A tribute to Her Majesty The Queen

A tribute to Her Majesty The Queen

On Thursday (8th September) It seemed entirely appropriate that by chance I had parked our Daimler Majestic Major Limousine outside the entrance to Great British Car Journey for our Great British Car Club monthly meeting.

As the sad news from Balmoral percolated through the members, I could not help but reflect on how the Daimler marque mirrored the boundless qualities of the monarch who has presided over the UK for the whole of my life.

Her Majesty the Queen‘s first state car was a Daimler DE27 and in the following eight decades there was always a Daimler somewhere in the royal car store. Classic in the true sense of the word, dependable, under-stated, reliable and ever-ready to serve are just a few of the qualities I associate with both the car and with Queen Elizabeth II.

Powerful, solid, but with immense magisterial presence…the list is long and encompasses unglamorous but dutiful virtues which lie at the very heart of greatness.

Virtually all the cars on display and stored at Ambergate are Elizabethan in the temporal sense but few, if any, could aspire to the values espoused by our late Queen.

Today will be a day for quiet reflection on a life undeniably well-lived tinged with sadness that an era has passed.

Richard Usher

CEO and founder, Great British Car Journey

Great British Car Journey to go back to the future with DeLorean Day event on 29 August

Monday 29 August will see the return of DeLorean Day for the second year, to the classic car visitor attraction in Ambergate. To celebrate, there will be something for every member of the family to enjoy at Great British Car Journey. Production of the DeLorean began in 1981 just four years before the car was […]

Monday 29 August will see the return of DeLorean Day for the second year, to the classic car visitor attraction in Ambergate. To celebrate, there will be something for every member of the family to enjoy at Great British Car Journey.

Production of the DeLorean began in 1981 just four years before the car was catapulted into the spotlight by the highest-grossing film of 1985 – Back To The Future.

With its revolutionary stainless-steel body and distinctive gull-wing doors, the DeLorean was born with film star appeal. 

The futuristic DMC-12 sportscar now enjoys cult status for its time-travelling antics with Marty McFly and Doc Brown in the blockbuster Back to the Future movie franchise.

There will be a selection of DeLorean cars on display at the attraction, including a very rare right hand drive model on loan from the DeLorean Owners Club UK.

There’s even the opportunity to sit in a DeLorean and utter the immortal words of Doc Brown – “Roads? Where we’re going we don’t need roads!”

Kids are also encouraged to come in Back To The Future costumes, with a prize for the best mini Marty McFly and Doc Brown on the day. Prizes include model cars and goody bags.

However, it’s not all about Back To The Future. At the event enthusiasts will see a line up from the DeLorean Owners Club UK and have the chance to meet with one of the foremost DeLorean experts in the UK, Chris Parnham, author of DeLorean: Celebrating the Impossible. Chris has an encyclopedic knowledge of the DeLorean and its inventor John Zachary DeLorean.

Manufactured in Northern Ireland, the DeLorean has rightfully claimed its place in the Great British Car collection which features more than 130 cars manufactured and designed in the UK.

Pre-booking is essential for DeLorean Day. Family tickets (2 adults and up to 3 children) for the day are just £35, and includes access to the full exhibition from 10.00am – 5.00pm

To book a ticket for the DeLorean Day event on Monday 29 August at Great British Car Journey visit here or call 01773 317243.

Rare classic Mini joins Great British Car Journey

Alec, a Rover Mini Cooper Sport 500

A rare classic Mini has gone on display at Great British Car Journey, the award-winning classic car visitor attraction in Ambergate, Derbyshire.

It is one of the last 500 Minis ever produced in 2001, is unregistered, has less than five miles on the clock and still has all its factory plastic coverings and stickers on its windows.

‘Alec’, a Rover Mini Cooper Sport 500 has been lent to the classic car museum by Calver resident Jennifer Ruth Harris.

Jennifer Ruth Harris and Alec.

Named by Jennifer after Mini’s legendary designer Alec Issigonis, the majority of Alec’s miles were put on the clock at Great British Car Journey where Jennifer drove him for the first time 21 years to the day since she bought him.

He has been perfectly preserved since rolling off the transporter from the Mini factory and into Jennifer’s parents’ garage 21 years ago.

