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Unique piece of BMC history goes on display at Great British Car Journey

A unique piece of BMC history – a restored ‘skeleton’ example of the Austin 1100 Countryman – is now on display at Great British Car Journey after being generously lent to us by The 1100 Club.

The skeleton body of the unique vehicle is designed to show the electric motors which control the movement of front and rear seats, demonstrating its carrying capacity to the full.

The arrival at Great British Car Journey follows the end of an eight-year search by the club for a new home for the car following the closure of its former home, Stondon Motor Museum in 2015. Since the museum’s closure the car has been in storage, only being brought out by the club for shows and exhibitions. During this time, members of the Essex branch of The 1100 Club restored the rare model to its former glory.

“Absolutely over the moon” to finally bring the car out of storage, Gordon Diffey, The 1100 Club committee member who is responsible for looking after the car, explained: “After learning about the Great British Car Journey at the Classic Car Show last year where I had my car on display and then visiting the museum myself, I was very impressed and realised it would be an absolutely perfect place to display the car. Now that it is on display again at the museum, members of The 1100 Club and all other classic car enthusiasts have the opportunity to see it whenever they want.”

Originally produced by Austin to demonstrate the still unique BMC engine and transmission layout at the 1966 Geneva Motor Show, the car also appeared the following year at the 1967 Earls Court Motor Show on a turntable alongside a fully bodied version.

At the end of the show the Austin 1100 skeleton car was put into storage at the British Motor Museum at Gaydon before being purchased by The 1100 Club in 1998 and subsequently displayed at Stondon Motor Museum in Bedfordshire.

Delighted to have the Austin 1100 skeleton on display in the exhibition, Richard Usher, CEO and founder of Great British Car Journey said: “This is a truly unique car and an important piece of BMC’s history which we are delighted to now have on display. It’s a real talking point, like so many of the wonderful cars designed and produced by British manufacturers over the last 100 years. I am grateful to Gordon and The 1100 Club for giving us the opportunity to share this car with so many people.”

The Austin 1100 skeleton car

The Austin 1100 skeleton car is available to view seven days a week alongside more than 130 classic cars at Great British Car journey.

Single admission is just £17.50 but, when booked online, visitors pay just £16.00.  Concessions and family tickets are also available.

Save money and book your entry tickets online here.

Happy 2nd Birthday to Great British Car Journey!

Two years ago today Great British Car Journey opened its doors to the public!

 We want to thank everyone who has visited us and continues to support us along the way – we’ve had yet another incredible year!

Some of the highlights this year include:

None of this could have been achieved without our amazing team who work tirelessly to make sure every visitor has an unforgettable experience. From our skilled vehicle technicians and calm and collected driving instructors to the army of volunteers and café team and everyone in between – we are grateful to work alongside such passionate people.

Thanks also go to the wonderful owners who have allowed us to display their cars in our exhibition; as well as the army of car enthusiasts who turn out in their droves in their much-loved classics at our car meets – you enable us to showcase the best of British automotive engineering and design. And, of course, a big thank you to the incredible car clubs and everyone who visits us – we appreciate your support.

As we look forward to what 2023/24 has in-store. We already have some exciting new events and projects in the pipeline, including the addition of more classic cars to the Drive Dad’s Car fleet that you won’t want to miss (discover them at Meet the Fleet Day this Saturday!), more quirky and historic vehicles to the exhibitions and some stunning new Autocar front covers available for purchase.

So why not come and celebrate with us and experience the magic of Great British Car Journey for yourself? With themed events, fascinating interactive audio tours and the most wonderful classic cars with their own story to tell, there’s something for everyone to enjoy!

Join us this week and next for :

Merchandise Range Update for 2023

Last year we launched our first foray into car merchandise with our licensing deal with Autocar Magazine for their beautiful cover illustrations . After speaking with our visitors, members and fans we have found that there is an appetite for a much more comprehensive range of classic car merchandise so we have been hard at work getting this organised and today sees the roll out of an ambitious programme to satisfy the demand for quality merchandise for all the classic cars on display at the Great British Car Journey

50+ New Autocar Cover Illustrations Released Today

We have curated 53 new Autocar covers that look great and celebrate some of the classics then we have added them to our wall art range on our online gift shop. To celebrate this until the 31st May 2023 we have reduced the prices on our entry level wall art so everybody can enjoy these iconic designs – just click on the buttons below to search the full range of 150+ covers

This is just the start and over the next few weeks we will be launching the “Great British Cars” merchandise range followed by lots of new products and a completely revamped online shop – please sign up to our newsletter to be kept informed 

For the Great British Cars range we want to create products for every classic in the museum and we are using photos of our actual cars to create more visually appealing merchandise – take a look at the samples below. If you have a favourite car in the museum that you would love to buy merchandise for then please email me and I am sure we can help

Great British Car Journey announced as finalist in VisitEngland Awards for Excellence

Great British Car journey has reached the finals of the prestigious VisitEngland Awards for Excellence.

