Don’t listen to the keyboard warriors – Vauxhall’s 75-strong heritage fleet is perfectly safe, although it is moving location
Earlier this year, the internet’s classic car forums melted with the speculation that Vauxhall was to sell off its heritage fleet. Whipped up by Vauxhall’s proposed plans to reduce dealership numbers by a third amid take-over strategies by Peugeot’s parent company PSA, it seemed logical that the heritage centre could fall into the accountant’s crosshairs.
Further evidence of major cutbacks arrived with the announcement that sales plunged by more than a fifth last year, far worse than the overall market decline of 5.7%. However, AutoClassics can confirm that Vauxhall’s heritage fleet is safe and well, unlikely to be dispersed anytime soon.
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There are no plans to sell any number of the 75-strong fleet in the upcoming future. Far from it. PSA has pledged to make a success of the acquired brand and also maintain the separate heritage of Vauxhall’s sister company – Opel.
Going against all that the attic dwellers spouted online, Vauxhall’s heritage fleet is set to add further riches to an already significant 114-year history. Cars already in the collection include the likes of a 1980 Mk1 Cavalier, 1964 FB Victory De-Luxe estate and 1903 Vauxhall 5hp. There’s lashings of more modern stuff, too, showcasing the likes of a Vauxhall Vectra SRi V6, Nova Merit and several prototype vehicles.
‘It’s the world’s largest and most important collection of Vauxhall models,’ Simon Hucknall, Vauxhall's head of product communications, told AutoClassics, ‘and the heritage centre is not being closed down. All the cars are staying in Luton.’
‘We are moving the heritage fleet to a new location, but it’s still Luton based,’ Simon explained. ‘Vauxhall’s always been a part of Luton’s heritage, which is why we were never going anywhere else.’
‘We aren’t really a museum, as the cars aren’t on display. They are kept in storage, and that storage was never under threat. I’ve had to tell everyone that the Vauxhall Heritage Centre is not going to be shut. We are only being moved.’
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