Riley Smith

What Are Our Hero Cars?

We have produced so many great cars in the UK that are on display at the Great British Car Journey but we often get asked what are the top cars and why? we call these are hero cars and detail them below. You will be able to see and drive these Great British Car Hero’s when you visit our attraction   


Perhaps the greatest of them all : The Mini 1959-2000

Like the Morris Minor the Mini was designed by Alec Issigonis and becane the most popular car ever produced in the UK. Some 5.4 Million Minis were made between 1959 and 2000

The Mini is a masterpiece: despite being only ten feet long, it will accommodate four adults and a reasonable amount of luggage and transport them at a very reasonable pace.

75% of the Mini’s footprint is devoted to passengers and luggage with the engine, gearbox and all the mechanical bits only taking up 25%. Everything about the mechanical package is clever and innovative and the result is a tiny car that delivers on every front.

The Mini also performed David-like on the Monte Carlo Rally and on race tracks around the world slaying the Goliaths from Ford and almost everyone else.

Supposedly replaced by the Metro in 1980 , the Mini refused to die and long after the Metro had been killed off the last Mini was driven off the line in Birmingham by Lulu on October 4th 2000.

Austin Seven

The Austin Seven was produced between 1922-1939 and pioneered car ownership for the common man and his family. Hitherto condemned to a motorbike possibly tethered to a side-car, Austin’s little car offered the tantalising prospect of being able to take the family for days out and even holidays at the coast : it offered freedom to explore a world away from cramped and dirty towns and cities by taking to Britain’s network of winding country roads.

By the mid 1930s despite the economic traumas earlier in the decade, a second-hand Austin 7 could be had for similar money to a motor bike combination and Britain’s Motorcycle industry would never be the same again.

By the outbreak of war in 1939, more than 300,000 Sevens had been built and as Morris and Ford joined the small car party, the hard-working couple could give their family a freedom of mobility that transformed the way we live.The Seven’s little engine produced less than 20 horsepower and fully laden it would struggle to reach 40mph,

The Seven was alsoproduced under license in France, Germany, the USA and Japan


The launch of the Ford Escort in 1968 was a seminal moment in British motoring history: For the next half century Escorts would be everywhere : on every street of every city ,town and village there would be an Escort…and then they started to disappear until now in 2024, you might go a week or even a month without even seeing one.

Unlike some of our other heroes, the Escort was able to completely reinvent itself over the years so that the last cars bore no resemblance at all to the Mk1 s of the 60s and 70s. The Escort of 2000 was a marketing creation and could be given a new name at any time whereas the Austin Seven, Morris Minor and the Mini were fundamentally the same cars for all the years that they were produced.

Morris Minor

After the Second World War, car production was slow to restart anywhere in the world and many manufacturers just dusted off their pre-war models in the hope that they would do.

Herbert Austin was dead but his great rival William Morris was still at the helm of his company and employing a young expatriate by the name of Alec Issigonis. Issigonis was to design the next great family car to occupy suburban drives all over the UK : the Morris Minor. Launched at the 1948 London Motor Show, the Minor was a quantum leap forward from the Austin Seven 

Morris himself didn’t like the Minor and continued to drive a pre-war model but the public loved it and in 1960 the millionth Minor rolled off the production line at Crowley being the first British car to reach this considerable milestone.

Rolls Royce

Henry Royce started making cars in 1904 and Rolls Royce was founded in 1906 when he was introduced to car dealership owner Charles Rolls. They increased their portfolio by purchasing potential competitor Bentley in 1931 Rolls-Royce Motors Limited was incorporated 1971 after the companies diversification into aircraft engines went wrong and it fell into receivership Perhaps the most famous Rolls Royce the iconic Silver Shadow was produced between 1965 and 1980. A Bentley version of the Silver Shadow, known as the Bentley T was also produced A marketing survey in 1987 showed that only Coca-Cola was a more widely known brand than Rolls-Royce, confirming its status as one of the most iconic cars ever to be made in the UK

Whats Going on in April at Great British Car Journey – Happy Easter!

Spring Is In The Air At Ambergate

– We are now finally open 7 days a week!

– Drive Dads Car on for eight days in April

– Back by popular demand, we are running our DeLorean rides on selected days in April

– Kids go absolutely FREE March 29th – April 14th

– A Fun easter egg hunt for the Kids, find all 9 spots where Riley the Rabbit’s hiding

TWO New Additions to our Driving Fleet!

appearing in april socials

Hop into 2 ultra rare and super cool classics this easter! Brand new to our driving fleet for April!

The first is our stunning 1958 Austin Healey 100/6, which is a reminder of an era of the Great British Sports Car. You can find this in our Luxury collection!

And the second is our 1994 Ford Granada MK3. King of the company car park, for the man who made it in sales. You can find this in our Classic collection!

DeLorean Rides In April

  • Back by popular demand, we are brining back our DeLorean rides on the 30th March and the 3rd, 6th, 10th and 13th April! Come and have a ride in our 1980s DeLorean DMC 12 for just £10 a lap.