Great British Car journey is one of five tourism businesses from the Peak District and Derbyshire that have reached the finals of the prestigious VisitEngland Awards for Excellence.

Great British Car Journey has been shortlisted has been shortlisted for New Tourism Business of the Year in the national awards after winning gold at the 2023 Peak District & Derbyshire Tourism Awards earlier this year.

Gold winners of the 2023 Visit Peak District & Derbyshire Tourism Awards

Judges for the Peak District & Derbyshire Tourism Awards described Great British Car journey as ‘a well thought through structured experience which captures in creative detail the timeline of the British Motor Industry over the last 100 years. It is of interest not only to motoring enthusiasts but provides a window into the nation’s social history from working families in the 20s, to the swinging 60s, the industrial struggles of the 70’s to the emerging high tech vehicles of now. The historic vehicle apprenticeship programme adopted by the Great British Journey is to be commended.’

The VisitEngland Awards for Excellence awards are the highest accolades in English tourism and champion the very best of the country’s tourism industry celebrating quality, innovation, best practice and exceptional customer service.

Richard Usher, CEO and founder of Great British Car Journey, finalists in the New Tourism Business category, said: “Since we opened in Derbyshire in 2021, the attraction has really struck a chord with the general public, whether they are classic car enthusiasts or not, offering the ultimate trip down memory lane. The exhibition, driving experience and our events are attracting visitors and tourist groups from all over the world. It’s been an exciting journey for the entire Great British Car Journey team. To be a finalist in the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence is just the icing on the cake.”

Alongside Great British Car Journey, fellow Peak District and Derbyshire businesses – Wildhive Callow Hall, The Blind Bull, Pure Outdoor and myGuidedWalks – have also been shortlisted in the national awards.

Wildhive Callow Hall near Ashbourne has reached the finals for Small Hotel of the Year; and The Blind Bull at Little Hucklow, near Buxton, has been shortlisted for the Pub of the Year Award, Outdoor activity and training providers Pure Outdoor have been shortlisted for the Ethical, Responsible and Sustainable Tourism Award; and myGuidedWalks, a Peak District walking experience provider, has been shortlisted in the Experience of the Year category.

“Good luck to our fellow Derbyshire and Peak District nominees in these prestigious awards,” added Richard.

The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony held at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter on Wednesday 7 June 2023.

Jo Dilley, Managing Director of Visit Peak District & Derbyshire said: “It’s an excellent achievement to be shortlisted for these prestigious national awards and we’re proud that the Peak District and Derbyshire is represented by five fantastic finalists.

“This serves as a timely reminder of the value and sheer quality of our world-class tourism offer, and is testament to our passionate businesses who are dedicated to providing visitors with unforgettable experiences.

“Entering locally aligned awards is the only way to qualify for the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence, so we encourage tourism businesses to look out for when entries open for the 2024 Peak District & Derbyshire Tourism Awards this summer. We wish our finalists the very best of luck!”

To discover why Great British Car Journey is

Come & Meet the Fleet on the 27th May

With over 35 cars available to drive as part of the Drive Dads Car Experience it is not often you get to see them all on display at the same time and to add to the excitement we will be adding 5 new cars to the fleet on the day. This will take our cars available to drive to over 40 different models – the largest selection of its kind in the UK by some way.

This means you will get to see all 40 Drive Dads cars alongside the 130+ cars in the museum making this a very special day for all classic car fans.

Tickets for the day are for museum entry and to view the full fleet – drives must be booked separately and are not available on the 27th. You can pay for entry on the day but if you book online in advance you will save 10% on your tickets.

We will also be offering some very special deals that will only be available to visitors attending the Meet the Fleet day that will make great Father’s Day presents or just enable you to try out more and more cars with extra discounts…

Classic Collection car drives will be reduced from £49 to to £30!

