Transport festivals aim to roll back the years

Jun 02, 2019

A BRACE of high-profile transport events come together on one day this month, as Vauxhall’s Heritage Centre Open Day joins with the Luton Festival of Transport to create a motor vehicle spectacular.

More than 5,000 visitors are expected at the Vauxhall Heritage Centre in Luton on Synday next week (June 9). And many will also take in the Festival of Transport at Stockwood Park, where around 1,000 classic vehicles will be on display.

Vauxhall is celebrating two significant anniversaries this year – 50 years since the launch of the Bedford CF van and 40 years since the first appearance of the British-built Astra, a model that is now in its seventh generation. Both vehicles will have pride of place at the Open Day,

This is the only day of the year that Vauxhall’s 75-vehicle Heritage Collection is open to the public. It is the largest of its kind in the world and features:

  • 5HP, the world’s second-oldest Vauxhall.
  • The earliest Prince Henry model, known as the world’s first sports car.
  • One of only two surviving WW1 D-Type Staff Cars.
  • The most original 30-98 model, Britain’s first 100mph production car.
  • A 1930 2-Ton, one of the first Bedford trucks to be built.
  • Three stunning concept cars, spanning the Sixties to the 2000s.
  • Rare, fully restored examples of the Firenza HP Droopsnoot and Viva GT.
  • Three Vx super-saloons, from the 176mph Lotus Carlton to the 600hp VXR8 GTS-R.
  • Continuous model lines of Viva, Victor, Cavalier, Vectra, Corsa and Astra, including powerful VXR and GSi variants.

Admission is free, and as well as the Collection vehicles, a variety of Vauxhall clubs will be displaying their members’ cars and vans. There is also an opportunity for children to try their hand at being a racing star in a video-equipped BTCC Vectra, a full line-up of Vauxhall’s modern vehicle range and memorabilia and merchandise to see and buy.

A free shuttle service aboard a classic coach will take visitors to and from the Luton Festival of Transport at Stockwood Park. Now in its 28th year, festival organisers are anticipating around 1,000 classic vehicles to be on display, vying for a total 12 awards to be judged during the day.

For classic-car owning visitors, finding that elusive part will be so much easier, too, with over 40 auto jumble stores on site to choose from. And among the shiny metal they can browse an array of craft and collector stores, a food court, children’s entertainment, and a dog show.

Admission for the Luton Festival of Transport is £5 for adults and £1 for children. Family tickets (two adults, two children) are £10.

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