Vauxhall has promising plans for the future of its Luton-based Heritage Centre, which could see it opened to a wider audience than ever before if long-term plans come to fruition.
Currently, the Heritage Centre is part of Vauxhall’s landmark Griffin House site, which is now up for sale following the firm’s relocation to a new state-of-the-art Luton head office, known as Chalton House. The collection will remain in place for the time being, but the plan is to relocate it elsewhere within the Bedfordshire town.
“The advantage this has given us is that we have the potential to make it public-facing… for the first time in its 73-year history,” Simon Hucknall, Vauxhall’s head of PR, told Classic Car Buyer. “So it will be more of a Vauxhall museum than a closed collection for press and public relations, though that functionality will remain.
“We are working with Luton Culture, which support a range of arts and cultural activity across Luton, to achieve this as our long-term goal.”
Amongst the collection is the ‘5HP’ from 1903, which holds the distinction of being the world’s second-oldest Vauxhall, one of only two surviving WW1 D-Type staff cars and the earliest ‘Prince Henry’ model – widely recognised as the world’s first sports car. It also hosts a 30-98 model, which was Britain’s first 100mph production car. Concept cars, various commercials and restored examples of performance icons such as the Firenza HP ‘Droopsnoot’ and Lotus Carlton feature too, along with continuous model lines of the Viva, Victor, Cavalier, Vectra, Corsa and Astra.
Contrary to reports elsewhere however, the collection is unlikely to expand. It’s already up to capacity, with around 90 per cent of Vauxhall’s core cars represented. After relocation we expect the collection to feature 62-63 vehicles, spanning more than 115 years of Griffin history.