Premium Collection car drives reduced from £65 to £39!

Luxury Collection car drives from £75 down to £49!

NB: Cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer.

To book tickets for the day click the red button below.

This blog is on the Great British Car Journey website so please click here if you want to go back to the Drive Dads Car Website.

Mystery Solved?

Back in January we appealed to the public to help us solve the mystery surrounding our pristine 1971 Vauxhall Victor.

The car, which had been bought new by Peter Milner, had spent virtually all its life unused (save for 88 miles on the clock), hidden away and with a boot full of spare parts and petrol cans.

The mystery captured the imagination of the nation with the national press, TV and radio all picking up on the story and sharing our appeal.

Thanks to the appeal, Mr Milner’s nephew (also called Peter Milner) very kindly came forward to shed some light on the mystery. We awaited our speculation to come to an end.

Richard met with Peter at Great British Car Journey, where he sat in his uncle’s car for the first time on 11 February 2023, nearly half a century after it was bought. The meeting was captured by the team at BBC East Midlands. Watch the broadcast here.

Here’s what we discovered…

Peter Milner was born in 1923 and was one of seven children. The family lived in Ilkeston, Derbyshire.  Peter worked for most of his life for the GPO which was the telephone arm of the Post Office. By all accounts, Mr Milner was a clever engineer who was often summoned to fix local exchanges whenever there was a problem. He was a shy and reclusive character and he lived with his sister at 16 Gregory Street.

On 12 April 1974, Mr Milner bought the Vauxhall Victor from Mercury Garage. It was not his first car purchase from them as he already owned a Victor Estate which was only two years old. The Victor, as we know, underwent Ziebart treatment before being stored away forever with just 88 miles on the clock.

Mr Milner retired in 1983 and he became even more invisible. His nephew remembers visiting the house and ringing the bell. The door would be opened and a figure would scuttle upstairs leaving Peter to talk to his aunt.

On Mr Milner’s death in 2018, he left a sizeable estate which exceeded seven figures in value. The estate also included a Victor Estate along with a 1990s Honda and a fork-lift truck on an extremely overgrown allotment.

And, beyond this, we know no more. Peter Milner remains a man of mystery.

However, amongst his belongings his nephew found an unopened pay packet from the Ministry of Defence. We’ll leave it there and allow you to draw your conclusions.

And that is where the story ends. Mystery solved? Probably not, but we had a lot of fun trying to work it out.

Book a drive in a Vauxhall

If you have fond memories of old Vauxhalls, did you know that we have three in our Drive Dad’s Car collection which you can take for a drive? For just £49.00, you can drive a Vauxhall Viva, Astra MK1 or Cavalier 1.6 on a private on-site route at Great British Car Journey. Book your drive today here

Is your Car Club interested in a Great British Event?

Car enthusiasts have been getting together for well over 100 years in the UK and when they get together, they like to talk about the pleasure of car ownership, driving and enjoying whatever car or cars are the source of their enthusiasm.

If such enthusiasm can be shared over a beer and some well cooked food…so much the better…and the more cars there are to see, the happier most enthusiasts will be.

For the 2023 season, Great British Car Journey and Great British Car Club are delighted to be promoting a number of themed days when owners of various marques will be invited to park up and enjoy the very unique ambience of the site and the car collection housed there. We are also very happy to host more informal get togethers for your club

The owners and their guests will be given a special one day only rate for admission to the Great British Car Journey exhibition and food and drinks will be available in “The Filling Station” Café . Full details of all events can be found on our events calendar.

The video opposite shows what happened when our friends from the Triumph owners club visited the Great British Car Journey in August 2022 and how we can accommodate hundreds of car enthusiasts in a single day

  • All makes of car and types of club welcome
  • Reduced rates for museum entry 
  • Full access to our catering & facilities
  • Large car park can accommodate several hundred cars
  • Discounts if you want to try Drive Dads Car

We already have lots of clubs visiting us in 2023 please click on the button below to check out our event calendar and serif there is anything that grabs your interest

To find out more about what we can offer and what others thought about holding an event at GBCJ please click on the button below to visit our group visits page.

If you are interested in discussing hosting an event for you own club then please click the button below to contact us and see what we can offer your club 

We won GOLD!