Alec now has pride of place in Great British Car Journey’s 10-strong classic Mini collection in the exhibition. The protective plastic still remains on all the bumpers, petrol cap and seats, and the factory stickers have also been left on the windows. However, the protective transportation wax coating, which still remained when it arrived at the museum, has since been removed from the anthracite paintwork and polished by an Autoglym specialist.

“Seeing Alec polished does make me want to drive him but I don’t think I will put him on the road. He’s too precious,” said Jennifer.

Originally bought to replace ‘Enzo’, an almond green Mini with a white roof and named after Issigonis’ best friend Enzo Ferrari, Jennifer always expected to put Alec on the road but never did. When the time came, she decided to rebuild Enzo and keep him running.

“It was during a visit to Great British Car Journey last November that we considered it might become Alec’s new home. Not only can everyone else enjoy Alec but I can pop along and see him whenever I want to.”

Richard Usher, CEO of Great British Car Journey added: “To say we were excited when we saw Alec is an understatement. He is incredibly rare and absolute perfection. We are honoured that Jennifer has chosen Great British Car Journey for its new home.”

Alec takes pride of place within the exhibition of more than 140 classic cars dating from 1902 to 2006 that were designed and manufactured in the UK. As well as the Mini, the exhibition contains some of the motoring industry’s long-lost marques and models, like Morris Minor, Austin Seven, Humber Hawk and Triumph Spitfire amongst many others. There are also two classic Minis available to drive in the Drive Dad’s Car experience at the attraction.

To find out more about Great British Car Journey and purchase tickets for an interactive experience celebrating British motoring visit greatbritishcarjourney.com. Or, for those looking for the ultimate trip down memory lane at the attraction drivedadscar.com.

Last Moggy Minor on display Great British Car Journey

The last-ever Morris Minor saloon, which was manufactured in 1970, is on loan to Great British Car Journey.

The Trafalgar Blue two-door saloon has been lent to the the classic car attraction by Ray Newell, Club Secretary of the Morris Minor Owners’ Club (MMOC) which also restored car over a four-year period.

Ray Newell, Club Secretary of the Morris Minor Owners’ Club (MMOC) which restored car over a four-year period.

Ray, who lives in Ilkeston, Derbyshire, commented: “It is a fitting tribute to all those involved in the restoration – as well as the generous benefactors who supported the club in completing the undertaking – that the efforts of all concerned can be seen and appreciated by a much wider audience at Great British Car Journey.”

MMOC, which is headquartered in Derby, acquired the vehicle in 2016 and completed a four-year restoration project. Original components, including the engine and gearbox, were rebuilt after a specialist welder and fabricator handled the significant and essential structural repairs. The bulk of the remaining work was undertaken by volunteer club members.

Following its restoration, the last ever ‘Moggy’ was displayed at the MINI Plant Oxford in Cowley, Oxfordshire, where it originally rolled off the production line on 12 November 1970.

Now, it sits alongside famous marques and models in the attraction, including the classic Mini, Ford Escort and Capri, the Austin Seven and Metro – all cars that were produced in their millions but have long since disappeared from the nation’s roads.

Richard Usher, Founder and CEO of Great British Car Journey said: “Ray lives locally to us and has been a great supporter of the museum since its inception. I am delighted that he and the club have chosen the visitor attraction as a fitting venue. It’s a beautifully restored example and fits in perfectly here.”

The Morris Minor is among the most famous vehicles in British motoring history which were designed by Sir Alec Issigonis in 1942 before making its debut at the 1948 British Motor Show. It started a new generation of small cars, with drivers quickly falling in love with its light, rack-and-pinion steering which made it a delight to drive.

More than 1.6 million Morris Minors were manufactured between 1948 – 1970.

To see this delightful car for yourself as well as more than 140 other classic British cars on display at Great British Car Journey, book your visit and purchase your tickets here.

Or, for those looking for the ultimate trip down memory lane, pick from the 38-strong Drive Dad’s Car fleet and get behind the wheel of your favourite classic car. Visit drivedadscar.com to learn more.

Great British Car Journey wins 2022 Tripadvisor Travelers’ Choice Award

Just 13 months after opening, Derbyshire’s indoor classic car visitor attraction has become a favourite on Tripadvisor.

Great British Car Journey, which is based in Ambergate, has been recognised by Tripadvisor with a 2022 Travelers’ Choice award winner for its excellent visitor reviews.

