th of September and runs until Easter, 2021 (free admission). Full details can be found here.