Great British Car Journey has been named as the overall winner of the New Tourism Business category in the 2023 Visit Peak District & Derbyshire Tourism Awards.

The Buxton Crescent Heritage Experience and The George at Hathersage told the silver and bronze awards respectively.

The announcement was made at a glittering awards ceremony held at Casa Hotel in Chesterfield on the 2 March.

Unfortunately, Great British Car Journey’s founder and CEO Richard was ill so missed out on the fantastic night, however General Manager Ian Gardecki was there to collect the award. He said: “We were so happy to win, and it was brilliant to be able to share the news with all the team at Great British Car Journey the next day. The very late finish on the night and early start the next day was definitely worth the slight headache!”

Great British Car Journey was one of 14 gold winners on the night. As the winner of one of the 13 core categories in the awards, we now progress onto the national VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2023, which represent the highest accolades in English tourism. The awards will be held later this year in June.

Gold winners were each presented with hand-crafted awards, designed and made by Derbyshire-based C W Sellors Fine Jewellery & Luxury Watches, whilst Silver and Bronze winners each received a certificate identifying them as one of the finest tourism businesses in the area.

Jo Dilley, managing director of tourist board Visit Peak District & Derbyshire, said: “The awards are a celebration of all that’s great about the tourism industry locally, and recognise its vital importance to the economy as well as the hard work, talent and dedication of those who work in this important sector.

“The quality and diversity of our tourism offer is immense and, in light of the many difficulties faced by the industry over the past three years, we should be tremendously proud of not only our award-winners, but of all our finalists.

“They have shown adaptability, innovation, and commitment to delivering world-class experiences to visitors day in, day out and help make the Peak District and Derbyshire such a fantastic place to live, work and visit. Congratulations everyone.”

We were also delighted to see our Peak District and Derwent Valley neighbours Matlock Farm Park, Heights of Abraham and Thornbridge Estate secure awards at the event. The 2023 gold Young Achiever was announced as Josh Butler of Longbow Bars and Restaurants. He takes over the accolade from our own heritage apprentice Luke Henshaw who won it last year.

Luke has since been shortlisted for the prestigious VisitEngland Tourism Superstar Award, the winner of which will be announced during English Tourism Week (Friday 17 – Sunday 26 March 2023).

Voting closes at midnight on 20 March, to vote for Luke to win the 2023 VisitEngland Tourism Superstar Award complete the form here.

Help Luke win VisitEngland’s Tourism Superstar 2023 Award

Great British Car Journey’s classic car apprentice – Luke Henshaw – has been nominated for the prestigious VisitEngland Tourism Superstar Award. And we want you to vote and help Luke win the award.

Luke (18) is just one of 10 finalists throughout England who are in the running for the prestigious award.

Last year the title was won by Matlock Farm Park’s George Finlay. George was the first ever winner of the award in Derbyshire and the Peak District, and now the area has the unique opportunity to win again.

Organised by national tourist board VisitEngland and supported by The Mirror, the Tourism Superstar competition recognises the dedication and passion of those working in the tourism industry.

The winner is decided by a public vote. The competition invites members of the public to visit to watch a short film created for each of the 10 finalists and then to vote for their favourite. People have just six weeks to vote and help Luke, Derbyshire and the Peak District win the award.

Luke has worked at the classic car visitor attraction since it opened in May 2021 following his successful application to the Heritage Skills Academy (HSA) in Bicester. He is now one of only a few apprentices in the country who are training to become qualified craftspeople and heritage professionals to ensure the appropriate conservation, repair and maintenance of historic assets.

Luke, who lives in Mansfield and attended Brunts Academy, described the apprenticeship as a ‘dream come true’.

As part of his role at Great British Car Journey, Luke ensures nearly 150 classic British cars – which range in age from 1903 to 2000, are in working order.  Luke also helps to keep a fleet of 38 cars maintained and fully roadworthy for the Drive Dad’s Car experience.

Luke is no stranger to awards. Last year he won the Tourism Young Achiever Gold Award in the 2022 Peak District & Derbyshire Tourism Awards, organised by Visit Peak District & Derbyshire.

Delighted to be shortlisted for the Tourism Superstar Award, Luke said: “I am absolutely blown away. I love working at Great British Car Journey. Being able to combine my passion for classic cars with a career is just brilliant. I get to work on them every day, learn new skills and also talk to other classic car enthusiasts who visit. I also love that my role enables me to inspire visitors of all ages to learn more about these unique vehicles, helping them have an enjoyable time here.”