The award celebrates businesses that have received great reviews from travellers around the globe on Tripadvisor over the last 12 months.
The attraction consistently receives five-star reviews on the world’s largest travel guidance platform with one recent reviewer even claiming, ‘I would give it 10 stars if I could’.

The attraction, which opened on 22 May 2021 in the middle of the pandemic, has wowed more than 40,000 visitors who have travelled from throughout the UK to see the unique collection of more than 140 British classic cars and even drive some of them with the Drive Dad’s Car experience.

In addition to the Tripadvisor award, Great British Car Journey and Drive Dad’s Car have picked up numerous other awards, including Gold, Silver and Bronze in the 2022 Peak District and Derbyshire Tourism Awards earlier this year.

As well as car marques that have long since disappeared from the UK’s roads, like Austin, Morris and Hillman, the collection boast cars with a very special story, like Lord Baden Powell’s former Rolls Royce (Jam Roll) and Elton John’s Bentley Continental T.

“Car museums can be very dull and that’s definitely what I didn’t want to create when I established Great British Car Journey. My team, and the many volunteers who work here, have done a brilliant job at helping create a memorable experience for everyone who visits and the Tripadvisor award certainly points to that,” explained the attraction’s founder Richard Usher.

Visitors to the attraction are guided around the display with a unique handheld audio device which tells the fascinating story of Britain’s once booming car design and manufacturing industry.

Richard added: “The cars we have on display at Great British Car Journey have played a big part in many people’s lives. Great British Car Journey is so much more than a car museum it is a trip down memory lane and, that, sets us apart from other motoring attractions and is helping us gain such fantastic Tripadvisor reviews. It’s great to see so many people love the collection and whole experience as much as I do.”

“Congratulations to the 2022 Tripadvisor Travellers’ Choice Winners,” said Kanika Soni, Chief Commercial Officer at Tripadvisor. “The Travellers’ Choice Awards recognize the best in tourism and hospitality, according to those who matter most: your guests. Ranking among the Travellers’ Choice winners is always tough — but never more so than this year as we emerge from the pandemic. Whether it’s using new technology, implementing safety measures, or hiring outstanding staff, I’m impressed by the steps you’ve taken to meet travellers’ new demands. You’ve adapted brilliantly in the face of adversity.”

To find out more about Great British Car Journey and purchase your tickets, visit greatbritishcarjourney.com Or, for those looking for the ultimate trip down memory lane, visit drivedadscar.com to learn more and book a drive.

Part-Time Cook

Job description

Great British Car Journey features over 145 British classic cars and celebrates the pioneers who created a British industry which was a world leader in its field.

The Role:

Reporting directly to the Catering/Duty Manager, your role will include the following:

  • Measure and prepare ingredients for menu items
  • Work with the Catering Manager to prepare meals during our dining hours
  • Maintain accurate food inventories
  • Properly store food items at appropriate temperatures
  • Rotate stock items as per established procedures
  • Restock kitchen for subsequent shifts
  • Ensure that the food prep area and kitchen are cleaned and sanitised at the end of your shift

Qualifications/Skills:

  • Kitchen experience preferred but not essential as training will be given
  • Good knowledge of food handling procedures
  • Able to work as part of a team in a busy kitchen atmosphere

 Basis of employment:

  • Start Date: ASAP
  • Good rates of pay
  • Hours to be confirmed

To apply, please send a current CV to info@greatbritishcarjourney.com

Part-Time Cook

Job description

Great British Car Journey features over 145 British classic cars and celebrates the pioneers who created a British industry which was a world leader in its field.

The Role:

Reporting directly to the Catering/Duty Manager, your role will include the following:

  • Measure and prepare ingredients for menu items
  • Work with the Catering Manager to prepare meals during our dining hours
  • Maintain accurate food inventories
  • Properly store food items at appropriate temperatures
  • Rotate stock items as per established procedures
  • Restock kitchen for subsequent shifts
  • Ensure that the food prep area and kitchen are cleaned and sanitised at the end of your shift

Qualifications/Skills:

  • Kitchen experience preferred but not essential as training will be given
  • Good knowledge of food handling procedures
  • Able to work as part of a team in a busy kitchen atmosphere

 Basis of employment:

  • Start Date: ASAP
  • Good rates of pay
  • Hours to be confirmed

To apply, please send a current CV to info@greatbritishcarjourney.com

Come and join us at our first GBCJ Gathering!

