An incredibly rare piece of Derbyshire’s car making history has made a return to the county.
Better known for the manufacture of Rolls-Royces and Toyotas, few people know that in the 1950s, Derbyshire was also home to the production of the now almost forgotten Paramount car.
And now, the fifth Paramount car ever made has gone on display at Great British Car Journey after being discovered at a classic car auction.
Richard Usher, founder and director of Great British Car Journey explained: “We consider ourselves experts in British classic cars but even the Paramount was a mystery to the team here. We had no idea this car even existed. It wasn’t until we were alerted to its local history that we knew we had to have it and bring it home. The Paramount really is a forgotten piece of Derbyshire’s motoring heritage.”
Only 10 Paramount cars were manufactured at the factory in Swadlincote and all of them bear the registration PNU, and were numbered 1 – 10. Great British Car Journey’s Paramount original number plate would have been PNU 4.
“We’d love to trace another of the Swadlincote Paramounts, but we think it’s highly unlikely any will be in existence which makes ours even more special,” said Richard.
Just 16 Paramounts were produced in Derbyshire; first at the Swadlincote factory and then later in Melbourne, until production moved to Buckinghamshire in 1953. In total, just 76 Paramount cars were made until 1956 when production ceased.
“Our brilliant team at Great British Car Journey have already got the car running and looking a lot smarter than when she arrived,” he added.
According to an advert from 1950, the beautiful red, four seater convertible Paramount was ‘designed to provide a sports car of exceptional beauty whilst retaining the distinctive British character favoured by most sports drivers.’
The Paramount boasts Triumph running gear underneath its all-aluminium bodywork which is stretched over a wooden ash frame mounted on a tubular metal chassis.
Richard added: “The car is beautifully made. It is testament to the skills of the craftsmen who made her, as the bodywork is full of complex curves.”
The Paramount now joins Great British Car Journey’s only other Derbyshire made car in the interactive classic car exhibition – a Rolls-Royce once owned by Scouts founder Lord Baden Powell.
To see the car on display at Great British Car Journey, purchase discounted tickets and find details of opening times here