Richard Usher, owner and founder of Great British Car Journey, added: “Luke is already a superstar to us. If he wins the VisitEngland title, then it will very much be the icing on the cake for all of us.

“Luke has impressed us from day one. He is keen to learn, enthusiastic and also a really personable young man who all the team enjoy working with and our visitors also enjoy talking to. He surprises many of our visitors with his knowledge of not only the cars at Great British Car Journey but classic cars in general. His youth belies his knowledge and the enthusiasm for these wonderful vehicles.”

Jo Dilley, Managing Director of Visit Peak District & Derbyshire, added: “Luke is a fantastic role model and a brilliant ambassador for the tourism sector, demonstrating the rewarding careers and great opportunities available for young people in the industry. He is clearly passionate about inspiring visitors of all ages to have a memorable visit and we’re delighted to see him reach the final. Now we urge Derbyshire residents, businesses and visitors alike to get behind Luke and vote!”

The winner of the award will be announced during English Tourism Week 2023 (Friday 17 – Sunday 26 March 2023).

Each of the finalists are highlighted in a short video on the Mirror website. Simply watch the video, then vote for Luke. Voting is open until midnight on 20 March 2023.

To vote for Luke Henshaw to win the 2023 VisitEngland Tourism Superstar Award complete the form here.



Help us solve the mystery of our latest exhibit

A new car at Great British Car Journey has the attraction’s team scratching their heads.

The latest exhibit to join the 140-strong collection of classic cars – a 1974 Vauxhall Victor FE that has travelled just under 100 miles in 50 years and is in pristine condition – comes with a mystery to solve.

The car was discovered following the owner’s death – a Mr Milner. It was purchased by him in the summer of 1974 from Mercury Garage in Ilkeston. Six years later the car was taken to Derby to undergo Ziebart rustproofing – a popular option at the time – and then put back into storage. It was finally unearthed following Mr Milner’s death.

 Before being stored away, the brightwork had been removed, covered in oil and bagged up and the interior was covered in polythene; all of which served to keep the vehicle in pristine condition over the years.

A range of spare parts for the vehicle, a number of petrol storage containers and a Haynes manual were all found in the boot of the car and remain there where it is on display at Great British Car Journey.

The museum’s social media has blown up since details of the mystery car was shared on it, with people speculating that Mr Milner bought the car, didn’t like it so confined it to storage; the odometer is broken; that it was Bully’s Star Prize on the 80s gameshow Bull’s Eye, and even alien abduction of the owner!

Richard Usher, founder and owner of Great British Car Journey, said: “We would love to know more about this Victor and why the owner never used it. It really is a one of a kind story that we’re desperate to know more about.

“If the name of Mr Milner or the car description rings any bells, please get in touch with us as we would love to solve the puzzle of this mystery car.”

The award-winning visitor attraction and Drive Dad’s Car experience are open throughout the year. Currently operating reduced winter opening hours, Great British Car Journey will open seven days a week during half term from Saturday 11 February until Sunday 26 February.

Plan your visit here

EPC-UK donates life-saving defibrillator to Great British Car Journey

A lifesaving defibrillator has been donated to Great British Car Journey.

The defibrillator has been donated to the museum by EPC-UK, a leading UK company in the field of commercial explosive and blasting services based in nearby Alfreton.

To ensure easy access, the new defibrillator is situated within the attraction’s main display at Ambergate. Staff at Great British Car Journey have also received training on how to use the life-saving piece of equipment.

There are around 60,000 out of hospital cardiac arrests that occur every year in the UK. Research has shown that deploying a defibrillator within 3–5 minutes of collapse can result in survival rates as high as 50–70%.

The donation was prompted by Great British Car Journey’s driving instructor, Tony Bird who assists with the Drive Dad’s Car experience at weekends. Tony is also an employee of EPC-UK where he is the Driver Training Manager and Emergency First Aid Instructor.

He explained: “I’m only too aware, through my professional role, of just how vital CPR training with access to a defibrillator can be in an emergency cardiac arrest situation. Having the right skills and equipment can enable an individual to instigate an immediate and often life-saving response until a paramedic or ambulance team arrives.

“I spoke to EPC-UK’s Head of Human Resources, Julie Wootton, who champions and organises our defibrillator fundraising efforts, and requested one of the donations be made here. Supporting my passion for both the museum and public safety, she didn’t hesitate to help.”