Join like-minded car nuts to see what the Great British Car Journey and the Great British Car Club is all about at our first “Gathering” open to all car enthusiasts and owners.

We will be serving food and drinks from The Filling Station café from 5pm to 9pm and Thornbridge Brewery will be attending with an outdoor bar (closes at 8:30pm) Book your space on Eventbrite here: https://bit.ly/GBCJGathering

The Collection will be open to view from a distance (Audio Visual guides will not be available on the night)

There will be prizes for “British Car of the Night”, “Foreign Car of the Night” and “Pre-War Car of the Night”.

All makes and models welcome…with their owners!

Entrance to the Gathering is £5 per car and is redeemable against Adult Entry into Great British Car Journey and Membership of Great British Car Club. The Club now has more than 400 members and a full programme of Club events .

Great British Car Club is affiliated to MotorSport UK and the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs

Derbyshire Scouts welcome ‘Jam Roll ‘to Great British Car Journey

Arrival of Baden Powell’s Rolls Royce marks 1st birthday of Great British Car Journey

Derbyshire’s Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Explorers have welcomed the most important car in the Scout movement’s 114-year history to Great British Car Journey.

‘Jam Roll’, Lord Baden Powell’s Rolls Royce, has gone on display to the public at Great British Car Journey, marking the classic car visitor attraction’s first birthday on 22 May 2022.

The 20hp Rolls-Royce, which was manufactured in Derby, was originally presented to Baden-Powell, along with a caravan (Eccles), at the 1929 World Jamboree on the Scouting movement’s 21st birthday.

The car was subsequently named ‘Jam Roll’ in recognition of its connection to the Jamboree and Rolls Royce.

The unique car boasts the Scout Fleur de Lys emblem, etched with the Scouts motto ‘Be Prepared’ on the radiator in place of the traditional Spirit of Ecstasy or ‘Flying Lady’, making it one of a kind.

Now, 93-years after it was presented to Baden Powell, ‘Jam Roll’ has joined the collection of classic cars at Great British Car Journey. The arrival of the car at the attraction was extra special for the Cubs in attendance, as it helped them earn their Collectors Badge.

Tom Stoddart, One of the Trustees of B-P Jam Roll Ltd which owns the car, said: “We are absolutely delighted that Jam Roll is now on display at Great British Car Journey and available to be seen by Scouts and Guides throughout the world. Retaining the car in Derbyshire was very important to us. It is an important piece of Scouting history, and we know that it will be well looked after by Richard and his team.”

Richard Usher, CEO of Great British Car Journey said: “We are thrilled to have such a uniquely historic car in the Great British Car Journey collection. It is a wonderful way to mark the 12-month anniversary of opening the attraction.”

Scouts around the world were asked to donate a penny per member and enough was raised to buy ‘Jam Roll’ and ‘Eccles’. Lord Baden Powell used the Rolls Royce and Eccles for many years and after his death in 1941 his family sold it to private owners. It was seen infrequently at Scouts events before being acquired by BP Jam Roll Ltd, a trust established to purchase in the car in 2008 ensuring it stayed in the country.

Following Jam Roll’s purchase by the trust, of which Lord Baden Powell’s grandson the Hon. Michael Baden Powell is a trustee, the car was sympathetically restored by Scouting volunteers and members of the Rolls Royce Heritage Centre where it was stored until it arrived at Great British Car Journey.

Jam Roll has found a new home at great British Car Journey where it is now on display alongside more than 135 British-built and manufactured cars which have long since disappeared from the roads, including the Austin Seven, Morris Minor and Ford Escort as well with a number of cars with equally famous owners, including Elton John’s Bentley Continental T.

Richard added: “The fact that ‘Jam Roll’ was made in Derby, only a few miles from Baden Powell’s wife’s home town of Chesterfield and indeed Great British Car Journey, gives this internationally important car a lovely local connection.”

Although now on display at Great British Car Journey, ‘Jam Roll’ will continue to make special appearances at Scout events.

To view Jam Roll and the wider car collection at Great British Car Journey, you can purchase tickets at greatbritishcarjourney.com or simply turn up and pay upon arrival.

If you’re looking for the ultimate trip down memory lane, pick from the 38-strong Drive Dad’s Car fleet and get behind the wheel of your favourite classic car. Visit drivedadscar.com to learn more.