A tribute to Her Majesty The Queen

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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 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


  • 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


Another busy week!

Another busy week at GBCJ  with some great Classics visiting today from Staffordshire and beyond.  Groups are always very welcome and hopefully as Covid recedes, we will be able to host Club meets in both the attraction and our licensed café . Like most hospitality businesses , we are struggling to recruit catering staff so if you fancy working in a place for the car-intoxicated and you have some catering experience , PLEASE get in touch by emailing info@greatbritishcarjourney.com

Practical Classics has done us proud in the July edition so thanks as ever to Danny Hopkins for his infectious enthusiasm. I have also seen an advanced copy of the next EVO which has a review by my old friend John Barker.

I hope everyone is enjoying this overdue warm spell and that it remains hoods down for the foreseeable future.

Don’t forget Fathers Day …why not buy him a Drive Dad’s Car Experience?

Stay Safe

 Just one of the beautiful cars popping in to visit today!


End of May round-up

Feedback from visitors has been fantastically positive and we look forward to welcoming many more in the coming weeks. The Drive Dads Car fleet has been well driven over the weekend and apart from a rather large nut falling off the Sunbeam Rapier, the cars have behaved as well as the drivers.

Our resident mechanical wizard : Doctor Mark Lawrence will no doubt be able to advise what said nut should be doing but I am afraid that the Rapier is currently in the sick bay!!  We have been visited by many superb classic cars ranging from a magnificent pre-war Lagonda to Citroen 2 CVs and a rather lovely Volvo P1800 as driven by Roger Moore in “The Saint”.

Please feedback to us with any criticisms (or otherwise) and do join us on all the usual social media channels. Above all, thanks for coming and we hope to see you again.



From one Extreme to the other!

I doubt anyone else on the planet has driven two cars at the extreme end of the spectrum as I have today.

Our 2000 Reliant Robin is one of the last ever made and always makes me smile. I did a couple of laps of the Drive Dads Car driving route today and it whistled along in its own slightly terrifying way!

The gear change is slightly eccentric, the handling is slightly scary but it goes quite quickly and is a very light and easy way of getting from A to B. At over 8 grand  20 years ago, it was quite an expensive proposition and sadly the end was almost nigh.

Tonight, on a beautiful (at last) Spring evening I took the McLaren for dinner with Mrs Usher at the marvellous Lathkil Hotel in Over Haddon. The contrast with the Reliant makes chalk and cheese look like twin brothers. It is an epic car and probably one of the last true Supercars to unashamedly gulp fuel at a truly prodigious rate when driven with spirit. I think it will need a bit of a clean before it goes back on display tomorrow.

So we have almost completed our first week. Thankyou to well over a thousand people who have already paid us a visit and I look forward to meeting plenty more of you over the weekend.

Reliant and McLaren in one day : I truly do love cars!!!

Another Media day!

Great British Car Journey Logo

Another Media day!

After a stormy night, it’s been mainly dry at Ambergate today which is a relief as we have had film crews shooting both inside and out.

As public open day gets ever closer (May 22nd), our willing team of contractors are starting to clear the building and leave the GBCJ team to fettle the cars and the displays. Foremost amongst the team are our wonderful volunteers who have been hard at it with the Autoglym which has been kindly supplied free of charge by the company…it really is a quality range of products.

Similarly, Fuchs who were of course once a Company called Silkolene based down the road in Belper have been very supportive and we are proud to recommend and sell their range of classic lubricants.

Our McLaren 650S has also arrived safely and if you see a bright orange one on the road between Ambergate and Longcliffe, the man grinning at the wheel is probably me, just checking that everything is functioning as it should.

New employees join us daily and particular thanks to the cleaning staff who are busy making sure that we are and remain super-clean whilst ever Covid is still a threat.

Stay safe. 



Doesn’t Monday come around quickly!

Lots of purpose evident at Ambergate today.

Thanks again to the volunteers hard at work making the cars look their best. Helped by some great product from AUTOGLYM continuing a relationship going back over 20 years when they supplied glass cleaning products to AutoWindscreens and the RAC.

Mark has been busy in the workshop but young Luke is down at Brooklands so we have missed him today.

We had a good project meeting this morning with our chairman and our biggest single shareholder working hard all day to make sure t’s are crossed and I’s all dotted by next week.

Builders , electricians, plumbers and other contractors are now in sight of the finish whilst Elite Signs from Gainsborough continue to tweak all the attraction signage. Huge thanks to you all.

Meanwhile our payroll continues to grow with janitorial, kitchen and reception staff all receiving inductions today. Welcome to you all and lets hope we enjoy the journey together.

Didn’t drive the McLaren today but pushed a Range Rover and commuted in my Rover Streetwise …the first ever urban crossover in the UK.

Lovely evening now but more like April than middle of May.

Stay safe         


Founder’s Blog: May 9 2021

Weekend Update

Thank goodness its stopped raining and it feels a bit warmer outside this morning.

Jane and I spent a few hours at Ambergate yesterday and Jason and Kirby (our catering manager) were also in evidence as we continue preparations for the grand opening.

Driving Experiences are selling well so if you want to be amongst the first few hundred people to take a “trip down memory lane”, book now to avoid disappointment. What a great Father’s day present : buy your Dad a drive in his old car !!!

I was lucky enough to drive our McLaren 650S yesterday although streaming wet roads meant that discretion was the order of the day.

Thanks to Bill and all the team at Woking for getting her to us safely and rest assured that she will be well cared for and admired in her new home in Derbyshire.

The BTCC starts at Thruxton today and is in full swing, live on ITV4. I was involved with this back in the early 1990s and have fond memories of great battles between the likes of John Cleland and Steve Soper. We were sponsoring the Peugeot team with Rob Gravett, Patrick Watts and Eugene O Brien. Another Grand Prix aswell although sadly no home crowd to cheer on Sainz and Alonso. 100 poles for Lewis : a truly staggering achievement.

Anyway, really looking forward to meeting visitors in less than two weeks. Stay safe and see you soon!


Founder’s blog: May 7 2021

Another week closer!

So, another week ends, and we are another step closer to opening our doors to the public. All the cars are in the hall and final adjustments are being made to put them in their position within the ‘journey’

This week we have had our volunteers with us and they have been fantastic giving up their time and getting stuck into anything and everything we have thrown at them!

The hard work doesn’t stop there though and we will be in over the weekend getting the café into shape!

Next week is looking just as packed, with a number of media visits planned, some press and some TV so do keep an eye out for us on TV or in print as we motor even quicker towards May 22nd.

Enjoy your weekend everyone and we look forward to welcoming you in very soon.


Don’t forget, you can pre-book your entry tickets here: ticket sales