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‘Molly’ motors towards milestone birthday at Great British Car Journey

The only unrestored early Austin Seven AB Tourer in existence has arrived at Great British Car Journey. She will be on public display throughout half term.

‘The Austin Seven ‘Chummy’ or Molly’ as she is known to her owner David Mawby, celebrated her 100th birthday at the award- winning classic car attraction in Ambergate, Derbyshire.

Despite being 100 years old, the car has just 19,000 miles on her clock and is in all original condition, including the paintwork, upholstery, engine and hood.

Molly was one of the very first Austin Sevens to roll off the production line in 1923 when the world’s first affordable mass-produced family car went into production. By 1939 when production finally ended, 290,000 Austin Seven cars and vans had been made.

A small handful of Austin Sevens remain to this day; however, Molly is the only one not to have been restored in any way. Although fragile, she can even still be driven.

First registered in 1923, Molly has had a fascinating history, including an appearance on TV, when she was awarded the prize for the most original Austin Seven by Top Gear in 1982.

She spent just three years on the road after being purchased from new before being laid up in 1926 when her first owner died. She remained hidden away until 1950 when his widow died, and the car was then sold.

The car was then purchased by a garage where it was mainly used for display purposes. The garage owner retained the car when he retired and only lightly used it. Molly has since had a couple of other owners, who have also resisted the temptation to restore her.

Current owner David explained how he acquired this unique piece of motoring history in 2007: “My interest in her began on my 21st birthday when I was given a copy of the ‘Original Austin Seven’ magazine featuring Molly as the main story. I had always admired original cars and had dreamt of owning this AB Tourer. I traced her owner, and he sold it to me under the strict condition that I would never sell her.”

Delighted to welcome Molly to the museum exhibition, Richard Usher, founder and CEO of Great British Car Journey who was treated to a ride in Molly, said; “It is always a pleasure to welcome significant historic cars to the museum, especially when they were made at Longbridge. As a Brummie boy myself, I am always overwhelmed by the magic of the Austin Seven and a ride in Molly was a real lifetime motoring highlight.

“The Austin Seven is one of the hero cars of Great British Car Journey so to have Molly with us for her 100th birthday is extraordinary, She’s a must-see for all Austin enthusiasts. But be quick, she’s not with us for long!”

This October half term (from Saturday 21st October until Sunday 5th November), kids go free at Great British Car Journey. Just use the code KGF23 when booking online and any child’s ticket you buy with a full price adult ticket will be free. Find out more here.

For details of all opening times, visit here.

New Cars Added to the Drive Dads Car Fleet

We are excited to announce that we have now increased our Drive Dads Car Fleet to over 40 classic cars that are all available to be driven. We think we were already the widest selection of classic cars available to drive in the UK so these 7 new models just make it even more likely we will be able to take you or your loved ones on a nostalgic trip down memory lane 

Mini Clubman Estate

Out went the wooden rear end and in came some stick on stripes as the Mini Traveller became the Clubman Estate. Production ended when the Metro was launched as the little hatchback was actually more spacious.

Austin A30

The A30 was the post-war successor to the Austin 7. Launched in 1951, it sold well but was not a match for the Morris Minor which was bigger and launched three years earlier.

Austin A40

Styled by Pininfarina. Compared to the rather rotund A30, it looked crisp and modern even though it relied on the trusty A series engine to power it along. Another fondly remembered Austin .​


Putting a V6 engine into the highly capable Rover 45 shell and restyling it as an MG worked wonders and with 175 BHP on tap, this was a serious performance car., The ZS was a worthy big brother to the equally successful ZR.

Ford Cortina MK4

The family Ford for over twenty years. The Cortina was part of the UK street furniture for 30 years. This MKIV shows off the squarer body that was considered in line with contemporary "folded paper" fashion of the time ​

Ford Granada MK1

Initially built at Dagenham with a 2.5 litre V6 engine, the Granada offers comfort and a very relaxing drive. Made famous by “The Sweeney” whose car was in fact a Consul, the Granada was an aspirational large Ford.​

Vauxhall Chevette

The Chevette shared much of the Viva’s running gear but clothed in an attractive hatchback body. Eventually it was also offered in booted form but the original car was the first small/medium hatchback available in the UK from a mainstream maker.​ Now a very rare car.

If you want to find our more about our Drive Dads Car driving experience please click on the button below to visit our dedicated website that shows all the other cars available and gives you lots more information about the booking process, costs and the format

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.

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.

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.

Great British Car Journey’s barn find proves Austin really is ‘Britain’s dependable car’

An Austin Heavy 12/4, which was owned from new by the same family for 90 years, is working once again despite having spent the last 43 years stored in an overgrown timber garage.

Purchased on 22 July 1931 by Fred Woodhall, the Austin 12/4 travelled many thousands of miles in the UK as well as throughout Europe. In 1961 the car was passed on to the original owner’s son and then great grandson, Charles Clarkson who has now donated it to the Great British Car Journey based in Ambergate, Derbyshire. 

Despite being forgotten about for more than 40 years, with only minor attention, the engine started, and the electrics worked. Additionally, the car’s brakes work, it pulls strongly in all gears, the dynamo charges, the radiator still holds water, and all major functions are fine; all testament to the manufacturer’s claim in the 30s that Austin was ‘Britain’s Dependable Car’.

Richard Usher, Chief Executive of Great British Car Journey explained: “I was absolutely flabbergasted when the car started given the storage conditions. The garage was so overgrown with ivy we couldn’t open the doors so had to physically remove them in order to get to the car. Once we got the car out and lifted the bonnet it looked like the engine had completely seized.”

The car retains all its original features and is in remarkable condition given its storage conditions. Now on display at the classic car visitor attraction, there are no plans to restore the Austin 12/4. Richard explained why: “We’ve given it a clean and a polish but that’s it. Great British Car Journey is all about preserving the history of vehicles and part of that is showing how they’ve been used and the life they have led.

“The fact this car has survived being driven many thousands of miles and is driveable after more than 40 years off the road is testimony to Austin’s build quality and Britain’s motoring heritage. I am delighted that we have been able to add this remarkable example of a pre war Austin to the Great British Car Journey collection.”