The defibrillator donation to Great British Car Journey is one of 25 that EPC-UK has made to date to benefit public-use facilities, thanks to the fundraising efforts of the company’s employees, partners and associates.

Julie Wootton said: “We’re extremely pleased to be able to provide the museum with our latest, fundraised piece of defibrillator equipment, enabled as a result of money raised at our 2022 EPC-UK Charity Golf Day. Our employees, partners and associates will be nominating more public use organisations, like Great British Car Journey, who will benefit from receiving both a defibrillator and user training from EPC-UK.”

With thousands of people visiting the attraction each year, the new defibrillator is a welcome addition to the popular attraction. Richard Usher, founder and CEO of Great British Car Journey, said: “We are delighted, thanks to the kind generosity of EPC-UK, to now have a defibrillator at Great British Car Journey. In the same way that British car designs transformed motoring across the world, so too has another Great British invention – the portable defibrillator.  It seems a fitting fact that the very first model created in 1965 by Frank Pantridge operated from car batteries.”

The defibrillator handover took place during a EPC-UK teambuilding event at Great British Car Journey. Senior managers from the company enjoyed an off-site management meeting at Great British Car Journey, which included a Drive Dad’s Car experience. The team drove the 1938 Wolseley, a classic Mini, Ford Capri, Morris Marina, Austin Allegro and Jaguar V12 from the Drive Dad’s Car fleet.

Ben Williams, Managing Director of EPC-UK, drove the Wolseley. He said: “I liked the idea of driving a pre-war car, also, it’s given me an excuse to wear my peaky blinders’ hat!”

EPC-UK MD Ben Williams got to wear his Peaky Blinders cap in our Wolseley.


Ben Coppock, General Manager Blasting and Explosives at EPC-UK, drove the Jaguar V12. He said: “I’ve never driven a Jag or a V12 so this has been my chance to enjoy this classic slab of British engineering.”

Ben Coppock with our ‘classic slab of British engineering’.

Great British Car Journey is the ideal venue for a  a unique and nostalgic corporate event, which is perfect for bringing teams together and both interesting and challenging experiences. Whether it’s a stand-alone event or part of a conference or annual outing, our packages are suitable for groups of up to 80 people and include entry to the museum with an interactive tour, as well as the opportunity to drive at least one of the 38 cars in our ‘Drive Dads Car’ fleet.

Learn more about our corporate packages here or to book a personal drive, visit

The award-winning visitor attraction and Drive Dad’s Car experience are open throughout the year. Visit to find out opening times.

Founder’s Blog – November 2022

I was absolutely blown away by the attendance at what was going to be our last Gathering of 2022 on Saturday 19 November.

This was the first time we have run the event in daytime, and it attracted a phenomenal crowd of classic cars, and many visitors took time to visit the attraction as well as the café and gift shop.  Our enthusiasts are obviously made of stern stuff and although some cars will have been laid up for the winter, it appears that our club motto of ‘Classic Driving Pleasure’ is an all-year-round pursuit for many.

As a result, we have decided to have one last event in 2022 on Sunday 18 December. This will be the last chance to mingle with classic enthusiasts over a festive beer or mulled wine.

At the festive Gathering, as our own version of Black Friday, all attendees will be entitled to 10% discount off any last-minute shopping in the gift shop. As usual tickets will be £5 either in advance via Eventbrite or on the gate.

The first Gathering event of 2023 will be on Monday 2 January (Bank Holiday Monday). Get rid of the excesses of Christmas and New Year with a gentle drive to Ambergate. At this event we’ll also be announcing a new name for all future Gathering events. Read on to find out more….

Help us come up with a new name

Next year The Gathering returns but under a new guise – and we want you to help us come up with a new name for it.

All suggestions for a new name will be entered into a free prize draw, and the winner will receive a 12″ x 18″ Autocar canvas of their choice.

You can enter the competition a number of ways – at The Gathering on Sunday 18 December, by email to to or via Facebook Messenger.

Entries close on Sunday 18 December. We’ll then compile a shortlist and put it to a public vote on Facebook. Voting closes on 31 December and the winning name will be announced at the event on Monday 2 January 2023.

Get your thinking caps on!

Looking forward to seeing you all Sunday 18 December.