Kids In The Holidays

  • From the 29th March to the 14th April kids go absolutely FREE
  • They can see a real F1 car, A Delorean, James Bond-style Lotus, Bentley once owned by Sir Elton John and Princess Annes Reliant Scimitar.
  • See cars being driven on selected days and even take a ride/drive yourself
  • Along with the free entry, from the 29th to the 31st of March we have a fab easter egg hunt for your kids to enjoy. Find all 9 spots where Riley The Rabbit is hiding in the attraction, jot down the numberplates of the cars he’s hiding in, and hand the form into reception and you can receive your reward.

What Else Is Going On In April?

Along with running the Drive Dads Car days, we have some great meet ups for you to enjoy too:

For April we have some fantastic events:


  • COFFEES & CARS with Takona Hosting – Sunday 14th April

  • AUSTIN EXTRAVAGANZASunday 14th April

  • DRIVE IT DAY – Sunday 21st April
  • GBCM GREAT BRITISH CAR MEET – Friday 26th April
  • AUTO ITALIANE – Sunday 28th April

Great British Car Meet - 1st April!

Finally, this month we are having our first Great British Car Meet of the year!

Come down on the 1st of April 10am – 4pm for just £5 per car (free for members)


10am – 4pm

Book your tickets for the Great British Car Meet here

All makes and models welcome (classic cars, vintage cars or modern cars)…with their owners!

Entrance to the Great British Car Meet is £5 per car.

Whats Going on in March at Great British Car Journey

This Month we Have Plenty to Keep You Interested

March is shaping up to be a fantastic month here at the Great British Car Journey, especially as all the winter weather starts to make way for spring. From Friday 15th March we will be back open 7 days a week 

So if you have children or grandchildren to entertain, why not bring them to our interactive museum featuring iconic cars made in Britain. See a real F1 racer and a car made more than 120 years ago.

We are also running our Drive Dad’s Car driving experiences   on the 2nd, 10th, 16th, 20th, 24th, 27th, and 30th March and we have two exciting new additions to the fleet to wet your appetite (see below)

On the 10th of March bring down your mum for Mothers Day, or how about checking out the events we are holding throughout March…

TWO New Additions to our Driving Fleet!

Introducing two ultra-rare and uber-cool 1980s British Sports Saloons to our driving fleet!

The first is our stunning 1986 Rover SD1 Vitesse Twin Plenum, with its 3500 V8 and manual gearbox this legendary car is certain to put a smile on anyone’s face

And the second is our 1989 MG Montego 2.0 EFi. This sporty saloon makes a perfect addition to our MG Maestro also on our fleet, especially with 115hp under the bonnet


Mum’s car was probably just as important as Dad’s in your early life. It was probably Mum who took you to school, dragged you to the shops and acted as a taxi to all those teenage parties. It was probably Mum’s car in which you learned to drive and from which on that joyful day, the L plates were removed. Before you bought your first car, it was probably Mum’s that you borrowed?

So why not buy Mum a slice of nostalgia for Mother’s Day and bring her to Great British Car Journey? She will almost certainly see some of the cars she has owned and you can book her a ride or drive in one of her favourites.

Mother’s Day is all about the memories of all the great things Mum has done for you. For most of us, Mum’s cars were a large part of that rich tapestry of love.

Share your Mum’s car memories with us on Facebook: our favourite three will win a £10 voucher for use in our “Filling Station” café.



Along with running the Drive Dads Car days, we have some great meet ups for you to enjoy too:

For March we have some fantastic events:

  • COFFEES & CARS with Takona Hosting – Sunday 10th March




What’s Your Favourite Classic British Car?

The idea behind the launch of our Great British Cars Range was to make sure we had merchandise available for every classic British Car

As T-Shirts seemed to be the most popular part of the range we thought we would launch a campaign to Wear Your Favourite Car. Our range of high quality soft style cotton unisex T-Shirts is proving to be a great way to let people share their favourite British Cars with the rest of the world. All you have to do is 

    1. Select favourite car from over 80 different models
    2. Decide what colour t-shirt is needed
    3. Choose size required 

You are now ready to let the world know what is your favourite car

You can share your favourite or these t-shirts also make the perfect gift for other car lovers

Photo Prints of Classic Cars Now Available

We have had some great feedback on the quality of the photographs of the various classic cars in the Great British Car Journey that we have used to create the new Great British Cars Merchandise Range

So we have decided to invest in a high quality professional photo printer so we can supply these images as Sublimation Photo Prints at affordable prices

These prints are now available in our online store and in our gift shop at Ambergate

  • They are a high quality 12′ x 8″ gloss photo print 
  • Supplied as standard in a black card photo frame with silver insert at an entry price of just £9.95
  • They can also be upgraded to be supplied in a wooden photo frame for just £19.95  

Special Deal 

Buy 2 Get 1 Free – 3 Prints for Under £20

Browse over 75 iconic images of classic British Cars all photographed taken of actual cars from our interactive museum and driving experience 

  1. Choose your favourite 3 cars – we know its hard to pick from so many classics 
  2. Add them to your shopping basket
  3. This will automatically give you the 3rd product free of charge
  4. Checkout and pay for your order
  5. Prints will be delivered in approximately 5 days 
  6. Keep to yourself or share with friends