Richard Usher

Founder, Great British Car Journey

Great British Car Journey secures Autocar archive merchandise deal  

We’re delighted to announce that Great British Car Journey has completed an agreement with Haymarket Media Group to reproduce images and articles from the Autocar archive, which spans more than 125 years of automotive history.

The deal, secured by the Derbyshire-based classic car visitor attraction, follows the digitisation of more than a million pages of Autocar magazine, which has been published since November 1895. 

Great British Car Journey is the first organisation to be licensed to reproduce and sell images from the Autocar archive. 

Autocar is one of the world’s oldest car magazines, and the weekly’s archive is made up of around 6000 magazines.

The images from the newly digitised archive will be reproduced on a range of on-demand wall art, including framed and unframed canvases and prints as well as metal plaques.

The images are all available to order in a range of sizes through Great British Car Journey’s new online store.

Great British Car Journey founder, Richard Usher has selected an initial 75 front covers, dating from 1925 to the mid-1960s. They feature a range of British marques and models that have either disappeared from, or are rarely seen on, UK roads, including the Austin Seven, Morris Minor and the classic Mini. 

The selected front pages are mainly hand drawn colour illustrations. “They are stunning images and evocative of a bygone era,” said Richard.

The images are available in four different sizes and prices start from just £16.99 and can be viewed and purchased from here.

Great British Car Journey was opened to the public in May 2021. Its new online store and partnership with Haymarket represents an exciting new development for the business.

Richard said: “This is a tremendously exciting development for Great British Car Journey. We are excited by the opportunity to present the Autocar archive and to share it with other car enthusiasts.”

Rachael Prasher, Managing Director of Haymarket Automotive, added: “Day-to-day we inevitably tend to focus on our future, but we are incredibly proud of our past, and it makes perfect sense for us to partner with a company that understands the history of the brand and the industry so well.” 

“Autocar front cover is famous as the billboard for car manufacturers who want to show their latest model to the motoring public. Many of the marques that appeared on the Autocar front covers can now be found within the visitor attraction.”

More Autocar covers will be offered for sale soon.

Richard explained: “We will be adding more Autocar covers to our online store in the future, however we were keen to get the store launched ahead of Christmas.”

The Autocar prints can be purchased online at or ordered within the giftshop at the Great British Car Journey.

Discover the Autocar range today

A stunning selection of Autocar images are available in a range of sizes as framed and unframed prints and stretched canvases.

Get up close to Great British competition cars this half-term

Great British Car Journey is celebrating the British contribution to World Motorsport this half term with an exhibition of iconic British-built race and rally cars from 15th October – 6th November 2022. 

There will be a selection of motor sport cars on display at the award winning classic car vehicle attraction, including some from circuit racing and rally sport cars, as well as actual cars that have competed in Formula One, Le Mans and the World Rally Championship.

Visitors will be allowed close access to the cars and will even be able to sit in some of them.

Discounted entry to the exhibition will be available to families, with a family ticket admitting two adults and up to three children reduced by 25% to just £30.

The UK is a key player in the world of motorsport, hosting rounds of the Formula One World Championship and World Rally Championship to name but a few. It is also the home of many of the current teams in Formula One, such as McLaren, Williams and Aston Martin, while teams such as Red Bull Racing, Mercedes, Alpine and Haas are also based in England. The British Grand Prix race is the oldest in the Formula One World Championship calendar.  First held in 1926, the British Grand Prix has been held annually since 1948 and has been a round of the FIA Formula One World Championship every year since 1950.

Since the Formula One World Championship began, the UK has provided 10 different world champions, winning 19 titles between them, more than any other nation.

As well as the motorsport display, the ticket also gains admission to the full Great British Car Journey exhibition which features more than 130 British built and designed cars between 1903 – 2000.

Richard Usher the founder of the Derbyshire-based motoring attraction commented: “It is increasingly difficult for the public to get up close to real racing cars. This is a rare opportunity for visitors to see immensely fast race cars at very close quarters. It’s a chance for children to sit in some cars which have competed at the highest level at the world’s most famous venues.”

Click here to book your tickets for the Great British Competition Cars exhibition at 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

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 130 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 Or, for those looking for the ultimate trip down memory lane at the attraction

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 130 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 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 130 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 Or, for those looking for the ultimate trip down memory lane, visit to learn more and book a drive.

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:

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 130 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 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 to learn more.